No End in Sight for North Texas’ Homebuilding Labor Shortage

Ask a homebuilder to name the industry’s biggest concerns, and the lack of labor is near the top of their list.

Unfortunately for the housing industry, the shortage of workers is not something that’s easy to fix.

Studies suggest it may be impossible to lure enough young Americans into the construction trades to meet ongoing demand. And tougher immigration policies mean there will be fewer foreign workers on construction job sites.

In North Texas, the labor pinch is even worse. Dallas-Fort Worth leads the country in residential building, with more than 50,000 apartments and about 30,000 single-family homes under construction.

Builders could do even more if not for the unprecedented labor shortages.

“In our estimation, it is 18,000 to 20,000” workers needed in the area, said Phil Crone, head of the Dallas Builders Association.

Good luck finding them. North Texas is almost at full employment, and there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill jobs in many sectors.

The shortfall in the homebuilding industry goes back more than a decade.

During the Great Recession, dozens of local builders shut down and laid off workers. When the housing market came back, the labor didn’t.

Finding labor has become a full-time job for some subcontractors, who must be on their toes to keep competitors from stealing their workers.

The shortage of labor and land has held back home construction all across the U.S.

“We have not recovered in terms of production of new homes in this country,” said Doug Yearley, CEO of top-10 builder Toll Brothers. “Going back to the 1970s, this country produced 1.5 million new homes every year.

“We went from producing 1.5 million houses a year to 500,000” during the recession, Yearley said. “It hasn’t come close to approaching the 1.5 million starts a year.”

In the D-FW area, single-family home starts are still about 40 percent below 2005 and 2006 levels — before the crash killed buyer demand.

The buyers came back. But a lot of the folks building houses haven’t.

“We have a tough labor market, and it’s going to get worse,” says Colorado builder Gene Myers.

Myers, whom I visited with last week at a conference in Denver, said the housing industry has done a poor job of keeping up with employment innovation and is lagging in worker production. He said tighter immigration policies are adding to the strain.

“Disruption is possibly on our doorstep in the industry,” Myers said. “This kind of moribund industry is ripe for disruption.”

Myers says a lot of the vacant building jobs are positions Americans don’t want.

A recent industry study found that a majority of young Americans would not take construction jobs even if they paid six figures or more. They basically said they didn’t want to work that hard.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates that the industry in the U.S. is short almost 1 million workers.

And with the average age of many skilled laborers — plumbers, electricians, masons and the like — in their late 50s, housing will see even more people leave the business in the years ahead.

By some measures, 20 percent of the current residential building workers plan to retire in the next decade, taking away another 900,000 jobs.

Those are jobs that will be increasingly hard to fill in hot real estate markets like North Texas.

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Found a Really Great Apartment in North End Dallas

I was searching for a new apartment to rent. The lease on the one I was in was almost up and I was ready to move. I didn’t want to renew my lease because my neighbors were just terrible and tried to pick fights with me and my friends all the time. I knew it was time to move on and go somewhere else to get away from them. They were really rude and wouldn’t even try to get along with me or anyone else. I wasn’t the only one that had problems with them.

I started looking for a new apartment and went online and searched for North End Dallas apartments for rent. I had to find something that was reasonably priced, but not too expensive. I also wanted something that was nice and in an area that I wanted to live in. I found several apartments for rent in North End Dallas that I really liked. I saved them so I could contact the landlord and look at them in person.

I contacted a few different landlords and asked to see the apartments in person. After looking at a few of them, I decided which one I wanted to rent and the landlord got the lease agreement ready for me to sign. I was able to move in the following week. I have never been so relieved to get away from neighbors like I have with these people. I feel so much better every day because I don’t have to deal with the stress and trouble making they caused for me. I really like this new apartment. The neighbors are great and there is even a pool for the apartments. I love it and the price I got it for too.

