Could Dallas Unseat New York City as The Global Financial Capital?
New York City has been the financial center of the United States since the nation’s founding. However, the 21st century economy has challenged the city’s long-time dominance. New urban centers are rising up and taking a larger percentage of the country’s financial transactions. One particular upstart is Dallas. As the second largest city in Texas, Dallas is a center of intellectual and economic activity for the southern part of the country. Its financial strength is poised to capitalize on many of the problems that have hindered New York’s growth over recent years.
One reason for Dallas’s growth is its prime location in a growing region of the country. Dallas is a major center of the Sunbelt region. The Sunbelt exists from California through Texas and up to North Carolina and Virginia. It is the home of thousands of tech companies, research firms, and prominent universities. Dallas has a healthy proliferation of all three. It is the home of Southern Methodist university and the University of North Texas at Dallas. Both are prominent centers of research with world-class medical facilities. The service-oriented economy of the region attracts more funding and more opportunities for financial firms to expand their footprint. Having these resources close at hand makes more companies and financial institutions want to do business in Dallas.
A Banking Basis
Dallas also has the growing banking prowess to replace New York as a prominent financial center. These firms have built a base which will allow them to expand and grow to New York-sized proportions. The city has a number of prominent banks and insurance companies with large campuses. Insurance companies are an overlooked but particularly massive aspect of the financial sector. Both State Farm and Liberty Mutual, two of the largest insurance companies in the country, have expanded to the city in recent years. Certain sectors have established funding arms that will help drive more business and financial activity.
For instance, the auto sector in Dallas hosts auto funding firms like Santander (a towering financial firm based in Brazil) and GM that can fund new car plants and retail space. Banks and financial firms have also taken over the massive Dallas skyline. Companies such as Comerica Bank and Bank of America have bought and put their names on many of the tallest buildings in Dallas. This investment matches the earlier efforts of New York banks to dominate real estate and bring in more money for their local business ventures.
Dallas Knowledge Workers
Finally, Dallas has the potential to build more of a knowledge base than New York. The modern financial system runs off of technology and human capital. Firms have to be able to attract and retain talent. This ability has placed Dallas considerably above New York in recent years. This disparity is due to the fact that Dallas is much cheaper to live in than New York. Dallas has lower rent, shorter commutes, and lower parking fees. Dallas is also building up the cultural and public amenities that lead many professionals to turn towards New York. A cheaper life with the same amenities can lead to more and more prominent figure abandoning New York for the biggest city in North Texas.
Dallas will only continue to grow as the years go on. Banks and businesses will recruit more talent and fund more ventures within the city. Developers will fan out and provide more housing and attractions in the downtown core. While New York is currently bigger than the Dallas area, the Big Apple’s stranglehold on financial dominance will certainly continue to be threatened by its Texas counterpart.