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How Nancy Nasher Got Into The NorthPark Business

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NorthPark Center
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Raymond Nasher sold his stake of NorthPark Center to his daughter, Nancy, in 1995.

NorthPark Center turned 50 this week. In 1965, Raymond and Patsy Nasher transformed a Dallas cotton field into a shopping center that is now one of the top-performing malls in the country.

It generates more than a billion dollars in sales a year, and remains a family business. Daughter and NorthPark co-owner Nancy Nasher sat down with Eric Aasen to talk about how she got into the business.

Interview Highlights: Nancy Nasher…

On her parents’ risky decision to build NorthPark on farmland:

“You know, I think they were terrified, but very excited. They had the foresight to understand the importance of the location of this piece of property in Dallas. My mother was 30 and my father was 37 when they started this project. The idea of building an enclosed shopping center in Dallas, Texas that…[had] air conditioning was revolutionary. I look back and I say ‘how did they do that? Why did they do that? But how brave and courageous they were.’”

On when she knew she would join the family business:

“I think the moment in time was when I went to Princeton University and then I went to Duke University Law School, and I had the opportunity to work at Henry Braumberg’s law firm that worked on NorthPark leasing and work since the very beginning. The very first day of my job as a summer intern, they put me on NorthPark work.

I didn’t want to work at NorthPark coming straight out of law school. I wanted to contribute something to NorthPark and not just be the daughter. It was after these 7-8 years of training that my mother became ill, I decided to leave the law firm and join the business to help my father.”

On whether NorthPark will continue to stay in the family:

“One of my daughters, who’s in college now, has been working very hard on our 50th anniversary celebration and I think she’s caught the NorthPark bug. She loves it.”

Nancy Nasher is the co-owner of NorthPark Center in Dallas. 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and KERANews.org. She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees keranews.org, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.