Real Estate

Greatest Dallasites: Trammell Crow (No. 36)

This tireless builder helped shape our city.

Dad was the right man in the right place at the right time. he was bold. he was hungry. He believed in other people. He did things for Dallas and for real estate that were both tangible and intangible.

The tangible is easy: he broke new standards with the buildings he built. He was the first to do an atrium, the first to create a master lease, a Class A convention center hotel, and an Infomart. He was the first to structure his firm in a way that gave partnerships to those who worked for him, and he pioneered the open office, which he was doing back in the 1970s—maybe earlier.

But the intangible runs even deeper. He changed so many lives. He helped a couple of hundred people become millionaires. He found people who were hungry and wanted to go for that brass ring, and he gave them a platform in which to do it. As they achieved their own success, they changed. They became thought leaders, philanthropists, and builders, and they brought their children into a life of thinking and building and giving.

My life has been formed by the things I learned from him. “It’s all up to you,” he’d say. If you just take that as a basic foundation in life, it sets you free.

Dad loved Dallas. He helped shape it physically, and he joined with other business leaders who felt a responsibility to take this place and put it on the world stage. I remember him saying, “This is the city of the future. Just watch it grow. The essence and spirit of this city and state—the growth here is going to be phenomenal.” Today, Dallas is experiencing the biggest growth spurt we’ve ever had, and it’s going to keep on going.

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