Economists: Trinity Groves Will Spur $3 Billion in Economic Development, Create a Hipster Paradise

Categories: Biz, Development

TrinityGrovesLongTerm.jpg
City of Dallas
The Trinity Groves project is still in its infancy. Babb Bros. BBQ and Four Corners Brewing arrived last year, followed by Hoffman Hots. The restaurant incubator hasn't just started incubating. The stores and apartments are still just a glimmer in Phil Romano's eye.

But backers aren't letting the preliminary nature of project stop them from making grand, eye-popping predictions about its future. And to give those forecasts a more authoritative gloss, they commissioned Weinstein, Clower & Associates, the local economic consulting firm that recently predicted an $11.8-billion boost from legalized gambling in Texas, to do a study.

Their conclusion, predictably, is that Trinity Groves will be huge for Dallas. How huge? $3.3 billion huge.

That's just taking into account the construction, which will take place in two phases over about 15 years. The first includes restaurants, shops, and three- to five-story residential buildings. The second will include more shops and restaurants, plus high- and mid-rise towers "to meet anticipated market demand." The end result will look something like the rendering above. The actual operation of Trinity Groves will generate an additional $350 million per year. All of this will result in thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in local tax revenue.

If those numbers seem outrageously high, it's worth a glance at Weinstein and company's methodology. Take, for example, the construction company hired to build one of those high-rise apartments. They have to pay workers and buy materials, of course, but they also have to buy office supplies, pay an accounting firm, and rent portable toilets. The portable-toilet provider in turn has to stock up on industrial-strength deodorizer and pay employees. And a good chunk of those wages will be pumped back into the local economy.

But quibbling about the bottom line would be, in the economists' view, tragically myopic. They are quite liberal in their use of phrases like "holistic," "lifestyle experiences," and "epicurean," the last of which they drop a good half-dozen times.

For example, they write that "Trinity Groves' mix of the epicurean lifestyle and the culinary industry, in addition to the economic, geographic, and demographic strengths already present in the DFW region, may catalyze a culinary industry cluster not unlike the successful tech cluster of Silicon Valley."

Also, Trinity Groves will "operate as an urban amenity that will prove to be attractive to an educated, highly-skilled workforce that may not currently consider living within the city limits of Dallas but are looking for an urban lifestyle that is epicurean-based, such as can be found in the neighborhoods of Portland, Brooklyn, and San Francisco."

In other words, we're 15 years away from having our own hipster Mecca at the foot of the Calatrava. We can't wait.

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55 comments
MikeInDallas
MikeInDallas

Back in the very early '70s, the city of Detroit attempted to corral the pitiful handful of "hippies" (hipsters) still living there onto a sad-looking street away from everything and everybody. They offered up Plum Street as an "incubator" of creativity and encouraged artists and head-shop owners (etc.) to rent the storefronts. None took the bait, even though the city kept upping the ante with subsidized rents and other so-called amenities.

What ultimately happened to Detroit is well documented. Live and learn, Dallas.

shoeguyster
shoeguyster

Did mention hipster friendly also means fewer cars and more reliance on public transportation? Those figures should be available at city hall.

shoeguyster
shoeguyster

After living in Seattle and Portland for over forty years (Dallas x-pat HPHS '64) I don't think you can plan or create hipster friendly areas. Hipster enclaves grow organically, developing from close-in working class neighborhoods. Hipsters do work in downtown IT and bio-chem businesses located in nice sterile high rises. Live there, not so much. Urban cosmopolitan cafe society may not be everyone's cup of espresso, but it makes for a fun town. So far as I can tell, Austin is the only Texas city that has managed the hipster trick. Unfortunately It is currently popular to despise hipsters

jeffcoley
jeffcoley

"Hipster" is what douchebags call themselves. 

