Survey of Dallas CBD Residents

by Earnest Lloyd
May 17, 2017

In November of 2016, the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development and Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) conducted a survey of residents within Dallas’ Central Business District (CBD), otherwise known as downtown Dallas. The purpose of this survey was to provide valuable information about downtown households to potential retailers, employers, and investors to better meet the needs of residents. Over 466 CBD residents responded via SurveyMonkey. Respondents were solicited through social media and email newsletters.

For the purposes of this survey, Downtown Dallas is defined as north of I-30, west of US-75/I-45/I-345, south of Woodall Rodgers Freeway (TX Spur 366), and east of I-35E. Because downtown is not homogeneous, the area is further subdivided into seven districts. They are listed by descending order of percentage total respondents: Main Street (47.8 percent), Dallas Farmers Market (20.4 percent), Thanksgiving Commercial Center (10.0 percent), Civic Center (8.6 percent), Dallas Arts (6.2 percent), West End (5.8 percent), and Reunion (1.3 percent).
Downtown Dallas Districts

CBD Resident Education, Income and Occupations
Over 75 percent of respondents have an educational attainment of a Bachelor’s degree or higher, with 62 percent earning $100,000 or more. The greatest percentage of respondents are employed in Business / Financial Operations occupations (over 18 percent). Approximately half of the respondents’ occupations are evenly distributed between the Management, Sales, Architecture/Engineering, Art / Entertainment, and Computer / Mathematics occupations.

CBD Occupations

 Prior Residences of CBD Residents
Survey respondents were asked where they resided prior to moving to the CBD. Approximately 13 percent of respondents moved from other areas of Texas and nearly 20 percent of respondents moved from out-of-state. Of note is the amount of “residential churn” within the City itself. Almost one-third of respondents moved from other locations within the City to the CBD with another third moving from one location in the CBD to another location in the CBD.

Mode of Travel for Work
Over 47 percent of the respondents work in the CBD / Uptown area. Yet, most of the respondents use a personal vehicle to travel back and forth to work (over 55 percent). One-quarter of the respondents walk or bike back and forth to work and nearly 10 percent of the respondents use light rail. Over 5 percent of the respondents are categorized as “Other.” This category includes those residents who work from home and retirees.

Modes of Travel
Groceries and CBD Residents
Respondents’ concerns regarding retail options were overwhelmingly concentrated on access to grocery stores. Residents find it necessary to travel outside of the CBD when shopping for groceries. The largest percentage of respondents frequent the Kroger on Capitol Avenue (over 33 percent), followed by the Whole Foods Market on McKinney Avenue (10 percent) and Trader Joe's on Greenville Avenue (9.1 percent). 
CBD Grocery stores

Residents’ Perception of the Dallas CBD
Despite the lack of grocery and other retail options within the CBD, perceptions of the area are positive. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents have either a “Good” or “Very Good” perception of the CBD. Over 17 percent of the respondents have an “Excellent” perception. None of the respondents moving to the CBD from out-of-state registered a “Poor” perception of the CBD. Over 55 percent of the respondents perceive that downtown living conditions are “Improving,” with an additional 10 percent perceiving downtown living as “Improving Rapidly.” With the exception of Reunion, a majority of all districts view living conditions as “Improving” or better.