AmEx's New Independent Retail Index Ranks Dallas Low ... Until You Get to Lower Greenville

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Via.
This morning, we received word of a new report released yesterday: the American Express OPEN Independent Retail Index, which was done in conjunction with Austin- and Chicago-based Civic Economics and looked at 15 big cities, Dallas among them, ranking each based upon the number of independent restaurants and retailers in each city. The report also gauged the impact those businesses have on real estate values in some surrounding neighborhoods. In Dallas that meant taking a look at Lower Greenville.

Survey says that when it comes to independent retail and restaurants, Dallas lags way behind the rest of the country -- 14th out of the 15, to be precise, between Minneapolis and Phoenix. (That's a combined score, incidentally: "When compared to the other 14 study cities, Dallas's Index rankings are eleven for retail shopping, fifteen for eating and drinking, and fourteen for combined.") Which is to be taken with a grain of salt, as the data ends at 2009. That said, it says here that ...
In Dallas, from 1990 to 2009, independent retail shops saw their percent of the market decline from 51 percent to 44 percent, the 4th smallest decline among the 15 study areas. During the same period, independent restaurants and bars in Dallas saw their percent of the market decline slightly from 53 percent to 52 percent.
But Lower Greenville, says the research, is a great example of where indie thrives -- and where real estate's valuable as a result:
In Dallas, the study looked at Lower Greenville and tracked median home sales in the surrounding zip code (75206) from 1996 to 2010. The 75206 zip code encompasses the Lower Greenville and adjacent residential areas, including the area commonly referred to as the "M Streets." Homes in proximity to Lower Greenville and the pockets of business further north on the Avenue enjoyed home value increases that doubled the city average over the period from 1996-2010. The City of Dallas as a whole did not experience the dramatic run up in home prices through 2008 that the rest of the country did, nor did it experience a collapse.
On the other side, Dan Houston, Civic Economics' Austin-based eco-dev consultant, answers a couple of questions I shot him via email this morning.

So, from the Index, it appears Dallas, when it comes to independent retail and restaurants, lags behind the rest of the country. But Lower Greenville, on the other hand, is a bright and shining example of where local thrives. Is that about right? Could you elaborate on that?

That's about right. Dallas was an interesting case (I'm from Tulsa and live in Austin, so it has always been on my "route"). The way we identified neighborhoods (27 among the 15 study communities) was to map independent retail and restaurant sales in GIS, and from that to identify hot spots of indie business. In Dallas, perhaps unsurprisingly to your readers, it was difficult to see any strong concentrations other than Lower Greenville.

In one sense, that is not a bad thing, as it indicates that Dallas indies are more widely dispersed around the city than in most. Dallas has a lot of high fashion shops, for example, near other shopping centers. But it also indicates that there are few other districts where the independents really dominate, and where patrons can find a real cluster of locally owned businesses focused strongly on the local market.

Why did you select Lower Greenville for the study? Lower Greenville is a neighborhood in transition at the moment, and a highly contentious part of town where residents and landlords insist that more retail is needed but impossible till the "bad bars" are eradicated.

That's an interesting challenge. The selection was as I described above. It's pretty common to have some tension between a commercial district and immediate neighbors, particularly when the trade tends toward evening and toward the young, and I don't blame residents at all for that, now that I'm a middle-aged man. Residents near Lower Greenville, of course, live there in part because of the draw of neighborhood businesses. But if those neighbors are growing up while businesses remain focused on younger people, that could be a tough situation.

It was unusual that we didn't find another district with a strong enough independent retail concentration to really show up from the data.
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J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

RW, I think you're confusing Lower Greenville and Lowest Greenville, and you could be forgiven for it because most people do.  Lower Greenville, being the neighborhoods on either side of Greenville from Mockingbird to Ross is very heterogeneous, but the majority of it could not be described as "in transition."  And it's this larger area that the study examined with relation to property values.  Lowest Greenville, the part that's having crime problems right now is a very small, 5-block strip south of Richmond.  And the residential real estate down there has certainly not appreciated by reason of its proximity to Lowest Greenville.

Another issue with this study is correlation vs. causation.  I don't think there's any data suggesting that independent retailers raise residential property values.  If you compare residential values in Lower Greenville with those of Lakewood (which has no retail adjacency), you'd see almost identical trend lines, especially since 1996.

Mavdog
Mavdog

I question the link this study attempts to connect.

Their conclusion is that the amount of independent businesses in a submarket has a direct affect on the home values in that submarket.

While I would agree that the home values in a submarket will have a direct affect on the health of the neighborhood retail market, and specifically the average rent for space in the submarket, establishing the connection between the amount of independent businesses and the home values nearby does not appear to be credible.

My opinion is the connection is anecdotal.

Amy S.
Amy S.

Duh. Dallas was mostly DRY before 2011, except Greenville. Addison was the northern version of Greenville, just outside city lines. Since the vote passed more restaurants with full service and offering a full bar have spread out from the traditional "wet" belt.

Unlike Austin, Houston or San Antonio, Dallas has always limited the sales of alcohol to a very restrictive area. While restaurants now have the ability to move into more residential areas, there is no relief for the bars, they are stuck with the small areas in which they are legally allowed.

Amy S.
Amy S.

2009 they were just beginning to "blossom". They have grown significantly since then.

S Aten
S Aten

What about the Bishop Arts District?  Almost every business there is independent.

Bostjan Avsec
Bostjan Avsec

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Bostjan Avsec
Bostjan Avsec

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THIS NEWS IS RELATED TO "WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER" !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... OR http://www.youtube.com/user/Bo... <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. These are hard facts about lunatic ZIONIST Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population(ask your local newspaper/media why do they KNOWINGLY keep silent about crime/genocide !!? Ask them why do they KNOWINGLY participate in crime/genocide !!! BECAUSE SILENCE = CRIME !!!). Just in case ( http://www.dailymotion.com/vid... and make sure to play one from beginning..you already know why)

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Brad
Brad

www.shoplocaldfw.com is a new site just for independent local businesses. It's still in it's infancy but they have big things planned for November.

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