Only 14,050 people live in Addison. Yet during the day—and well into the evening—some 150,000 visitors eat, drink, work, and play there. Addison is 87 percent commercial and 13 percent residential, with 175 restaurants, 22 hotels, and a festival just about every weekend it seems. 

Addison never fares very well in our statistical analysis, mostly because it has Dallas baggage (schools), more apartments than houses, and lots of people traipsing through who don’t live there. The town’s safety is skewed by this last fact. When we measure violent and nonviolent crime per 1,000 residents, the place doesn’t look so great (6.72 violent crimes and 76.04 nonviolent per 1,000 residents). But if you consider the daytime population, it becomes one of the safest suburbs around (.60 violent crimes and 6.79 nonviolent crimes per 1,000 residents).

Addison’s first industry was cotton. It’s most important one was liquor. While Dallas continues to mess around with “wet” and “dry” areas, the residents of Addison went for the gusto in 1975 by voting to allow liquor to be served by the drink here. Suddenly, Addison became—and remains—a destination. But most people leave before the sun rises. 

Mayor Joe Chow, who also owns May Dragon restaurant in Addison, is looking for a more committed relationship. He’s working to embellish what Addison has and build up what it doesn’t.

According to WalkScore.com, Addison is the second-most walkable city in North Texas (behind University Park). Addison Circle put the city on the walkability map when it was built in the early 2000s as a multiuse neighborhood. Similar, bigger developments—Vitruvian Park and Allegro—are now underway. Addison, which is within DISD, is also about to get its first school. George Herbert Walker Bush Elementary will open in August 2011. 

“We’ll keep younger couples staying in Addison,” Chow says. “Now, when the kids get up to kindergarten, they move away. This is going to change the demographics of Addison.”