The Lumen Hotel Dallas: Boutique Luxury Near SMU

Whimsical interiors

While The Lumen Hotel is somewhat minimalistic in its adornments, don’t think it is boring inside. Furnished in a modern and tasteful style the lobby and rooms are both comfortable and relaxed. Whimsical chrome sculptures are found throughout the hotel inside and out. Tile floors, large windows, and spotlessly clean rooms are evident. Guests can choose from twelve room types to fit their needs and whims. King interior rooms have no windows for those wanting to keep outside distractions to a minimum. The King Deluxe room with windows, some with views of the SMU campus, will let in the bright Texas sunshine. One of my favorite room choices is the Pool View King Room for those who love a pool scene outside their room.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Dallas and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Dallas

Room to rest

The Executive Studio is the starting point for stepping up to more amenities and space. This 360 sq ft/33.45 m² room features a separate living room, sectional sofa, and a large glass-enclosed shower. If it’s not enough, you have five more suite choices to choose from with the Grand Lux suite being the best option for Texas-like billionaires on the road. A Lone Star State sized 869 sq ft/80.73 m² will provide enough room to stampede a herd of cattle in! Well, not quite that much room, but it’s still spacious. Complete with a plush king bed outfitted with custom headboards, large soaking tub, oversized desks, a queen-sized sofa bed, and sectional sofa you will have space for friends and family to gather.

All rooms spoil guests with pillow-top beds, Frette linens, custom showerheads, Atelier Bloem amenities, 37-inch flat screen TVs, Jawbone and Tumbler clock and laptop safes. WiFi is available at a fee. However, if you sign up for Kimpton Karma Rewards you not only get free WiFi but they also throw in a 10USD bar credit, and it’s free to join. The Lumen Hotel is pet-friendly in a big way. They offer any room for pets, no size limitation, and don’t charge extra, a very rare thing in the hotel world.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Dallas and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Dallas

Convenience and comfort

Valet parking is available and costs 22USD per day with in-and-out privileges. If you need transportation within three miles, their house car is there for your use based on availability. Other amenities include overnight laundry, dry cleaning, shoeshine service, free wine reception in the lobby nightly, and complimentary bike program to explore the city, complimentary morning coffee, newspapers, and onsite fitness center. The roof top terrace is “The Place To Be” on days when the weather cooperates. Have a glass of wine with snacks and enjoy a cool breeze with a view in this treetop-like perch. The rooftop terrace is also available for a unique outdoor meeting space for up to 120 persons. Meetings and events for groups of 10-55 can be accommodated in a recently renovated meeting room space.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Dallas and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Dallas

Enjoy the pool

Dallas is known for some scorching hot days in the summer. What a better way to cool off than in the interior courtyard pool? Closed for maintenance from October 11-28, 2016, the pool will be shipshape afterwards. The pool area features private cabanas and an outdoor bar and lounge area for large or small gatherings.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Dallas and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Dallas

Dine in Dallas

As for location, The Lumen Hotel is only four miles/6.4 km from Dallas Love Field Airport. Also nearby is Snider Plaza (with boutique shopping and dining), walking distance to George Bush Library, and three miles/6.4 km to American Airlines Center where the Dallas Mavericks (basketball) and Dallas Stars (ice hockey) play. For in-hotel dining, The Front Room Tavern offers Breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Go big for a real Texas breakfast of biscuits and gravy, or light with steel-cut oatmeal. At dinner try the roasted half chicken with roasted squash couscous paired with a glass of Truchard Carneros Chardonnay.

See our full list of recommended hotels in Dallas and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Dallas

With so much going for it The Lumen Hotel in Dallas is the best choice if a trip to North Dallas is in your future.

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Valley View Mall Makes Way for Dallas Midtown

Participants in the groundbreaking were, from left to right: Ken Malcolmson, President and CEO North Dallas Chamber of Commerce; Jaynie Schultz, Dallas Midtown Park Foundation Advisory Member and District 11 CPC Commissioner; Adam McGough, District 10 City Council Member; Linda Koop, Texas State Representative; Tennell Atkins, District 8 City Council Representative; Scott Beck, CEO of Beck Ventures; Amy Monier, District 11 Park and Recreation Board Member.
Valley View Mall continues to be demolished in preparation for the first phase of Dallas Midtown.

The demolition of Valley View Mall continued Friday as Beck Ventures broke ground on the $4 billion mixed-use Midtown development project. At a press event, developer Scott Beck, CEO of Dallas-based Beck Ventures, detailed plans for the transformative project, which he got involved with in 2012.

“The project all started with a single vision—the desire to reinforce our northern city boundary all while creating an urban mixed-used village in the center of the population density of Dallas,” said Beck.

