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Economy of Dallas
 
 
 

In its beginnings, Dallas relied on farming, neighbouring Fort Worth's Stockyards, and its prime location on Indian trade routes to sustain itself. Dallas's key to growth came in 1873 with the building of multiple rail lines through the city. As Dallas grew and technology developed, cotton became its boon, and by 1900, Dallas was the largest inland cotton market in the world, becoming a leader in cotton gin machinery manufacturing. By the early 1900s, Dallas was a hub for economic activity all over the southwestern United States and was selected in 1914 as the seat of the 11th Federal Reserve District. By 1925, Texas churned out more than ⅓ of the nation's cotton crop, with 31% of Texas cotton produced within a 100-mile (161 km) radius of Dallas. In the 1930s, petroleum was discovered east of Dallas near Kilgore, Texas. Dallas's proximity to the discovery put it immediately at the centre of the nation's petroleum market. Petroleum discoveries in the Permian Basin, the Panhandle, the Gulf Coast and Oklahoma in the following years further solidified Dallas's position as the hub of the market.

The end of World War II left Dallas seeded with a nexus of communications, engineering and production talent by companies such as Collins Radio Corporation. Decades later, the telecommunications and information revolutions still drive a large portion of the local economy. The city is sometimes referred to as the heart of "Silicon Prairie" because of a high concentration of telecommunications companies in the region, the epicentre of which lies along the Telecom Corridor located in Richardson, a northern suburb of Dallas. The Corridor is home to more than 5,700 companies including Texas Instruments, Nortel Networks, CompUSA, Alcatel Lucent, AT&T, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Nokia, Rockwell, Cisco Systems, Sprint and Verizon Communications.

In the 1980s, Dallas was a real estate hotbed, with the metropolitan population skyrocketing and the concurrent demand for housing and jobs. Several of Downtown Dallas's largest buildings are the fruit of this boom, but over-speculation and the savings and loan crisis prevented any further additions to Dallas' skyline. Between the late 1980s and the early 2000s, central Dallas went through a slow period of growth and has only recently bounced back. This time, the real estate market in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has proven to be much more resilient than those of most other parts of the United States.

Dallas is no longer a hotbed for manufacturing like it was in the early 20th century, but plenty of goods are still manufactured in the city. Texas Instruments employs 10,400 people at its corporate headquarters and chip plants in neighbouring Richardson, and defense and aircraft manufacturing still dominates the economy of nearby Fort Worth.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as a whole has the largest concentration of corporate headquarters in the United States. New additions to the list include AT&T, which announced plans in June 2008 to relocate its corporate headquarters to Downtown Dallas from San Antonio, and Comerica Bank, which relocated in 2007 from Detroit. Suburban Irving is home to four Fortune 500 companies of its own, including ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the world and the 2nd largest by revenue, Kimberly-Clark, Fluor (engineering), and Commercial Metals. Additional companies internationally headquartered in the Metroplex include Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, RadioShack, Neiman Marcus, 7-Eleven, Brinker International, id Software, ENSCO Offshore Drilling, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Chuck E. Cheese's, CompUSA, Zales and Fossil. Corporate headquarters in the northern suburb of Plano include Electronic Data Systems, Frito Lay, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and JCPenney.

In addition to its large number of businesses, Dallas has more shopping centres per capita than any other city in the United States and is also home to the 2nd shopping centre built in the United States, Highland Park Village, which opened in 1931. Dallas is home of the two other major malls in North Texas, the Dallas Galleria and NorthPark Center, which is also the largest mall in Texas. Both malls feature high-end stores and are major tourist draws for the region.

The city itself is home to 15 billionaires, placing it 9th worldwide among cities with the most billionaires. The ranking does not even take into account the 8 billionaires who live in the neighbouring city of Fort Worth.
Dallas is currently the 3rd most popular destination for business travel in the United States, and the Dallas Convention Center is one of the largest and busiest convention centres in the country, at over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2), and the world's single-largest column-free exhibit hall.

 

 
 


 



 


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