Cities south of Dallas should unite for progress, leaders say

Duncanville, TX - Cities south of Dallas need to work together to drive development in the area, regional leaders said at a summit Thursday.

“The cities get together quite a bit and strategically think of the future of this whole entire corridor,” said Terrence Maiden of Corinth Properties, speaking at the Best Southwest Partnership summit at the Hilton Garden Inn in Duncanville. Twelve cities are part of the partnership.

The area should be branded “Trinity Inland Port,” Mike Rader, president of Colleyville-based Prime Rail Interests LLC and a longtime Southern Dallas County developer, told me in an interview after the panel discussion.

“We’ve been looking for branding of this corridor for a long time,” Rader said. “Commerce has been coming along the Trinity River for a long time. I hit the audience with the idea of Trinity Inland Port today, and it seemed like there was considerable interest in doing that. So we may put a big marketing program together around Trinity Inland Port and use it kind of like what Alliance (in and around north Fort Worth) has done.”

Southern Dallas County has nearly 185,000 square miles of available land, which is enough to fit the cities of Pittsburgh, Miami and San Francisco

“This corridor, southern Dallas, should have a vision comparable to what’s taking place up north,” Rader said. “We’re 12 minutes drive time from downtown Dallas. With all of this available land down here, you can’t find that in close proximity to downtown Dallas.”

He said the land should be put to its “highest and best use.” That means industrial space, but also manufacturing, technology and office space. “Let’s raise the vision up beyond truck operations and so forth,” he said.

The challenge has been the cost of development, but renewed interest in the area is attracting new lenders and investors with deeper pockets, he said.

With three interstate highways, rail and household name companies including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool, Georgia Pacific, Amazon, FedEx and BMW having major operations in the area, southern Dallas County is gaining momentum, Rader said.

The goal of Best Southwest Partnership is to bond together and create strength in numbers, said Chris Boyd, a former Duncanville mayor and city council member.

“There are some tremendous opportunities in south Dallas,” he said.

Best Southwest Partnership also recognized 30 top economic development projects in the area. The projects represent more than 9 million square feet in construction, 4,088 jobs, 310 homes and more than $444 million in capital investment.

The entities recognized and project names are:

  • Cedar Valley Community College — Environmental Learning Area; Pipelines and Pathways
  • Balch Springs — KB Homes Spring Ridge Subdivision; Fox Lucky Texan 5 Retail Travel Center; Future Telecom Expansion
  • Cedar Hill — DMI Corp, Decker Mechanical; MJB Wood Group Inc./Precision Wood Products; Teknagy LLC
  • DeSoto — Glasfloss Industries; Brittle Inc.; Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
  • Duncanville — Deford Lumber Co.; Masco Co.; Pioneer Frozen Foods
  • Glenn Heights — Bubble Cleaners; Designs By Cake Daddy
  • Hutchins — FedEx Ground distribution facility; Majestic Warehouse Project; Shippers Warehouse
  • Lancaster — Panatonni Development; National Freight Inc.; Holt LunsfordCommercial
  • Ovilla — Dolores McClatchey Elementary School; Bryson Manor
  • Red Oak — Community National Bank & Trust of Texas; Johnson Square; Snuffer’s
  • Wilmer Economic Development Corp. — Medline Industries Inc. Distribution Center; Scannell Properties Spec Buildings 1 and 2

Source: Dallas Business Journal 

By Staff Writer Bill Hethcock

Mike Radar

Mike Rader at a site in Hutchins.