City Hall

A Video That Actually Sells Dallas, In This Case to Foreign Investors. Y'all Come Now, Y'Hear?

In recent days we've seen a video in which the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau sells the city to conventioneers and tourists, and a short film in which the Dallas Citizens Council sells the city to ... um, the citizens council? But after the jump, here's a real, honest-to-God pitch -- a freshly minted video by Civitas Capital Group in which Mayor Mike asks Chinese investors to sink their hard-earned into Dallas via the City of Dallas Regional Center , which, as we noted upon its opening in 2009, swaps green for green cards.

Rawlings notes in the video that since it opened, the CDRC has "has committed to six major transactions totaling more than $100 million and creating more than 2,000 jobs." I asked Karl Zavitkovsky, head of the Office of Economic Development, what those projects are. His response: the NYLO boutique hotel Jack Matthews is putting in the old Dallas Coffin Co. Building next to the South Side on Lamar, and StoneGate assisted-living facilities in South and West Dallas, the latter a partnership with the Dallas Housing Authority. As for the other four, Zavitkovsky's a little vague, since they haven't officially closed; they include a "major restaurant renovation and expansion" and a "major office building." That's all he'll say for now.

This video, of course, is aimed at the Chinese market: Zavitkovsky says a majority of the money coming in is from China, which "has the most people and the most active investors," Zavitkovsky says, noting that they're also sending money to Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Dallas has also seen a small influx of cash from the likes of Nigeria and India, but economic development works with a group of folks in Asia who recruit interested parties to whom city officials make their sales pitches. They're the ones for whom this video was made.

And guess what: We're world-class. (Update: Except, as several Friends of Unfair Park have pointed out, at the nine-second mark -- when you see the Houston skyline.)

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky