Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Uptown, Downtown Enjoy Growth Boom According to 2010 Census Data

Largely landlocked and mostly built out, Dallas couldn’t keep up with other Texas cities over the last 10 years, its population growing less than 1 percent between 2000 and 2010. But that doesn’t mean some parts of town weren’t booming.
Uptown, downtown and the Victory Park area saw surging growth over the decade, largely white and much of it from young, college-educated professionals.
The downtown population almost tripled, from 2,198 in 2000 to 6,069 in 2010. Uptown was up 80 percent, from 7,257 to 13,070; and Victory Park grew 60 percent, from 1,065 to 1,700.
But the lure of urban life drew people of all ages — professionals tired of commuting, families and empty nesters looking for a change from their suburban lifestyles.
“We’ve got empty nesters to people pushing baby carriages — families, singles, married couples and their pets, too,” said Patty Appleby of Classic Lofts and Spaces, which specializes in the growing Uptown-downtown real estate market.
“People like to be where they can be in a pedestrian-friendly environment,” Appleby said. “We have people moving downtown who don’t have cars. I never thought I’d see the day when that happened in Dallas.”
In some ways, the growing populations foreshadow the hopes of “Downtown Dallas 360 — A Pathway to the Future,” the city’s 116-page blueprint for rebuilding downtown.
The plan envisions a densely populated area of seven distinct neighborhoods, each pedestrian-friendly, fed by light rail and linked by streetcar, their streets alive with restaurants and stores.
Living units probably would be significantly smaller than the current suburban standard, but the plan’s proponents say the urban lifestyle and “changed expectations” among the new residents can overcome the obstacles.
Sure enough, some of the new arrivals to downtown, Uptown and Victory Park have abandoned the suburbs, tired of living behind privacy fences with little interaction with neighbors.
“I never lived downtown in any city before and wanted to see what it was like,” said Pat McAfee, a 50-something grandmother who was “tired of the conformity of the suburbs.”
“And the idea of living in a loft was really cool,” she added.
Plus, the people she meets downtown are much more outgoing than her suburban neighbors were, “more open, more welcoming.”
“This sounds really ’60s-ish,” she said, “but they’re just not as uptight downtown.”
Angelia Fuller, a single mom at 41 with a 19-month-old son, used to live in Plano. Now she’s at home in the heart of Uptown.
“Time is a commodity, and I was spending an hour to an hour and 15 minutes just driving from North Dallas to downtown,” said Fuller, who works in real estate and helps guide many of these newcomers to a new urban home. “I’m busy and, like so many other people, really like the idea of being able to walk out my front door and up the street to restaurants, to shops.”... Story Continued Here
From the Dallas Morning News:
Staff Writers
Published: 26 April 2011 11:28 PM