Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Back to Work

Yesterday was fun, but hectic, as the first residents moved into CityWalk. We had film crews from Channels 4 (Fox), 11 (CBS) and 23 (Univision) on site at 511 N. Akard. By our standards, that’s a real media frenzy. I wasn’t able to catch all the stories, but the pieces that I did see were well done and we’re thankful for them.

Reporter Jessica Meyers from the Dallas Morning News spent the entire morning with our new residents, followed them downtown to their new apartments and did a very nice piece in the Dallas Morning News this morning:

I especially enjoy the quote from Ms. Tillis:

"I don't care if there was going to a blizzard, I would have been like Little House on the Prairie dragging my stuff," she said about Tuesday's wintry weather forecast. "This is a place you can be proud to live in. And to be downtown, that's just icing on the cake."

You can read the rest of the article here:

It was also interesting to spend some time talking with the reporters and camera operators. They were all smart people interested in everything that we were doing and full of penetrating questions—very little of which comes across in the stories you get at home.

Newspapers have a little more leeway, but television, especially, where the most time you may have for a story is 75 seconds, means that no matter how much the reporter knows, he or she isn’t going to have time to tell you very much of it.

So although the reporter may know that the really innovative ideas at CityWalk involve its mixed-use and mixed-income strategies and the ground we broke on financing models, there is no way to explain all that in the time available. The reporter has to grab his or her audience immediately (the real fault is probably with all our constantly decreasing interest spans), so once again the lead is the opening of the “Highrise for the Homeless”. Even if the reporter knows that it’s not quite accurate.

Dealing with the media was laid on top of a day that was already very busy, so we were all tired by evening yesterday (which is why the blog is a little late coming out this afternoon), but today it’s back to work again. The attention is gone, but we have a building to complete, residents to help and more work to do. Work that will occupy us not just today, but tomorrow and for the rest of the year - and maybe for the rest of our lives.

That’s a good thing.

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