Two pieces of news that reflect on what’s happening with retail development in the neighborhood. First, construction is halting at a high-end shopping development in Fort Worth’s University district, and the developer says it’s because of the recession. Second, local real estate executives say commercial development will be cut drastically this year because of the credit crunch and the poor economy.

Why does this matter here? Because the  Fort Worth development at high-end anchors J. Crew and Anthropologie lined up, and it still had to halt work. That, more than anything else, should illustrate that anyone who wants to do a project this year will encounter almost insurmountable obstacles. Said one big-time development type, quoted in the second story: “Most of the significant development is getting pushed to 2010 and 2011.” So if you see vacant land where no one is doing any work, now you’ll know what’s going on.

We’re actually on top of these stories, and we’ll have an extensive look at what’s happening with retail development in the area in the February magazine, which will be out in a couple of weeks. (Plus, our package may even include some nifty features, as we take advantage of our new web site.) Oak Cliff has seen tremendous retail growth in the past couple of years, but the timing turns out to have been awkward. It’s like the scene in the movie Airplane, where Lloyd Bridges says, "Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking."