Fort Worth’s First Smart Hotel Opens This Fall

Originally home to the Sinclair Oil Company in the 1930s, a monument to American industry and progress, The Sinclair has been restaged as a modern icon and the city’s first smart hotel. The Autograph Collection hotel, 512 Main St., will open the doors to its tech-friendly hotel this Fall, just steps from Sundance Square, the city’s entertainment, dining, shopping, and residential district. Beginning in 2015, design firm Forrest Perkins, in partnership with Merriman Anderson Architects, thoughtfully restored and redesigned the property to retain the building’s signature “ZigZag Moderne” structural styling. The interiors, guest rooms, and corridors were restored to represent the property’s original art deco style with deep blue and rich brown hues. The finished hotel eloquently couples the Art Deco style of the Gilded Age with contemporary, cutting-edge technology in a refined yet rugged style. Click to read more at

Blazing A New Trail: Shops at Chisholm Trail

Construction is underway on a much-anticipated retail development along North Texas’ Chisholm Trail Parkway. Named for the iconic Chisholm Trail along which it’s built, The Shops at Chisholm Trail Ranch is part of Chisholm Trail Ranch, a 625-acre, master-planned development about 12 minutes south of downtown Fort Worth. The development offers 250,000 square feet of space for entertainment, restaurants and retail users, including Marshalls, Old Navy, Five Below and Ulta. Studio Movie Grill has signed on as the entertainment anchor. The design also features eight smaller shop buildings between the outparcels and the major retail behind it. “Those eight buildings are lined with breezeways between them for patios and will have hanging lights. They’re designed to create an area where people are comfortable hanging out,” says Anne Kuta, development director for StreetLevel Investments, adding, “We start delivering spaces to the tenants in December with a grand opening for the entire shopping center in April.”
The development is more than 80 percent leased as we head to print, but there are still a few spaces available for interested restaurants and retailers. Click to read more at

Texas To Provide Microsoft $4.9M Grant As Part of Las Colinas Workforce Expansion

Texas has awarded Microsoft Corporation a nearly $4.9 million grant as part of economic incentive deal that will bring hundreds of new jobs to the company’s Las Colinas office. Microsoft is expanding its operations in Las Colinas with $31 million in investments and the creation of 575 new jobs, according to a news release from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The grant comes from the state’s Texas Enterprise Fund, which is a “deal-closing” grant for companies considering investments in Texas, according to the Governor’s Business and Community Development Division. “We are excited that Microsoft has renewed its commitment to Irving-Las Colinas and believe it’s a testament to our business-friendly climate and high quality of life for companies and their employees,” Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer said in the release. “As a valuable corporate stakeholder in our community, we look forward to working with Microsoft as it builds [its] workforce and creates thousands of valuable technology jobs in Irving.” Click to read more at

Developers Look to Opportunity Zones to Reshape Dallas

Mike Hoque’s office on the 56th floor of the Comerica Bank tower in downtown Dallas looks out onto a patchwork of parking lots, crumbling brick buildings, and empty streets and concrete sidewalks that have long served as a kind of symbolic border between the city’s thriving north and forgotten south. About a decade ago, Hoque began buying up the no man’s land, small parcel by small parcel. It seemed like an easy bet. The fortunes of land adjacent to the downtown of a major American city would inevitably reverse. The only question was when. Hoque’s gamble nearly paid off when executives from Amazon came to town looking for a location for a second headquarters. The corporation shortlisted his property but eventually passed on Dallas. In the meantime, though, Hoque had caught another break. After the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax bill, most of the media attention focused on its steep tax cuts. But a somewhat arcane provision slipped into the legislation caught Hoque’s interest. It provided for the creation of something called “Opportunity Zones.” Click here to read more at

Austin Steals The Show From Dallas in Annual Real Estate Ranking

Blame it on Austin. Texas’ capital city has knocked Dallas off its perch as the country’s best real estate market. Big D was the top dog for real estate in a property industry beauty contest last year. But the best Dallas-Fort Worth gets is a sixth-place consolation prize in the just-released Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020 forecast. In its 41st year, the closely watched annual property market report by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers asks real estate pros from across the country to rate the top market for the year ahead. After Austin’s winning performance, Raleigh-Durham, Nashville, Charlotte, and Boston placed ahead of D-FW in the forecast for 2020. Click to read more at

New State Law Prevents Cities From Regulating Construction Materials

SAN ANTONIO – The aesthetics of communities across Texas could be changing after a new law went into effect this month. HB 2439 New state law prevents cities from regulating construction materials 2439, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, limits certain regulations adopted by cities that required the specific use of materials used during construction or renovations. Cities no longer have a say, and any approved material by the national code can be allowed. Brandon Melland Leon Valley’s Planning and Zoning Director says communities were blindsided by the passage of the bill. The city sent a letter to the governor asking that he not sign the bill into law. “I think the question that needs to be asked is ‘where did this bill come from?” he said. “Because it certainly didn’t come from the citizens of Leon Valley.” Communities like Leon Valley worry that now that developers have a choice, they will choose to build with cheaper, less durable materials. He says a construction company has already informed the city they will be changing their material plans following the passage of the law. Click to read more at