Only in Dallas, Where Horses Can Fly!

April 28, 2015

We have likely all experienced our unfair share of art and film this past month with Dallas Art Fair, Dallas International Film Festival, Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Dallas Arts Week, and the loads of parties that came with those events. But have you been Downtown lately and really soaked in the arts and public spaces? It seems like temporary (and some permanent!) public art installations have been popping up everywhere Downtown. It’s perfect timing too with the Congress of New Urbanism conference attendees here this week to discuss and collaborate on the demand for walkable places (and even building a temporary park in Deep Ellum!). One of the greatest assets of a walkable, urban neighborhood can be the little surprises you find during your everyday routine. Whether biking or walking, you’re sure to come across these gems along the way – enjoy them while you can!

Here are just a few of the recent public art installations you can find as you roam the streets of Downtown:

The original Pegasus, fabricated by Texlite Signs of Dallas and once perched atop the Downtown Dallas headquarters of the Magnolia Petroleum Co. from 1934 to 1999, has a new home in front of the Downtown Omni Dallas Hotel. Installation just began and should be complete in May. The restoration and installation of the Pegasus is the result of a partnership between the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs and Matthews Southwest. The two red flying horses measure 40 feet in length and 32 feet in height and are spaced 14 feet apart. In addition to a new derrick, weighing 12,000 lbs., and a new support structure, weighing 600 lbs., the flying red horse will incorporate a quarter mile of new neon light tubing and rotate upon completion.

SkaterBIRD is a new 22-foot tall sculpture by Brad Oldham (who also created the famed Traveling Man sculptures in Deep Ellum) atop the parking garage at 1200 Ross. Brad Oldham International moved into the ground floor of the parking garage in October – stop by and purchase your own smaller version of many of his sculptures!

The Encore Park Sculpture Wall “The Birth of a City” at 508 Park is a lost-wax bronze sculpture wall created by Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin that features iconic and lesser-known visual stories unique to Dallas. These stories are told across ten 6-foot by 4-foot relief panels along Park Avenue and Young Street.

Mother Earth (#LookDallas) is a 6-foot photograph by Jeremy McKane that was installed at Main Street Garden in honor of Earth Day and will be up through Mother’s Day.

Photographer Richard Andrew Sharum has teamed up with five Downtown building owners to launch the largest street photography exhibit in Dallas history. Observe Dallas 2015 aims to portray instances of everyday life with unparalleled realism, and just received a $5,000 grant from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program. You can see the photographs at these five Downtown buildings through May 31st: 211 North Ervay Street, 800 Main Street, 500 South Ervay Street, 325 North Saint Paul Street, and 601 Elm Street.

The Consulate General of Mexico in Dallas has helped bring in Wings of the City, an exhibit featuring nine of Jorge Marín’s sculptures. The works have been placed in locations in and around Downtown. It is the first time for the Consulate to bring sculpture work to the city, and the exhibit was previously in Discovery Green Park in Houston. Our favorite sculpture, a pair of wings with space between them, is on display at One Arts Plaza, giving people a perfect ‘angelic’ photo opportunity!

One Meter at a Time is a pilot program of temporary public art coordinated by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs that contributes to the visual enhancement of Dallas streets. Selected artists were commissioned to create site-specific public art on the exterior of a set of 10 parking meters in four locations in Dallas. Downtown locations include Elm Street near the Majestic Theatre, Dallas Farmers Market, and Deep Ellum.

Just recently, Downtown Dallas, Inc. partnered with an art conservator to restore the bronze sculpture at Cancer Survivors Plaza. And speaking of parks and plazas, you can find the infamous B&G sculptures at Main Street Garden and Pegasus Plaza as part of the #DallasBIG campaign, where you can put the “I” in BIG.