The development lies at the corner of Preston Road between the Dallas North Tollway and U.S. Highway 75, adjacent to Interstate 635. According to Beck, approximately one-third of the city of Dallas’ population lives within three and a half miles of the site. The location allows Dallas to compete with surrounding suburbs for companies looking to relocate, Beck said. The district will give a multibillion-dollar boost to the city’s tax-base and generate more than $70 million for TIF funds that will go toward redeveloping southern Dallas, Beck said.

The project will be anchored by a 183,000-square-foot Life Time Fitness and a Cinépolis cinema. The $500 million initial phase will also include about 500,000 square feet of office space and more than 400,000 square feet of retail, along with more than 1,000 apartments, including affordable housing, and an 18-story luxury hotel. The hotel flag remains confidential but will be announced in the coming months, Beck said.

The health and wellness facility will feature an indoor and outdoor aquatic center including a rooftop beach pool, and two large functional resistance cardio training areas with “world-class” equipment, Beck said. The Life Time-operated facility will also encompass the fitness company’s newest innovation—Life Time Living, a residential area interconnected to the facility, and 50,000 square feet of collaborative work space. It will also include a café and bistro, a spa, a Life Time Kids Academy, and Ultimate Hoops.

The 10-screen Cinépolis theater will have more than 600 seats. Viewers will be able to enjoy leather recliners, at-your-seat waiter services, a full bar, and gourmet menu.

Beck Venues is working with A.G. Spanos Corporation on the project’s 1,000 apartment units. The unidentified upscale hotel, in partnership with Hesperus Group and SB&G, will include 440 rooms and more than 50,000 square feet of meeting space. It will include multiple food and beverage outlets and a rooftop bar with a swimming pool.

Plans for Dallas Midtown also include a 20-acre park, which will be owned by the city of Dallas. The park’s vision plan was curated by MIG consultants and will be monitored by the Dallas Midtown Park Foundation.

“From Klyde Warren to Vitruvian to Arbor Hills, we all recognize the power of parks as game changes,” Dallas Midtown Park Foundation Advisory Member and District 11 CPC Commissioner Jaynie Schultz said. “The 400-plus acre development to be built here will change Dallas in ways we cannot imagine now, just as no one foresaw the full impact of the parks I mentioned a moment ago.”

Beck plans to open the initial phase of Dallas Midtown by the end of 2019.

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Downtown Dallas Is Getting a New 45-Story Tower Next to Huge $70 Million Fountain Place Redo

Goddard Investment

At the same time, another developer is breaking ground on a 45-story companion tower next door.

Atlanta-based Goddard Investment Group — which bought Fountain Place in 2014 — is building a new garage and retail building on the northeast side of the green glass tower.

The upgrades to the 31-year-old Ross Avenue skyscraper have already prompted several major tenants to sign up for longer leases in the building.

Wells Fargo Bank — which had been looking at other options in downtown and Uptown — has committed to keeping 123,650 square feet in Fountain Place for its flagship Dallas location.

Bracewell LLP, Tenet Healthcare, Hunton & Williams and investment firm Gerald L. Ray & Associates have also decided to stay in the tower.

In all, more than 500,000 square feet of extended office deals have been signed in the 1.2 million square foot building, according to property agents at Cushman & Wakefield of Texas who lease the tower.

“The renewals and new leases are an absolute validation of the vision of Goddard Investment Group and their commitment to such a significant reinvestment in an iconic Dallas property,” Cushman & Wakefield’s Johnny Johnson said.

Revamping Fountain Place wasn’t something the new owners rushed into.

Designed by Harry Cobb of I.M. Pei and Partners, the building is one of Dallas’ most iconic skyscrapers and a standout on the city’s skyline.

Goddard hired New York-based James Carpenter Design Associates Inc. and Gensler to lead the team working on Fountain Place.

The current construction includes:

· Building a 10-story, 1,500-space parking garage with ground-floor retail between Fountain Place and the next-door Fairmont Hotel.

· Renovation of the tower’s lobby, including a floor-to-ceiling, glass-wall art piece designed by James Carpenter.

· A new tenant lounge constructed at the north end of the lobby.

· An 8,000-square-foot fitness center.

· A training room to accommodate up to 150 people.

The upgrades will also include renovation of the tower’s signature fountains and landscaping around the base.

The renovations will include new art glass walls in the lobby. (Goddard Investment)

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Uptown-Area Condo Tower Cruises Toward Summer Opening

Another new Uptown Dallas tower is heading to the finish line.

