Dynamist Blog


People outside Dallas--OK, people in New York--sometimes wonder how on earth I could have written a book on style here. Of course, they don't know how important aesthetic value is in Dallas. (Neither did I before I got here.) It's not just hair and fashion. The front page of today's DMN business section features a real estate story that could have come straight out of The Substance of Style:

Before Palladium USA could go ahead with its new apartment community in Irving, it had to have a plan. Not just any design would do for the high-profile Las Colinas location.

"We actually had a design competition with several architectural firms — it was that important," said Spencer Stuart, who heads the developer's Dallas office. "With this project, we challenged the architects to come up with something very unique.

"We're spending more time and attention on our building designs than we have ever done before," he said.

Palladium is not alone. After years of turning out homogenous rental units, developers are stepping out with bold building styles and expensive materials. The builders say bold exteriors attract tenants--and that with today's higher rents, tenants demand better-looking projects.

Lots of good example, including several from my neighborhood. The real estate market here is intensely competitive, which means style matters more than ever.

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