Of course I’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our visual and performing arts and the many beautiful and significant sculptures in the nation’s largest contiguous urban arts district – the Dallas Arts District, the Dallas Design District, Deep Ellum’s many colorful outdoor murals and street art, the iconic 30’ Eye sculpture by Tony Tasset on Main Street across from The Joule Hotel, the cow sculptures designed by Harold F. Clayton along the Trinity Skyline Trail, and the 30’ tall Bowler Hat sculpture in the Cedars. And ArtPrize Dallas is coming to Downtown – providing even more opportunities to be engaged in public art, complete with the ability to vote on your favorite – for 19 days straight come April 2016.

And if you need another excuse to get Downtown as quickly as possible, you should consider attending one of these upcoming events:

  • Deep Ellum Instagram Scavenger Hunt – “Art Edition” on April 30th.
  • Celebrate Downtown – a must-see tour of rooftops and historic places brought to you by Downtown Dallas, Inc. and Preservation Dallas on May 2nd. You can get tickets at preservationdallas.org.
  • Homegrown Music and Arts Festival at Main Street Garden on May 9th.

Find a complete list of upcoming events at www.downtowndallas.com. Other resources: Public Art Walk and Pegasus Urban Trail.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Hosts Another Successful Annual Meeting

March 25, 2015

On February 27th, more than 1,400 business, civic, and community leaders joined us for our Annual Meeting and Luncheon at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Despite the snowy weather, it was another great day Downtown as we were joined by presenting sponsor Oncor, and Southwest Airlines made a special announcement about new nonstop flights from Dallas Love Field and gifted the entire audience with $100 LUV vouchers! The 2015 Board of Directors was voted in and Jim Greer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Oncor, took the helm as the Chair of the Board of Directors. Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) honored Jack Matthews of Matthews Southwest with the Chairman’s Award and John Crawford, President & CEO of DDI, talked about the progress of the Downtown Dallas 360 plan’s implementation over the last four years. The audience also welcomed Daniel Iacofano, Ph.D., FAICP, FASLA, and CEO & founding principal of MIG, Inc., who spoke about ideas around a competitive 21st century, including the importance of Millennials, transformative infrastructure, technology, innovation space, and energy.

Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. works every day to ensure continued growth of the core of our city.  Our efforts are based on three foundational principals – clean, safe and community – all of which are the essential building blocks of economic development. In addition, DDI has historically served as a voice and facilitator for coordinated planning that leverages individual efforts for the benefit of the whole of Downtown.

Enter Downtown Dallas 360

Adopted by Dallas City Council in 2011, 360 is our strategic development plan, built in partnership with the City of Dallas by workgroups of property and business owners; large corporations and small businesses; real estate and transportation experts; residents; and community organizations. 360 is a true culmination of what Dallas wants to see Downtown, and how we can all work together to achieve these goals.

360 has been one of the greatest influences and inspirations for Downtown development in the last four years, and the most important project for Downtown going forward.  In fact, DDI’s priorities are set up to directly align with 360 strategies and implementation.  The Plan has guided investment, development strategies, and the activation of our streets in a tangible way.

So, why are we talking about an “Update”?

Downtown Dallas 360 was created as a living document, so the update planned in 2015 by DDI and the City of Dallas will be more of a process of “working the plan,” evolving it into strategies relevant for the next five years.

Phase one of the plan provided a framework based on vision, five transformative strategies, and focus areas. These strategies then culminated in a tactical implementation matrix consisting of eight priorities and 67 action items, including timeframes, estimated costs, and responsible entities for each.

At the end of 2014, many of those 67 boxes were checked as “complete.”

Downtown Dallas 360: Progress

Downtown Dallas 360’s vision describes the future of Downtown Dallas as a complete urban center composed of distinct yet interconnected districts linked by an accessible multi-modal transit network, each offering a unique and diverse combination of places to live, refreshing open spaces, bustling street activity, successful business and retail, and dynamic urban experiences for residents, workers, and visitors alike.