The 33-story Bleu Ciel condominium tower, which is being constructed at the north end of Harwood Street, has topped out its construction.

A project of developer Harwood International, the high-rise has about 150 condo units ranging in size from from 1,373 to more than 5,800 square feet.

Units in the building start in price near $800,000.

Designed by Dallas-based HDF and Paris-architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the tower has a ground floor garden, a spa, private garages and a gourmet market.

“We will start delivering units this summer,” Harwood’s Jessica Young said.

Bleu Ciel is one of three buildings the developer has under construction in its Harwood district north of downtown Dallas.

Harwood is completing a new building for watchmaker Rolex.

And the developer recently broke ground for a 22-story office tower on McKinnon St.

The Bleu Ciel tower has more than 150 condos.

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drilling platform

Over 50,000 New Apartments Under Way in Dallas–Fort Worth’s Hot Housing Market

The Dallas–Fort Worth multifamily market was already one of the nation’s hottest in the beginning of 2017, and it remains so. Currently, the market has 50,588 apartments under construction (second only to New York City), with 30,000 or more expected to be complete by the end of the year, according to the Dallas Morning News:

“Seems like forever I’ve been quoting folks that the pace of apartment building in North Texas is sure to slow soon,” wrote Steve Brown, the paper’s real estate editor. “I wouldn’t count on that.”

Thirty percent of the units under construction are in the north end of the market, in Frisco-Proper, Allen/McKinney, and Richardson, while 11% are in the market’s city center. Many of the new buildings are mixed-use, New Urbanist, luxury communities, built to appeal to the city’s influx of young professionals.

Right now, the two largest projects by square footage under construction in D-FW are some of these New Urban-style ones, and are both in Frisco (Wade Park and Frisco Station). Other notable multi-family projects include various towers in central Dallas, and mid-rise lofts in Fort Worth. The 3rd largest construction project right now is the Toyota Corporate Campus, in Plano, and while it is strictly commercial/office, it too provides a window into the nature of D-FW’s apartment growth.

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patio

Houston Developer Hines Hits the Mark with Dallas-Area Home Communities

You may need a map to find one of the biggest new home communities being built in North Dallas.

Just a couple of blocks north of Presbyterian Hospital on Meadow Road, the 300-home residential development is going up in a neighborhood once filled with tumbledown apartments.

Now one of the world’s best-known developers, Houston-based Hines, is turning the 23-acre redevelopment into a high-end home community.

“There are a lot of good places to live in D-FW, but inside Interstate 635, this is one of the largest master planned single-family developments done in a long time,” said Ben Brewer, Hines’ managing director. “To have something of this size in a location like this is rare.”

Called Merion at Midtown Park, the high-density community includes a central park with swimming pool and almost a dozen other small green spaces.

K. Hovnanian Homes, Coventry Homes and Chesmar Homes are building houses averaging about 2,200 square feet and starting around $450,000.

“The first phase is 100 homes,” Brewer said. “About half of what has already been built has been sold.”

The buyers so far have been a broad mix.

“We are seeing people who live in North Dallas and want to downsize,” he said. “We see young professionals that office in Uptown and want to own.

“We are even seeing some people who work in the CityLine project in Richardson.”

Merion is between DART’s two light-rail stations at Walnut Hill and Royal lanes, about 7 miles north of downtown Dallas.

“We are seeing a lot of people from Preston Hollow that want to downsize,” said Tammie Mabe of Chesmar Homes. “One builder just sold to a couple with kids.”

Chesmar’s townhouses have the master bedroom and a guest suite on the third floor. An optional elevator connects all the levels.

K. Hovnanian is building two- and three-story houses, with the smallest starting at 1,675 square feet.

“I’ve had two sales in the last two weeks,” said K. Hovnanian’s Tina Peterson. “It’s a product that can speak to buyers who are millennials and all the way up to the empty nesters.”

Midtown Park project

Hines’ Merion development at Meadow and Rambler roads occupies one of the largest portions of the 80-acre Midtown Park project.

Midtown Park started more than a decade ago when developers bought up thousands of old apartments in the neighborhood just east of North Central Expressway.

After clearing the land and rezoning the property, the original owners lost the high-profile property during the recession.

