What I’ve Learned From My Eight Years in North Texas

By the time you read this blog post, I will have left the region. After more than eight years in Dallas, the opportunity to return full time to Florida with my family was too hard to resist. It also meant another exciting career opportunity, and one I’m happy to take on at Savills. My family were Southlake Carroll Dragons, we experienced Friday Night Lights, and you know what? We “got it.” The culture and the character of the community is equal parts intoxicating and intimidating; it is unique, and more memorable than other stops on my life journey.

Frank McCafferty

Dallas-Fort Worth has been an interesting ride. I, like more than 1.1 million others (!) who moved into the market in the past eight years have lived through an enviable growth cycle, city and neighborhood transformations, and big ideas that became reality. Consider some of the things we’ve seen, and the impact they’re continuing to have on the region:

The Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl!!! (Well, at least that was my personal highlight. Can’t fault a guy for dreaming of a Super Bowl win for 50 years.) Corporation after corporation making DFW home for their headquarters, distribution centers, regional hubs, technology centers and innovation labs. Brand names such as Toyota, Liberty Mutual, Raytheon, McKesson, Boeing, State Farm, and literally hundreds of others saw the value of pro-business policies and a substantial, daily-growing talent pool. National and foreign investment dollars flocking to the region for investment grade assets. Certainly, core market status is nearly here for the metro. The advent of $60 rents in Uptown. Honestly, who would have predicted that one? And please don’t bring up that deal you did in The Crescent in 1997! The explosive growth of Legacy West and Frisco, truly self-contained, live-work-play communities. The challenge will be integrating the energy and new residents into the broader community. Political change. New residents bring new ideas. How will that impact the Texas culture over time? Continued dialogue around socioeconomic challenges such as affordable housing, education, and transportation. These are serious conversations that will impact the future and prosperity of the community.

Dallas Fort Worth, you are on the verge of mega-city status. You have an obligation to think and dream big. Don’t focus on what inning this cycle is in. You are long past that point in your development. You have the advantage of seeing what has succeeded and what has failed; learn from victory and shun failure. The future is so bright, but others have been at this doorstep, too. How will you cross it? That is the question you have to answer. Now is the time to lead.

Frank McCafferty is executive managing director and business development leader for Savills Occupier Services in Tampa.

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