Economy fallout: Dallas leaders hunkering down

Interested in what Dallas leaders think about the area’s economic condition, as well as what the future holds? Cheryl Hall with the DMN interviewed a host of civic and business leaders, and a couple of interesting comments came out of the story that bear on our neighborhoods:
• "We’re going to be in this for a while. The severity of it is only now being understood. To say that we’re somehow immune to what’s going to happen is just folly." That’s Mayor Tom Leppert speaking, but apparently not listening to himself, since he continues to push forward with committing $500 million of taxpayer money into the convention center hotel even before the May referendum on the project can be held. Hey, isn’t being a little too free with other peoples’ money what got us into this trouble in the first place?

• "We have some agents who are not smart enough to work hard during this marketplace, but some who are. I tell people, ‘You get up, you suit up and you show up and work smarter than you ever have before." That’s Ebby Halliday Realtors president Mary Frances Burleson talking about the real estate business in Dallas and her company, which dominates the Dallas market these days.

• Any [commercial real estate] project not already coming out of the ground won’t be built anytime soon. "I would say it would be impossible," says Lucy Billingsley, the daughter of real estate magnate Trammell Crow and the developer of One Arts Plaza downtown.

After looking at the situation, the people interviewed by the News seemed to agree on one thing: There’s no place they’d rather be to ride out the economic turmoil than right here.

"There is a resourcefulness, a fearlessness and a lack of apology and moving on that’s unique to Dallas and Texas," Dallas money fund manager Shad Rowe said.

"This region will take its lumps," says attorney Wilson Chu, "but the enthusiasm and entrepreneurialism that permeates through this community will be to our advantage."


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