I have been writing about our metroplex housing market for some time. If you own a $250K house, you're making about $25K per year in tax free income that goes straight to your balance sheet. That's cool.
However, my thrust has always been that Rowlett deserves more than that. Let's take kind of a "go nowhere" city like Balch Springs. Balch Springs is okay for the people that want to live there. They will enjoy the same increases in value as "average." Any average real estate in the average DFW market will enjoy the average inflation.
I don't think Rowlett is average. It's better than average. I want better than average inflation for Rowlett homeowners.....including me.
I have lived in Rowlett for 40 years and I have never seen the stars lined up so well for Rowlett's enjoyment. There is no doubt that the commercial development is increasing in Rowlett. That was certainly needed. However, Balch Springs would enjoy the same development activity if another 57,000 people were added to their population.
We don't seem to be exceeding average. We should. Why don't we? The DMN mentions the same Plano and Frisco always mentioned. Then, goes on to hold up McKinney as a great local market. These communities are all deserving of their praise. They have all had leadership with a "go get 'em" attitude.
Certainly, the Bay View transaction was a great deal, but who gets the kudos? Was it Rowlett leadership, or did Kent Donahue bring the deal to Rowlett and coach them thru the steps. In my opinion, Kent Donahue is infinitely more qualified to bring the Bay View deal to fruition than anyone I know in Rowlett's leadership. Therefore, I give credit to Kent Donahue.
All other Rowlett real estate development stories in contemporary times pale in comparison to the Bay View story.
Rowlett is beautifully poised to provide upscale housing to the employment centers in Plano. So, what have we got to offer these highly paid employees? Not much.
We have a very nice upscale subdivision by Lennar located east of Waterview that nobody can find. Another more modest, but still very nice subdivision near Home Depot is another that nobody can find. A very nice upscale subdivision on Miller Road overlooking the lake that is pretty well located, but has only a few lots. Then, we have the highly touted Form Base Code subdivision just off Liberty Grove that seems to be languishing. It's about 6 months overdue, and that is allowing for three months of rain this Spring. But....Not to Worry!!! This is a Form Base Code subdivision. That will fix everything. A couple of months ago, the mayor told me the developer told him that they would have 30 houses completed in this subdivision by end of December. I bet the mayor $20 that they wouldn't. The mayor did not take the bet. I haven't checked in a few days, but when last there, no houses had started. Therefore, if they finish, on the average, one house every three days for the next three months, the developer did not lie to the mayor, and the misinformation would not have been told to me.
All the above ties together. We are enjoying the best residential real estate market in years......maybe ever. We are beautifully endowed with a lake, a toll road direct to employment centers, and a DART station. Furthermore, we have an excellent opportunity for destination type development and our own new employment centers in the Bay View areas. Yet.....no one knows about Rowlett. We don't even have a sign on the toll way.
My question is simple. Do we have the leadership to present Rowlett to DFW developers in the manner in which it should be presented? I would say to date we have failed.