The 10 Most-Read D CEO Real Estate Stories of 2020

At the end of a year, it’s always interesting to check online traffic reports to see which stories resonated with readers the most. It was particularly compelling in 2020 as the North Texas commercial real estate community grappled with a global pandemic. Some sectors suffered; others flourished. All are ready to continue gaining strength in 2021.

Below is a round-up of the most-read D CEO Real Estate articles of the year. Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter here so you don’t miss a thing.

The 7D Ranch was one of five major ranches in Texas to launch in 2020.

# 1: Five massive Texas ranches hit the market

After Icon Global advised customers to weather the pandemic noise and the economic ride to the clearer, quieter days of a falling market, Icon Global attempted to sell five sprawling ranches in Texas. The “Call for Bids” campaign was used to sell a variety of properties, including the famous WT Wagoner Ranch, for record sales. The diverse real estate portfolio spanned the state, from West Texas to East Texas, and included the T Bar W Ranch, which we previously featured in our Home on the Range series.

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# 2: Dallas will soon be home to North America’s tallest living wall

Rastegar and the architecture office SCB designed the exterior of the building so that it resembles a tree trunk.

Ari Rastegar’s proposed mixed-use residential and retail project on McKinney Avenue attracted a great deal of attention when we announced the Austin-based developer’s intention to build North America’s largest living wall for the project. The green structure is part of Rastegars plans for a 26-story condominium tower in Uptown that will transform both the look and air quality of the Dallas skyline. Fun fact: the structure absorbs 1,600 pounds of pollution every year.

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Bill Cawley

Bill Cawley

# 3: why Dallas-Fort Worth will emerge stronger than ever

When COVID-19 changed the way we all do business, D CEO editors reached out to executives across the region to find out how they got through the crisis. Our hugely popular Executive Perspectives series featured high-level executives from a variety of industries. On the real estate side, we heard from John Gates, CEO of JLL, Chris Jackson of Stream Realty Partners, and Cindy Simpson of Gensler, to name a few. Cawley Partners Chairman and CEO Bill Cawley attracted the largest audience with a presentation on how the unexpected COVID-19 crisis opened up opportunities for re-evaluation of priorities and strategies.

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# 4: Dallas has a huge backlog of housing permits and contractors are fed up

A growing backlog of unprocessed building permits disproportionately affects small builders who are frustrated with what they say is fraught with inefficiencies and preferences. In this first story in an on-going series, we looked at the crisis and action taken by Dallas city council members to find solutions. In a follow-up report, we wrote about how the backlog of building permits revealed a broken system.

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# 5: Impact of Coronavirus on Local and National Real Estate Markets

After financial markets declined in March and companies encouraged, or in many cases, asked employees to work from home, the commercial real estate industry was moved to a place it had never been before. A report by Marcus & Millichap looked at the national impact. We spoke to Grant Pruitt, co-founder of Whitebox Real Estate in Dallas, to hear his thoughts on the local impact.

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Carpenter Park is slated for completion in late 2021 or early 2022, after the completion of Pacific Plaza in downtown downtown and West End Square, which will be completed in early 2021 in the downtown West End Historic District.

# 6: First Look – The redesign of Carpenter Park in downtown Dallas

The announcement of a new green space in the urban core of Dallas attracted a lot of interest, particularly given the potential to bring more development to Deep Ellum, a neighborhood that has recently emerged as an office, residential and retail hotspot. In economic terms, parks like the proposed expansion of Carpenter Park have a lasting impact on their surroundings. Just check out Klyde Warren Park.

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# 7: Dallas is making progress in building Carpenter Park

Shortly after we reported on the city’s plans to revitalize Carpenter Park in Deep Ellum, plans stalled in May, when city council members delayed the vote until August. Over time, the following month the city council approved a construction contract for the 5.6 acre green space redevelopment near DART’s East Transfer Station, which will connect downtown to Deep Ellum and East Dallas.

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The Heritage Park is located at 2200 Heritage Parkway.

No. 8: Former Pier 1 Imports Distribution Center changes hands

When DFW retailer Pier 1 filed for bankruptcy, questions arose about what would happen to Fort Worth’s headquarters, distribution base, and real estate portfolio. We reported about the breakup of one of the pieces with this August story. (Four months later, Fort Worth announced its intention to acquire the former Pier 1 company building and use it for a new town hall.)

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No. 9: Construction begins on the 1 million square meter Mesquite Industrial Park

A global pandemic caused the Dallas-Fort Worth industrial market to accelerate rapidly in 2020. Even before it got there, the sector was booming. The sale of this 1 million square meter industrial park in Mesquite set the tone for a record year. The joint venture between Urban Logistics Realty and a private real estate equity fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital should also create more than 500 jobs in the city.

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No. 10: Announcement of the winners: D CEO 2020 Commercial Real Estate Awards

Even after a decade-long boom, 2019 was a banner year in which newer sub-markets solidified and older ones reinvented. In the end, after much debate and discussion, the editors selected the winners in 17 categories, from the best new headquarters to Executive of the Year.

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Note: Nominations for our 2021 award program are now possible. This year we added a new category to recognize commercial real estate professionals under 40. Click here to nominate the region’s top projects, transactions, dealmakers and industry leaders for 2020.