The high quality of life in the suburbs surrounding the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex make buying or leasing a home in the region a particularly solid real estate choice. Of the outlying communities, Allen, which is just a 30-minute drive north from Dallas, stands out for the wealth of community activities available to residents.
The city of 84,000 was named one of America’s Best Small Cities by “Money Magazine” in July 2010 for its local spirit, thriving economy, exceptional school system, and for the excellence of its offerings in local life. From events to venues, Allen, Texas is, simply put, a great place to live.
Fireworks and Music at “First to the Fourth”
The last Saturday in June, Allen residents beat the rest of the DFW Metroplex to Independence Day with the “First to the Fourth” celebration, a festival of food and music, culminating with a massive, 20-minute fireworks display at 10 p.m. The event, which began in 1995, is produced by the City of Allen and the Allen Parks Foundation and held at the 106-acre Celebration Park. Regular attendance had now swelled to 65,000. There is no entrance fee, but visitors pay for concessions and activities like admission to the Kids Zone. (Note that this is a family-friendly gathering, with no alcohol allowed on the grounds.)
Multi-Use Development at Watters Creek
Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm, a mixed-use development, covers 52 acres at the southwest corner of U.S. 75 and Bethany Drive in Allen, Texas. Planned as a new “commercial heart” for Allen and the surrounding region, the design includes a large village green by the creek, displays of interactive public art, varied and upscale retail venues, and multiple restaurants with al fresco dining and views of the water. (There are also residential lofts and office spaces.) Each Saturday morning, Watters Creek plays host to a Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering fresh, organic produce in a relaxed, community atmosphere.
Skating at the Allen Event Center
The Allen Event Center features a state-of-the art, full-size ice skating surface measuring 85′ x 200′ with a seating capacity for 300+ spectators. Beginning through advanced classes are offered along with figure skating, specialty classes, and private lessons. There are recreational and competitive hockey leagues as well as hockey instructional classes from beginner to advanced. Additional activities include skating shows, troop lessons, summer camps, and skating competitions. The venue is available for birthday parties, field trips, fundraisers, lock-ins, church functions, and a variety of other meetings. (The Events Center also hosts concerts by groups like REO Speedwagon and artists like Reba McEntire, and special interest shows for collectors and enthusiasts of all types.)
Gold Class Cinema, Village at Fairview
Located at the Village at Fairview, Gold Class Cinemas gives Allen residents a night out at the movies in plush, first-class style that starts right in the lobby bar, which is outfitted with crushed-velvet lounge chairs. The theater’s in-house chef offers a gourmet menu including Maine lobster and a selection of 30 wines by the glass (along with a variety of locally brewed beers.) Finger foods are available, as is candy in martini glasses and popcorn drizzled with real butter. There are eight screens, each with room for 24-40 people. The seats are recliners with blankets, storage space for shopping bags or other personal items, and eight feet of leg room. With a free membership, the price of a ticket drops from $29 to $17.50.
Allen Offers the Best of Both Worlds
At the end of the day’s commute, there’s no need to leave home to find a good meal out, do some shopping, enjoy sports, or take in a show. Allen has the feel of a small town and the amenities of a large city including:
– 3,448 restaurants in a 15-mile radius,
– 38 movie theaters within the same distance,
– 154 public golf courses inside of 30 miles,
– 41 libraries within 15 miles,
– and five museums with national accreditation inside 30 miles.
In 2011, the entire region will be buzzing with special activities around the Super Bowl to be hosted in Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington.
Without question, the DFW region in North Texas is a good choice to buy or lease a home. As the 12th largest metro economy in the world, in 2010 DFW has weathered the recession well, with property values largely intact. Sales of single-family homes in Texas are up for the third quarter in a row, with April-to-June 2010 sales up 14% over the same period in 2009.
Communities like Allen offer better-than-average value in terms of quality of life because they bridge the gap between both worlds. Situated in range of an easy commuting distance from Dallas, Allen is a town you’ll want to come home to at the end of the day.