Summer temperatures continue to be hot, and so does the Dallas/Fort Worth (D/FW) real estate market. Demand for single-family homes has soared and supply has lagged since the second half of last year. The time is perfect for the development of Cole Ranch, a 3,000-acre master-planned community in Denton and Spire’s new client. To celebrate the breaking of ground on this new relationship, Associate Creative Director Jason James has built our newest Spire on Spotify playlist, Vol. 11: Homeward Bound Sounds.

The population of Texas continues to boom as people relocate to the Lone Star State in droves, according to the Dallas Business Journal. In the Dallas metropolitan area alone, the population grew by nearly 2% last year, helping Texas to add more residents last year than any other state in the U.S.

While many other parts of the country are still struggling to recover, D/FW is still a productive job hub. As D Magazine reports, over the last decade new jobs in Dallas have created a land rush that has made North Texas one of the fastest-growing areas in the country.

While out-of-state folks are being drawn to Texas for more space at a better price point, they are not the only ones driving the housing boom. Many younger people are entering the housing market for the first time. U.S. existing-home prices hit a record high in May, and it’s at a similar pace in Denton County, according to information provided by the nearby Greater Lewisville Association of Realtors (GLAR). The group also reports that COVID-19, and the ability for work-from-home, or work-from-anywhere, has given Americans the freedom to live where they want. And Texas provides substantial bang for the buck.

Those factors have led to the lowest existing-home inventory in Denton County in 35 years. Because of this, most houses in the area that go on the market end up in a bidding war, selling for well over the listing price, and they sell after an average 13 days on the market, compared to an average of 44 days just a year ago. For all of Denton County, the median price for a house in May was nearly $400,000, up 23% from May 2020, according to data provided by GLAR.

The city of Denton has a growing population of 113,383, making it the 27th most populous city in Texas and the 12th largest in D/FW. It has been named #9 of Best Places to Buy a Home in the U.S. by WalletHub, and #55 of Best Places to Live by Livability. Conveniently located 30 minutes from D/FW International Airport and 45 minutes from Dallas Love Field, Denton is known as a relaxed, nature-oriented city with a thriving art, music, and culinary community.

Cole Ranch is the upcoming master-planned community off I-35 in southwest Denton County. The 3,100-acre community is the historic homestead of rancher, oilman, and civil servant, M.T. Cole. The once-thriving cattle ranch and picturesque Texas countryside will soon be home for tens of thousands of North Texans.

The new Cole Ranch will bring together downtown, Cowtown and hometown. It is also a nostalgic homage to M.T. Cole himself. The five square acres of rolling plains, hillsides, and waterfront will soon transform into a relaxed community of single family and multi-family homes, commercial office spaces, retail establishments, multiple Denton ISD schools, and one of the most extensive outdoor trail systems in all of North Texas.

Grab a front-porch rocker, pop the top of a cold Shiner Bock, and listen to the Lone Star sounds of ACD Jason James’ Cole Ranch playlist.

JJ, what is the name of your album?

The album is called Homeward Bound Sounds. I used to call Denton home for about eight years. It’s been fun returning to my old stomping grounds and having a hand in expanding and branding part of the city. The area also represents a home for many future residents with dreams as big as Texas—only the sky is the limit.

How would you describe this mix?

It’s an eclectic mosaic of tracks that have been compiled especially for those who dream under the stars, wander in wide open fields, swim in the creeks, get their feet and hands dirty, and breathe in the fresh air. I pulled in many Texas musicians and wanted to create a playlist with many different sounds that all felt like they could represent the ranch vibe.

What was the inspiration behind it?

Our new client, Cole Ranch, located in Denton County, at the heart of North Texas. I spent almost a decade learning to be a designer and honing my skills at the university on the other side of the highway. Denton is a city that brings up a lot of fond and nostalgic memories for me. I loved hanging out beyond the city limits and enjoying the surrounding natural beauty. My family used to drive the highway that runs along Cole Ranch so we could explore the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma.

What is your favorite song, and why?

“Cowgirl in the Sand” by Neil Young. Found on his 1969 album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Young wrote the song at his ranch in Topanga, California. It’s long and winding like the trails on Cole Ranch and perfectly embodies the feeling of great Texas sunsets.

If your playlist was a brand, what would it be and why?

Shiner Bock. It’s smooth, delicious, easy, and you can enjoy it first thing in the morning.

Any specific memory that comes to mind when you listen?

Floating the river in New Braunfels as a kid. You’ll notice a lot of the songs are river songs. Rivers in North Texas offer respite from the blazing sun. My grandparents owned a condo across from Schlitterbahn (a water park) so the grandkids would go nuts practicing sick backflips off the retaining wall on the other side of the bank, and then float the river till the sun went down. All unsupervised of course.

What makes your playlist unique?

Most people would assume that a predominantly country/bluegrass genre would be appropriate for a ranch vibe. However, I wanted to expand out this collection of songs in an unexpected way that features more Texas artists and river songs. A playlist to encourage a huddle around a campfire at your favorite spot and jam under the stars with some good company.

Thanks, Jason, for this album about our throwback days living in Denton. Just like a cold Shiner, there will be another playlist opening up soon. Stay tuned to the Spire Blog and Spotify Channel for the release of our next album.