“INTERCONNECTED” AND “DISTRICTS” are two key terms throughout this process.  Through Downtown Dallas 360, we have shifted the mindset to one that understands that Downtown Dallas is no longer the “Central Business District” –  it is a collection of neighborhoods that are (and should be) unique, but part of a symbiotic whole.  And we are connecting those neighborhoods through projects like Klyde Warren Park, the Continental Avenue Bridge, Deep Ellum Urban Gardens, bike lanes, a trail network, public transit, and work through the Connected City Challenge.

We then come to 360’s focus areas. Progress is evident in the Dallas Famers Market redevelopment, Main Street District ground floor transformation, and the Lamar Corridor.  360 outlined visions, and in some cases, specific site plans and ground floor urban design treatments for the areas, all of which are coming to fruition.

The residential increase Downtown is astounding. With over 40,000 living in the greater Downtown, as defined by 360, and more than 5,000 units under construction today, there is little doubt that the center city is fueling Dallas’ growth. We’re diversifying the market as well with more affordable projects coming online, something we will continue to strive for in future development.

Projects defined as catalysts by 360 like the Statler, 1600 Pacific, One Main Place, and 1401 Elm are underway, taking almost all of our remaining large vacant building stock off the market and activating it with hotel, residential, and retail use. In addition, great projects like Mid Elm Lofts are restoring our smaller building stock and infilling with great uses like restaurants and coffee houses to complete blocks and create an authentic human scale experience.

Helping to guide these projects and ensure, as 360 says, “Great Urban Design,” we worked in partnership with the CityDesign Studio on the launch of the Urban Design Peer Review Panel, a remarkable group of design professionals advising projects so they engage and interact with the public realm in a meaningful urban way.

We’ve also integrated parking technology, gone on road diets, and impacted policy change to improve street activity with revisions to ordinances that encourage street vending and outdoor cafés. D-Link continues to increase ridership, the MATA extension will open this spring, and bike lanes are expanding. Zipcar is in the market, and the first leg of our modern streetcar will be operating this year.

And don’t forget about those little things that make a big difference – streetscape enhancements, new sidewalk furnishings, and incremental improvements to sidewalks, streets, and parks.

Yet it is also time to address those boxes that aren’t checked yet and ask, “why?”

Downtown Dallas; Forward Momentum

There are a few issues we know are necessary to address in the next phase of 360. One is to simply reaffirm the vision. At its core, the 360 vision is about Downtown Dallas as a collection of distinct, authentically urban districts, connected by accessible transit, diverse housing, open spaces, and vibrant streets, which is still very relevant. It comes down to livability and connectivity.

This next phase of the plan will be hyper community-centric. In the coming months, each district and neighborhood will be deeply engaged to assess needs and ask how the 360 vision translates today. Each area of Downtown is at a different point in its development with unique conditions necessitating an understanding of already moving efforts, community desires, and neighborhood relationships. The priorities, strategies, and tactics of 360’s evolution will be shaped collectively from there.

What we suspect is that the next phase of 360 will use its existing framework to address several key issues that apply to and connect all neighborhoods. One is mobility. Another is housing. A third is parks and open space. In addition, Downtown has matured to a point where a focus on growing opportunities for education, particularly preschool and K-12, is imperative to retaining and growing a strong resident base; and this is tied in intimately to the rising innovation, tech, and startup communities diversifying and strengthening the city’s economic base.

Those are all connecting and common issues to the entirety of the city’s center. In addition, we anticipate the need will surface for a series of neighborhood efforts, primarily focused on urban design and public realm, walkability, and activation. In several areas of Downtown, related work is underway, so we will spend time auditing and recognizing that work, incorporating and leveraging it for mutual benefit. It will also be important, as we did with the focus areas in 2011, that areas of catalytic energy are identified to maximize current activity. The high-speed rail corridor, Trinity/Riverfront, Cedars, Design, and Reunion districts are great examples that present substantial investment with opportunity left to realize.