Persky7
Persky7

One could put this rendering of sky scrapers anywhere in Dallas in the next few years. Why not do this in Uptown, Oak Lawn, on Garland Road, the corner of Forest and Marsh, Fair Park, Bishop Arts?  Or is the goal to chase off the natives by homogenizing and sanitizing every neighborhood.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

Dallas doesn't need any more hipster enclaves. Dallas needs decent neighborhoods for working class families, streets that aren't riddled with potholes and adequately funded police and fire departments. Instead we'll keep throwing public money to developers for projects like this while the rest of the city crumbles. That way the cycle of development and tax funds for developers can continue forever. 

Philip Goss
Philip Goss

How when it's already flooded with Uptowners?

Nairb Retseik
Nairb Retseik

Thank sweet baby Jesus. Get 'em out of Fort Worth.

Alice Laussade
Alice Laussade

Seems like something the Urban Sophisticates might like.

brint.crockett
brint.crockett

"Art and culture are increasingly leveraged as catalysts for urban redevelopment," begins the report... guaranteeing that the development it attempts to sell on these values will involve neither.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

"Critical analysis by my students revealed several remarkable features.  First, none of the plans ever spoke of what the city’s population might be at the end of the planning period!  The singular measure of whether a city is succeeding or not, namely how many people chose to live there or have jobs to keep them in a particular place, is unexamined.  So, too, is the question of what the profile of persons in poverty will be by the target year.  Given that the ratio of poor residents who subsist on transfer payments to persons in families that are self supporting is among the most important measures of what a city’s economy looks like and will look like it is hard to imagine how anyone can try to better a city’s future, the stated ambition of all plans, without trying to prescribe what the poverty ratio might be.  Finally, not one of the plans discussed the cost of running the city, certainly not the size of the public payroll and the associated benefit costs, including in most cities, the unfunded costs of pensions for retired and current public servants."  - It's Time For City Planners To Adapt A New Model (Forbes)

http://tinyurl.com/ayz9kt8

markzero
markzero

Who wants a view of lots of other high-rise apartments? This reminds me of high density residential dwellings in Russia or China. Oh, and a little bit of being on the New Jersey shore looking across at NYC, too.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

If there's anyone who knows what it takes to create a "hipster paradise", it's a gaggle of economists!

casiepierce
casiepierce

"... may catalyze a culinary industry cluster..."

Not if they keep selling food as terrible as Babb Bros. BBQ.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Their PR machine is in full throttle mode. They put this report out attempting to frame the proposed residential and commercial development in the correct light, to convince the right kind of people it will be the cool place to be and also (this is where the economic impact numbers are important) to support their anticipated request for money from the City.

In the words of Nancy Reagan, "just say no!". If they cannot underwrite the project with 100% private investment, it shouldn't be done.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Portland, Brooklyn, and San Francisco didn't manufacture a fake "hipster" mecca.  Those cities had charming old buildings, ethnic neighborhoods, and welcomed change and eccentricity.  Dallas, unfortunately, has none of those qualities.

downtownworker
downtownworker

Change the rendering to just show one high-rise and I'd say it is plausible in 10-15 years.

schermbeck
schermbeck

I imagine they didn't include the economic impact of cleaning-up after a century or more of heavy-duty, un-and-under-regulated industrial activity in the area that residents have had to put up with for years, including leftover lead contamination, an asbestos facility, all kinds of metal fabrication shops, oil depots, etc. That's what happens when you crowd your city's "undesirables" - industry and people - into a floodplain that's now a desirable piece of riverside real estate. 

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

It is a food court. There is nothing near this kind of money springing forth for a food court.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

When the first few hipsters get their teeth kicked in and their wallets taken by the local fauna, then we can rename it to Hipster Paradise Lost.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

" We had to burn the village to save it."

What are we going to do with the people who live there now?  If humans are tribal, what kind of hostile tribe is coming across the flood plain?

That bridge in the rendering looks like a Borg breaching line designed to suck out the current crop of humans, replacing it with the hive mind.  They came wearing Dockers.  

In another galaxy it would be called assimilation and resistance, it appears, is futile.


Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Brooklyn comes to Dallas.

monstruss
monstruss

There's nothing very hipster about an area designed to spit out chain restaurants. 

