TREC Shark Tank Finalists Hook Investments for Real Estate Projects

All three finalists won investments from the sharks in The Real Estate Council Shark Tank event Thursday night at Gilley’s Dallas.

shark tank

Millions of dollars, new jobs, housing, and health care are all coming to South Dallas thanks to The Real Estate Council Shark Tank event Thursday night at Gilley’s Dallas.

Modeled after the hit ABC show Shark Tank, three real estate entrepreneurs presented their proposals to revitalize a long-neglected part of Dallas. Their job was to convince the sharks, prominent real estate experts, to invest in their projects.

“I’ve always said southern Dallas is an investment opportunity not a charity case.” 

Mike Rawlings

It’s part of the city’s Grow South initiative championed by Mayor Mike Rawlings, who spoke at the event along with billionaire and star of the real Shark Tank, Mark Cuban, about economic and investment opportunities in that area. 

“It’s the forgotten part of Dallas. It’s a major part of the city in itself,” Rawlings said. “I’ve always said southern Dallas is an investment opportunity not a charity case.”

All three finalists won investments from the sharks.

shark tank

TREC Shark Tank’s investor panel included from left: Bill Cawley, CEO of Cawley Partners; Michael Dardick, founding partner and CEO of Granite Properties, Inc.; Tillie Galan Borchers, director of investments at Civitas Capital Group; Frank Mihalopoulos, owner and president of Corinth Properties; and Craig Hall, chairman and founder of HALL Group. [Photo: James Edward]


Rodney Burchfield got all five sharks to bite on his proposal for a $12.9 million maintenance repair and operations facility he plans to build at Dallas Executive Airport.

He only asked for $500,000, but ended up getting $1.35 million.

“All five sharks will have participating equity and it gives me assurance that they believe in the potential of the project and see the true value of economic development in the southern sector,” Burchfield said.

He’s got a tenant who will operate the MRO facility, but he’s not able to say who it is, yet. He did say the Dallas Executive Airport facility would be an expansion for the tenant.

Construction could start by spring with a 2019 completion date.

“If we could be the pioneers of something that’s coming to this airport, that’d be great.”

Frank Mihalopoulos

Initially, the facility will create 25 jobs, but could add up to 60 within five years.

Couple this with the runway expansion that recently was approved and that raises the profile of the airport to handle more corporate jets, including longer range aircraft.

The Commemorative Air Force also has relocated to the airport with its fleet of restored World War II aircraft. That group will be starting construction on its new facility that could be open by July, Burchfield said.

And that’s just the beginning.

“This project is a catalyst that will allow Burchfield and Partners and the city of Dallas to lure a larger manufacturer that will bring 200 jobs to the city,” Burchfield said.

Frank Mihalopoulos, founder of Corinth Partners, saw the potential for this project and the airport as a whole.

“It’s a sleeper. If we could be the pioneers of something that’s coming to this airport, that’d be great,” Mihalopoulos said.

shark tank

Rodney Burchfield of Burchfield & Partners, Inc. pitches his plan to construct a 70,000-square-foot corporate maintenance, repair, and overhaul hangar at Dallas Executive Airport. [Photo: James Edward]


Emergency rooms at Parkland Hospital and others are flooded with patients who don’t have easy access to medical care in south Dallas.

So, they travel north to ERs where there’s a long wait and the cost of care is much higher.

Dr. Michelle Morgan, who has been practicing dentistry for 24 years, has a solution that could revolutionize health care in that part of Dallas.

She purchased an 18,000-square-foot abandoned hospital at 2516 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., where she plans to attract other doctors to practice medicine. The building dates back to 1965 when a group of black doctors opened the facility because they couldn’t practice at other hospitals. It’s been closed for years, though.

All the sharks bought into Morgan’s plans to renovate the facility and change the name to Legacy of Hope Health and Wellness Center. 

She got the $500,000 she requested, but the sharks also offered to raise their investment to $700,000 if she would add another $300,000, bringing the total investment to $1 million. Beyond investments, they promised to connect Morgan with leadership at area hospitals. 

She’s already got about half the space pre-leased to doctors, who will bring a new energy and expertise to the region. The majority of the building will be renovated, but about 2,000 square feet will be torn down to make room for parking.

She’s excited about the potential for quality medical care in south Dallas.

“I grew up here and walked to school by myself,” Morgan said. “But 30 years later it doesn’t look like where I grew up. It’s really easy to see where the disparities are. This facility will address the specific needs of the community.”


The popular DIY Network show Texas Flip N Move has dozens of historic homes that have been remodeled and are waiting on a buyer.

The television show has a surplus of the houses, creating a new opportunity for real estate entrepreneur Maria Schneider, CEO of the Dallas Unity Fund.

She proposed to buy the homes and place them on vacant lots southwest of Fair Park. Texas Flip N Move takes the antique houses down to the studs, giving them a new finish out so they’re basically like new again.

Schneider proposes to buy the homes, have them moved to the lots, placed on a foundation, hook up the utilities, and then sell them for $100,000 to $150,000 each.

“It’s a very high impact in these particular neighborhoods,” Schneider said. “They’re vacant lots now.”

The homes will be worth more than others in the area, but still cheaper than most “new construction” in North Texas’ booming housing market. The higher comparable prices will drive values up, which could attract additional investment, Schneider said.

The sharks weren’t sold on the idea, though, and four of them said they were out.

One shark, Tillie Borchers, director of investment for Civitas Capital Group, committed $250,000 towards the project, half of what Schneider had requested.

shark tank

Demond Fernandez of WFAA, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Mark Cuban talk about economic and investment opportunities in South Dallas during the TREC Shark Tank event. [Photo: James Edward]

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