Exploring the Dallas Districts

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Exploring the Dallas DistrictsMy Dallas Story

Name: Corey Best

City: Dallas

Neighborhood: Uptown

Company/Title: Granite Properties, Assistant Property Manager

When did you move here? Where from? 
December 2015, Long Beach, CA

Where else have you lived?
Newport Beach and Los Angeles

What made you Say Yes to Dallas?
I was working for CBRE, Inc. in Orange, California as an Assistant Property Manager for Granite, who was our client at the time. After working with Granite through CBRE in August of 2015, we excitedly joined the Granite family as in-house employees. We had such a wonderful experience with Granite, so the decision to become an employee was made with ease. I began working at their properties in Los Angeles and loved the culture. At one of our first meetings at the Granite Headquarters in Plano, TX, I heard that there was an opening for an Assistant Property Manager with Granite in Dallas. Feeling like I needed a change and knowing there would be more potential for growth closer to the corporate office, I inquired about a move. I was welcomed with open arms and became the first person in the company to transfer between markets. It was very exciting! I loved the idea of being in Dallas – the city is so fun for people of all ages, and the growth opportunities are undeniable. It’s been two years and I love it.

How did you choose which part of town to live in?
When I was working in Los Angeles, my one-way commute time averaged out to be about 2 hours, most of which was at a standstill. When I learned where I’d be working in Uptown, I focused pretty fiercely on a short commute, so I chose to live in the State Thomas neighborhood of Uptown (max. 10-15 minute drive to all of my office buildings). It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made, and for the first time I’ve been able to remain in one apartment for more than a year!

How has your opinion of the Dallas region changed since moving here?
It’s a lot more trendy and fun than I expected it to be. I hate to say it, but in my extreme naiveté, I expected Texas to be all about cowboys and horses and dirt. Now don’t get me wrong, I love country and wide-open spaces, but I was pleased to find that this city is a modern metropolis with tons of things catered to young professionals. It’s more affordable, as I expected, but Dallas just has a charm about it that I love.

Tell us about your city/neighborhood. What do you like best? What makes it different?
I love living in my specific neighborhood in Uptown because of the convenience. I’m walking distance from Katy Trail and a few other parks, two grocery stores, and more restaurants and bars than I can count. All of my favorite bars and restaurants (in Lower Greenville, Deep Ellum, and Bishop Arts) are in other parts of town and are less than a $10 Uber or Lyft ride away.

Where do you go and what do you do on the weekends or days off?
I love the low-key bar/night scene in Dallas. Although there are some areas that I tend to avoid because it’s a much younger, fresh-out-of-college crowd (no judgment, but I’m 29 and in a different place in life), most of Dallas is fun and upbeat. Each little pocket of Dallas has its own personality and charm. My personal favorites are the more casual scenes, such as Lower Greenville, Bishop Arts, and Deep Ellum. I love the restaurants on McKinney Avenue and Knox/Henderson. I love to explore outdoors, so we’ll walk on Katy Trail, go to museums, or park it at the Truck Yard and just relax. We are also very close to Arlington, so we’ll go to Rangers and Cowboys games, Six Flags, or even head out to Fort Worth to catch a concert at Billy Bob’s. There’s always so much to do.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to move here?
Put yourself out there. The majority of people I’ve encountered in Dallas are from somewhere else and have a great (or at least unique) story to tell, and they are almost always open to meeting someone new. If you don’t have Yelp – get on it and use it for restaurants and bars. You could go to a different place every night and still have plenty to explore. Have fun and take advantage of all of the culture and history the city has to offer.

What is the one thing that you could have done to make your move easier?
Get out there sooner. I joined groups in Meetup.com and Go Kickball, and that’s when I really started to flourish here personally.

What is your passion, and how does Dallas help fulfill it?
I love to travel and spend time with people. Dallas is an incredibly easy place to travel from – with two major airports (both a stones throw away and easy to get through), all major airlines, and being centrally located, most U.S. destinations are extremely easy to get to. I love to spend time with people, and Dallas is a great place for that with the amount of activities centered on socialization.

What would you miss most about the area if you had to leave?
The social aspect and the convenience of being close to everything I need.

Tell us about the work environment here.
I have a short commute by design. Occasionally I have to go up to our corporate office in Plano, but usually it’s just a 35-minute drive. I will add the caveat that I’ve been blessed to live in one of the cities with (in my biased opinion) the worst traffic on the planet (LA). I have noticed traffic get a bit worse as more people move to the Dallas Region, but nothing you can’t work with.

I love working in Dallas, largely because there is so much innovation and explosive growth here right now, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The opportunities are endless, and the city fully supports it. I’ve never lived in a city that is so excited about new opportunity and focused on making improvements that are actually implemented.

What is your favorite restaurant … in your neighborhood?
I love Carbone’s Italian on Oak Lawn. I also love Blue Sushi – they recently opened a new location on McKinney Avenue. Hard Eight is hands down my favorite BBQ and worth any drive.

What is your favorite outside activity, and where is your favorite place to do it?
Walking on Katy Trail

Favorite festival/event?
5k Dash Down Greenville – St Patrick’s Day

Where do you go to experience culture? Why do you like it?
I love the West End Historic District, Deep Ellum, and Bishop Arts. They all have such character, and you can tell there’s a lot of history behind what stands there now.

Where do you like to shop? Why?
North Park Mall… because it has nearly everything you need, and what they don’t have is just a stone’s throw away at Park Lane across the highway.

Who is your local hero? Why?
Kourtney Garrett with DDI is such an inspiration for me. She is an incredible promoter of innovation and improvement in Downtown Dallas, all while being a mother and overall cool person. She is approachable and strong, and truly lives out her message.

Where do you feel you are nearest to your “tribe” in the Dallas Region?
Lower Greenville and Deep Ellum – low key and fun!

How do you interact with your community?
I work with the West End Historic Association as part of my job, but I love how much it’s involved me in the city as a whole. Hearing about all of the new projects enables me to test it out for myself, provide feedback where I can, and spread the word to friends!

Do you travel often? Easier or harder to do here?
Yes, and MUCH easier! It’s one of my favorite parts about the Dallas Region.

Photo Credit: Michael Samples