DMZ3
DMZ3

@shoeguyster Yeah I tend agree. It's East Austin in particular. Formerly black and hispanic working class part of town. Then hipsters started moving in. Then followed bars, food trucks, record stores and veggie restaurants. Now there's a big condo development boom which is bringing in moneyed types, white collar professionals, etc. The end result is that the hipsters move elsewhere.

The thing is, though, the end result is more or less the same to this. Dallas just wants to skip the earlier steps and move straight to the end product.

mrbusyb
mrbusyb

@holmantx In most social communist societies, the perception of an ample supply of goods is always guaranteed by having the customers form a single line that wraps many, many times around the block.  When that ruse won't work, then try converting the whole inner city into one huge theme park so the customers will be willing to stand in long lines for mere amusement.     

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

disagree, Dallas does have  3 of the 4: old buildings, ethic neighborhoods, does welcome change (if it's the right kind of change mind you wink, wink), but you're right on the eccentricity. the mantra of Dallas might as well be "Have fun, but remember not to color outside the lines kids!".

mrbusyb
mrbusyb

@downtownworker Oak Cliff is doing well and it is connected to old Downtown.  I think people are betting this will succeed because it is so close and next to the newer districts of the Dallas Design District, Uptown, and the Dallas Arts District.  At least the work in transitioning that part of West Dallas into Central Dallas is already done.  With that out of the way, the dream certainly has a lot more clarity.  As the price of land will certainly continue going up across the river, more than a few developers are going to see this area as a very good investment.  

Persky7
Persky7

@everlastingphelps The only thugs in this neighborhood are the developers and  the phony West Dallas Chamber. 

Daniel
Daniel

@everlastingphelps

Like if their colony succeeds, the place will be so much safer? Go to Brooklyn and here's what you'll see, Phelps: steely-eyed, skinny-jeaned, tousle-haired hipsters beating each other in the tribal tattoos with still-lukewarm espresso cups. I'd rather take my chances with the local fauna.

lolotehe
lolotehe

@everlastingphelps Keep it up, Phelps. Scare 'em off. There's no parking at Bishop Arts anymore and I want some sushi.

kduble
kduble

@holmantx  There's no imminent domain in for a private development. I suppose the residents would have to be offered a lot of money to give up their homes.

kduble
kduble

@monstruss  Successful hipster joints eventually become chains. Romano's current incubators are Knox Park and One Arts Center.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@monstruss It's just planning for five years from now when the hipsters are no longer supported by their parents, get real jobs, and decide that some stability isn't so bad. 

Persky7
Persky7

@mavdog @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Where are the ethnic neighborhoods in Dallas? The Asians moved to the suburbs ages ago. The Italians?  Forgetaboutit. The Irish? The Russians? Dallas neighborhoods are white anglophile wannabes, white Jewish, brown and black, and if the city has its way,  brown and black are getting the boot.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@mavdog You may be correct on that one, but there are slim pickings downtown.  I once thought that the blocks around Stone Place had potential, but they ripped down the remaining old store fronts on Elm adjacent to it, expanded the Joule, and rehabbed two gorgeous old buildings on Commerce and turned them into the chi-chi TenOverSix.  Dallas powers that be are fixated on some kind of Dubai-esque vision that simply won't work here.  Case in point: Victory Park.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@kduble @holmantx

Kelo v. City of New London - 545 U.S. 469 (2005) was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.The case arose in the context of condemnation by the city of New London, Connecticut, of privately owned real property, so that it could be used as part of a “comprehensive redevelopment plan.” However, the private developer was unable to obtain financing and abandoned the redevelopment project, leaving the land as an empty lot, which was eventually turned into a temporary dump.

monstruss
monstruss

@kduble @monstruss Successful Restaurants in general eventually become chains. The word Hipster is being way overused. I think the word everyone keeps looking for is probably "yuppie" in this situation. 

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@monstruss @bealotcoolerifyoudid I'm bored, so I will pretend to want to be a hipster, so I guess I will go with spit out the same tired shit I've heard other people say. 

Great job in working the word "spit" into both of your posts.

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