Economists: Trinity Groves Will Spur $3 Billion in Economic Development, Create a Hipster Paradise

The Trinity Groves project is still in its infancy. Babb Bros. BBQ and Four Corners Brewing arrived last year, followed by Hoffman Hots. The restaurant incubator hasn't just started incubating. The stores and apartments are still just a glimmer in Phil Romano's eye.

But backers aren't letting the preliminary nature of project stop them from making grand, eye-popping predictions about its future. And to give those forecasts a more authoritative gloss, they commissioned Weinstein, Clower & Associates, the local economic consulting firm that recently predicted an $11.8-billion boost from legalized gambling in Texas, to do a study.

Their conclusion, predictably, is that Trinity Groves will be huge for Dallas. How huge? $3.3 billion huge.

That's just taking into account the construction, which will take place in two phases over about 15 years. The first includes restaurants, shops, and three- to five-story residential buildings. The second will include more shops and restaurants, plus high- and mid-rise towers "to meet anticipated market demand." The end result will look something like the rendering above. The actual operation of Trinity Groves will generate an additional $350 million per year. All of this will result in thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in local tax revenue.

If those numbers seem outrageously high, it's worth a glance at Weinstein and company's methodology. Take, for example, the construction company hired to build one of those high-rise apartments. They have to pay workers and buy materials, of course, but they also have to buy office supplies, pay an accounting firm, and rent portable toilets. The portable-toilet provider in turn has to stock up on industrial-strength deodorizer and pay employees. And a good chunk of those wages will be pumped back into the local economy.

But quibbling about the bottom line would be, in the economists' view, tragically myopic. They are quite liberal in their use of phrases like "holistic," "lifestyle experiences," and "epicurean," the last of which they drop a good half-dozen times.

For example, they write that "Trinity Groves' mix of the epicurean lifestyle and the culinary industry, in addition to the economic, geographic, and demographic strengths already present in the DFW region, may catalyze a culinary industry cluster not unlike the successful tech cluster of Silicon Valley."

Also, Trinity Groves will "operate as an urban amenity that will prove to be attractive to an educated, highly-skilled workforce that may not currently consider living within the city limits of Dallas but are looking for an urban lifestyle that is epicurean-based, such as can be found in the neighborhoods of Portland, Brooklyn, and San Francisco."

In other words, we're 15 years away from having our own hipster Mecca at the foot of the Calatrava. We can't wait.

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