The Real Estate Council/Real Estate Deal Sheet’s “Industry Insights” on Nov. 1 ran the gamut from a regional overview of commercial real estate to the potential trend of driverless cars. 

Tim Jordan with JLL started things off by discussing the strength of DFW (the diverse economy) and providing a Dallas market overview (office: strong absorption; industrial: “We’ve been very disciplined,” and retail: “DFW continues to be healthy.”) 

The panel that followed Jordan’s presentation touched on e-commerce, Amazon’s second headquarters, and a “crystal ball” outlook. 

Moderated by Glenn Callison of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr P.C., the panelists provided the following takeaways.

Kim Butler, Hall Group
“The only thing that could hold DFW (from consideration for Amazon’s second headquarters) is a lack of transit. Other cities have it. But if Amazon decided to come here, I think they could fast-track it.”

Ramsey March, Stream Realty 
“The last people who will give up driving their cars are in Texas. When it comes to self-driving cars, I’m leery of having artificial intelligence driving my kids around. That won’t change overnight.”

Randy Cooper, Cushman & Wakefield
“There isn’t much demand for Class B (office) space. Everyone wants to go into the nicest space to meet their needs. Buildings closest to pedestrian/walkable communities and mixed-use are in demand right now.”

Michele Wheeler, Jackson-Shaw
“(With office space) it’s important to give people the right experiences, so they can get what they need before they go home. How can you give all people — not just millennials — that experience, and a feeling of better community?”

John Hardaway, HPI Real Estate
“You don’t want to be in last place with (office) amenities. It used to be you would just build a building with beautiful materials, and that would be enough for tenants. These days, people still like to look at nice buildings, but it’s last on their list.”

Paul Wittorf, Transwestern
“Though there are tons of variables out there, by all accounts, by 2021-2023, driverless cars will be used, if the stars align. I think the  Sun Belt states could be the first, and could see a major shift in transportation.”

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