In the heart of Dallas city limits and within its nearby towns, businesses are purchasing buildings for astronomical, headline-grabbing amounts. Major 2016 transactions for several of the most visible skyline office towers saw a German investment fund’s acquisition of the 21-story 2000 McKinney tower in Uptown Dallas for over $200 million—nearly $500 per square foot. Up north in West Plano, an unnamed foreign investor is reportedly spending nearly $400 per square foot for the 13-story Legacy Tower, a record high for the city. Due to the cost of construction and the escalating valuation of land, capital is coming into the area from domestic and international sources willing to pay premium rates for office locations. Like corporations, buyers on the hunt for lower-priced homes are facing difficulty with many opting to rent instead. Marcus Hiles’ Dallas based firm has confirmed seeing increased interest in his luxury rentals as conditions have limited the amount of entry-level houses under $250,000 for first-time homebuyers.
Charitable actions such as Hiles’ have become increasingly important in recent years, as the city’s inner-city school districts have struggled to overcome a 2011 ruling by the state Legislature which cut $5.4 billion in education funding. Most affecteds by the cuts were schools in low-income urban communities, where low property tax revenues were unable to compensate for the budget loss. Since this controversial 2011 decision, inner-city schools have lost an average of 12 percent of their full-time teachers, leaving students in overcrowded classrooms with less individual attention. The New York Times reported that the state of Texas considers 66 percent of students in the Dallas district to be at a considerable risk of dropping out, and Marcus Hiles believes the city’s youth deserve better opportunities.
“For these children hailing from lower income families, a quality education plays a pivotal role in improving social mobility,” Hiles said. “Kindergarten through 6th grade is essential to the next generation’s success.”
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