How Tanya Ragan Navigates Downtown Dallas’ ‘boys Club’ of Real Estate Developers

Real estate investor Tanya Ragan, who’s lived and breathed Downtown Dallas for 13 years, heard her critics’ whispers: Who does Ragan think she is — some Jane Jacobs?Her response was perhaps the most Tanya Ragan thing ever: Her newly resurrected 114-year-old Purse Building features a floor-to ceiling mural of the late Jacobs, an urbanist activist and author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, superimposed on a downtown street grid. Above Jacobs’ striking bespectacled image, her mantra “New ideas need old buildings” blazes in neon lights.Ragan, who runs Wildcat Management, says the mural is a statement about the Purse Building, not about her. Well, maybe a tiny bit about her.Recently named one of the “100 commercial real estate influencers” in the U.S. by The Business Journals network, Ragan says she still feels a bit like an outsider in downtown Dallas’ commercial development game. “I’m a little fish in a big pond,” she said.Ragan and I talked last week about the reality of a woman working in what she described as commercial development’s “boys’ club.” Whether she is in a Dallas conference room or out of state, those around her “are almost all men.” And even at age 45, she is still often the youngest among them.  Continue reading...

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