Bob Young: Inside the Loop

Bob Young

Whether you’re in the commercial retail real estate business or not, the phrase “inside the loop” is not new to you. As Dallas has grown—looking to the north, for example—transportation loops like Loop 12 and the LBJ Freeway loop have been created. These loops have generated and accommodated massive commercial and residential growth.

Although most of the inside-the-loop residential and commercial trade areas are mature and built out, that does not mean their development opportunities are nonexistent. In fact, retailers and developers are seeking sites in these areas precisely because of their density and accessibility.

Today, here in Dallas-Fort Worth, we’re looking at five loops: Loop 12 and LBJ, as I mentioned, plus State Highway 190, State Highway 121, and State Highway 380. These markets offer varying opportunities. While NorthPark or Preston Center are big winners inside of Loop 12, we’re also seeing more activity inside the LBJ Loop—like Central Market’s play at Preston Royal or the massive TimberCreek redevelopment project with JCPenney, Walmart, and Sam’s.

Much of the current retail activity is inside the loop—like Kroger under way with two new 2012 stores close to downtown, LA Fitness with a new urban location at Haskell and Central Expressway, and Walmart’s plans for a Supercenter off of Ledbetter and the Sylvan Thirty mixed-use project at I-30 and Sylvan Avenue.

Many also see the soon-to-open Margaret Hunt Hill signature bridge generating a new round of interest in some of Dallas’ oldest neighborhoods south of the Trinity River.

So as you can see, we’re seeing a return to the urban core that is reacting to years of great growth and existing densities. And that is why we’ll see more successful retailers attracted to urban locations.