Dallas’ Provident Realty and Kroenke Holdings of Missouri and bought the vacant blocks in December 2011 after a foreclosure.

Along with Hines’ home development, three high-end apartment projects and a senior housing community are under construction in Midtown Park.

“There’s a lot going on now in the area,” said Provident CEO Leon Backes. “We felt having a single-family neighborhood in the project was a great addition.”

Hines, which has built everything from the Galleria shopping mall in Far North Dallas to skyscrapers at home in Houston and abroad, isn’t known as a single-family neighborhood builder. But in the last decade, the developer has constructed over a dozen residential communities in North Texas.

The largest of Hines’ communities under way is a 664-home project in Frisco. The Edgestone at Legacy community is aimed more at families, with larger homes priced from more than $500,000.

Hines has developed several home projects in Las Colinas.

“I was brought up from Houston in ’06 when Hines purchased 600 acres in Las Colinas,” Brewer said. “Our D-FW office is Hines’ largest single-family operation.

“We have really created a good market here.”

Tornadoes, Flooding Stretching From Texas To Missouri Blamed For 8 Deaths

CANTON, TX — A severe storm spawned several tornadoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that left at least four people dead and injured more than 50 others Saturday. The pattern of severe weather left major destruction in parts of the midwest and the south over the weekend, leaving a woman dead in Missouri when she drowned in flood waters and killing another person in Arkansas when a tree fell on a mobile home. On Sunday, at least two deaths were reported in Mississippi.

Severe storms battered residents in Van Zandt, Rains and Henderson counties in Texas with much of the damage situated in the small town of Canton, about 60 miles southeast of Dallas. The National Weather Services reported that between three and five tornadoes may have touched down in Canton, Eustace and Caney City, tossing cars and semi-trucks and flattening trees Saturday afternoon. Officials said the Canton tornado was at least a half-mile wide as a moved through town, striking nearby Emory and Fruitvale.

At least one person was killed when a tornado lifted a car in the air and tossed it back to the ground with passengers still inside, according to officials. The East Texas Medical Center system hospitals in the area took in 54 patients, with one of those in critical condition. None of the other patients were suffering life-threatening injuries, officials said.

The American Red Cross of North Texas had set up two shelters for victims displaced by the storms — one at Canton’s First Methodist Church Life Center, the other at the Emory City Center in Emory, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Meanwhile, the search for other tornado victims is expected to continue Sunday, with rescue crews from Texas Task Force 2 expected to arrive early Sunday to assist.

The severe weather hit a wide swath of the midwest and the south, leading the governors of Oklahoma and Missouri to declare a state of emergency in their respective states. In Missouri, a 72-year-old woman drowned even as her husband tried to save her as the car they were in was swept away by rushing waters in Clever, Missouri, reports the Kansas City Star. In Arkansas, a person was killed after a tree fell on a home in the town of De Witt.

Another death was reported in Durant, Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant said. By late Sunday evening, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said a second death had been confirmed in the state after a child suffered an electric shock in floodwaters.

Major flooding is expected to continue in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri and the threat of additional flooding will move into the mid south and Tennessee Valley, according to the National Weather Service. The service also predicts rain across western and central Michigan to Northern Illinois.

Gorgeous Apartments in Dallas

There are some apartments where you know they have that quality to them which is hard to find in any other part of town.

You want to enjoy those apartments for all they have to offer because they are hard to find and are going to be worth your time in the long-term.

Here are some of the reasons you are going to adore these apartments in the heart of Dallas and why they are the way to go as you are looking to position yourself in a good situation moving forward.

Beautiful

The apartments are gorgeous, and that is one of those realities that will hit you when you take a look.

There is nothing more important than being in a position where beauty isn’t an issue, and you can rely on it to provide you with real quality. You are going to enjoy it here with these apartments.

Robust Community

The community is one of those benefits that is always going to matter when you are trying to find a place to live. These apartments are designed around the idea of having a great community that you are going to fall in love with.

Modern

It is one thing to reside in a beautiful community, and indeed these are gorgeous to the naked eye, but you are also going to want something modern. This is where you are going to win out with these apartments.

They are a joy to behold.

They are going to win you over in a matter of minutes, and that is key as you look to make things work.

Anyone that is hoping to see gorgeous apartments will know it has to start here as you move forward. You are going to adore these apartments for all they provide, and anyone that is not looking into them will miss out.