Let’s explore Decatur, Texas (located northwest of Fort Worth) in this edition of the Champions DFW Commercial Realty, Radio Show & Podcast. Mark Moran joined Jim Kelley, Rudy Janecka and Ron Taylor for Podcast 46 and to discuss the commercial real estate happenings in Decatur. After reading this excerpt of the conversation, listen to the podcast. It’s a free download.
Jim Kelley: Tell us about yourself, Mark. Give us your background, where you come from, and what you’re doing up in Decatur right now.
Mark Moran: I grew up in North Texas in Wichita Falls and I used to live in Las Vegas, Nevada during the mid ’90s. And from there, I moved to Los Angeles. My family and I moved back to Wichita Falls in 2001. And we’re in oil and gas and commercial real estate.
Jim Kelley: So tell the story. What attracted you to Decatur? You’ve got a stronghold now there. But what brought you to Decatur?
Mark Moran: Well, we were driving through. We go to Dallas to our family office and family, you know, weekly, and we kept driving through Decatur and I noticed kind of the same growth that I experienced in Las Vegas, also where I lived up in Northern Los Angeles. And I just thought it was a good point, if you look at a map, right there on 287 and 380. And that’s when the Barnett Shale, the big oil play that set the fracking up, not only in the United States but the world. So I was following that trend and was noticing the proximity to one of the biggest metroplexes in the United States. And I wouldn’t have predicted the growth that we are seeing now, but it’s just that urban sprawl.
Rudy Janecka: Well, give us a bio. What’s the demographics look like now in Decatur? Tell us about the city of Decatur and what’s going on.
Mark Moran: Well, it’s kind of misleading. The population, the city limits is very small. The population itself is 6500. But the daytime population is 35,000 to 40,000, point being that it’s like a 4-county draw. So you get from Montague County, Jack County, Northern Tarrant County, Western Denton County. So that’s where kinda all the tractor supply is, the Walmart and…
Jim Kelley: So what’s drawing the people, the retail?
Mark Moran: The retail and also medical. Wise Health System has become very, very large. They’re on their fourth hospital. They have 200-plus doctors in residency there. That’s a big draw as well.
Rudy Janecka: Yeah, it’s listed as the largest employer in Wise County as well with the Hospital System Group.
Mark Moran: And the Walmart there is in the top 1% in the country and the Chili’s there is one of the top in the United States per square foot.
Jim Kelley: So what’s the vision of Decatur? We’re aware of some of your projects, Mark. Talk to us about how you began to create an excitement and a brand to Decatur especially on the Square.
Mark Moran: Well, what my vision is in any community…to make a draw, I think the arts are very important. And when I mention the arts, not only is it painters or sculptors but musicians, chefs, boot makers, hat makers. And with the Decatur Town Square, we’ve probably assembled 25 or 30 properties in the downtown area and we have brought some restaurants there. We have Fuzzy’s Taco. We have Roosters Roadhouse. And there’s a great Thai restaurant, X-Chan, and Sweetie Pies Ribeyes, which is part of the Babe’s chain there. We’ve also created some public art. I replicated a movie theater sign called “The Majestic.” And by the way, it won best overall sign in the state of Texas. And we also have some sculptures and murals put up around the downtown area.
Learn more about Decatur, Texas in this edition of the Champions DFW podcast. It’s available as a free download here on our website and on iTunes.