Third Rail Lofts

Jay T. Wampler

Jay T. Wampler grabs a few drinks down at City Tavern across for Third Rail Lofts where he lives, a couple blocks down from the Bank of America Plaza tower, with a T-shirt tucked into blue jeans. He wants to be comfortable and enjoy himself after a long day at Bank of America Plaza where he is the managing director of Bank of America’s Global Corporate and Investment Banking Special Assets Group for the Americas.

Though he’s been drinking, he keeps perfect posture and clear words as he talks of his love for his job. He’s never wanted another job.

“I love the ability to take companies that are in financial distress and mend them back to health. When you do that you create a customer for life,” Jay says slowly, pausing after each word in the second sentence to prove the importance of each word. The only thing that bothers him are all the financial regulations on banks right.

“It’s out of control,” Jay says. “I deal with it day by day and do what I got to do.”

Jay has been working in restructuring since 1988. He started out in the largest Bank of America group working with multinational companies; but about a year and a half into his career, he was asked if he wanted to go to the work out group.

“I was 24, 25 years old and jumped at the opportunity to have my own portfolio,” Jays says as he looks over to the green lights pausing for moment. “If I had gone the other direction, I would have been a bagman for a senior vice president basically just doing his grunt work for him.”

At Bank of America, Jay has had great opportunities for travel. He loves to take his wife, a retired stay-at-home mom, whenever he goes.

“I tag along two or three extra days and take her with me and we have the most incredible time,” Jay says with a smile. Her favorite place is probably Key West, Napa Valley or New York City. He doesn’t know his.

Unlike many north Texas residents who live in the burbs but work in Corporate America, Jay loves the last two years he has spent living downtown. He loves that everything is within walking distance from his loft that he shares with his wife and doesn’t have to drive anywhere.

Jay and his wife moved downtown when his two boys left the house. His older son is working for an executive recruiting firm and his younger son is a senior at OSU completing his bachelor’s in business administration before moving on into an MBA like his father.

Jay likes to treat people the way he wants to be treated. He’s a trusting man and treats his subordinates like he treats his sons, he’s there to guide them and lead them but holds them accountable for their actions. He’s a loyal boss and friend, who always has the backs of his coworkers and makes sure not to micromanage.

“I let them do their thing and I trust them and they know I trust them,” Jay says. “I have a great relationship with everyone at my job.”

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Dallas, Dallas Fire Department, Firefighters, Party, Dating

Chris Brodner and Amanda Moore

Chris Brodner and Amanda Moore sit in a lawn chairs outside of Third Rail Lofts staring into each other’s eyes like they need to make up for years in the friend zone. They sat for two hours playing games on Amanda’s phone before it died, and have been passing the time since by playing card ride games, waiting to let firefighters and family friends into the building.

“The party’s going on all night. It’s a bunch of firefighters,” Chris says with laugh.

Chris is a chef at Brookdale Senior Living. He enjoys it but he’s holding out for something better when he starts fire school in October. He is wearing his father’s blue Dallas Fire Department shirt. On the back of Amanda’s chair, the word Freeman invites guests to a party for Gary Freeman, a local firefighter retiring after thirty years.

“[Freeman] is a great guy, I mean I’ve been staying at the station since I was six and been going out there every time I can and every time I see him,” Chris says in reverence to the long-time family friend, “every time he’s always just given me advice so he kind of acts as a second dad.”

Amanda is a student at Texas A&M Commerce where she is a psychology major with a criminal justice minor. She loves it and plans to graduate in December with her bachelors of science, hoping to stick around for graduate school. The things her family has overcome are their biggest achievements and what drives her to do become a profiler.

“I have a lot of wonderful things in my life. I’d probably have to say my mom and my brother,” Amanda says as Chris puts his head down. He knows the stories. “We’ve had a really bad family history. A lot of bad things have happened to me, to my brother, and to my mom.”

His parents and Amanda are the best things in Chris’s life. Chris and Amanda have been together for six months now and it’s the happiest times of their lives.

“We were friends for about six years and I finally let him out of the friend zone,” she says, looking up at Chris.

“It was hard work. It was a lot of hard work. I spent a lot of hours on that,” Chris says as they smile and look at each other one last time before heading into the party.