The most important point to note is that Downtown has been realized into a place. It is no longer a “9 to 5” office park, but instead, we are realizing the 360 vision, and working with the community, stakeholders, and policy makers — all of you — as we continue to work the plan.  The evolution of 360 will protect our progress and continue forward momentum.

In order to do that, our partnership with the City of Dallas is imperative. DDI and the City work cooperatively every day, and advancing 360 is a large part of that mission.

The best is yet to come.

You can find more information at www.downtowndallas360.com. Our 2014 Annual Report in its entirety can be viewed at www.downtowndallas.com, About Us/Annual report.

Annual Report
Annual Report Infographic
Downtown Dallas 360: Forward Momentum Video

Downtown Dallas is Now Mobile!

December 11, 2014

Thanks Dallas Business Journal for reporting on our new mobile site! Now, Downtown is right at your fingertips. Our new mobile site takes you on a tour of the city with a simple and friendly design. Browse by district, or discover what’s nearby by allowing the site to pinpoint your location. You can search for restaurants, explore museums, and even find the perfect place to call home, all with the tap of a finger. Start exploring now at www.m.downtowndallas.com!

DDi_EMAIL_BLAST-no-homepage-instructions

Dallas BIGGER & Brighter!

December 3, 2014

Visit BIGGER & Brighter! to find all there is to do over the holidays in Dallas!

Did you see the Downtown Dallas insert in the Dallas Business Journal on Friday?

July 21, 2014

Downtown Dallas Insert: Dallas Business Journal

Congratulations to Downtown Dallas, Inc. Clean Team Members Who Recently Received Promotions!

July 8, 2014

CT-PromotionsJuly2014

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Recognizes Oncor with Chair’s Award

May 29, 2014

Public safety is key for Downtown resurgence and growth

More than 1,400 business, civic, and community leaders joined us for our Annual Meeting and Luncheon on April 22 at the Omni Dallas Hotel. It was another great day Downtown, as we were joined by presenting sponsor Atmos Energy, and Southwest Airlines gifted the entire audience with $100 LUV vouchers! Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) also honored Oncor with the Chair’s Award which was created to recognize a company or individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to, and significantly impacted the progression of, Downtown Dallas.  The award recognizes Oncor’s efforts to help stimulate and maintain a vibrant and safe environment and promote community involvement in Downtown Dallas.

Oncor is a leader in corporate community partnerships, making a tangible difference in Dallas. Jim Greer, Chief Operating Officer, sits on the Downtown Dallas, Inc. Executive Board of Directors and said “the organization’s recognition is a reflection of Oncor’s role as a trusted advisor and public ambassador.” The company’s more than 3,000 employees are highly active in the volunteer community, and some of Oncor’s most significant community contributions include: The Mayor’s Youth Fitness Initiative; Klyde Warren Park; and platform sponsorship of the 2012 Dallas Heart Walk.

Right here in our front yard, DDI worked closely with Oncor to develop a Lights ON program, a system to ensure Downtown streets remain bright, safe, and vibrant. Since the program’s launch, remarkable improvement has been made, noticed by the droves of people now enjoying Downtown’s life after dark.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as a significant partner within the communities that we are privileged to serve,” Greer said. “It is very exciting to see the resurgence that is occurring within the traditional downtown areas of many of the towns and cities in our service area.  In all cases, Oncor is right at the heart of it, providing a strong foundation for growth.”

President and CEO of DDI, John Crawford, said “over many years, Oncor has played an instrumental role in Dallas’ Downtown revitalization efforts and that the company’s commitment to keeping the public safe aligns with the DDI’s mission.”

“One of the key success factors in attracting residents and visitors to any downtown area is that they must feel safe,” he said. “And Oncor personifies safety to the highest degree.”

Pulse of the City – Trails and Connections in and around Downtown Dallas

March 25, 2014

Pulse of the City – Trails and Connections in and around Downtown Dallas

If you missed this Sunday’s “Pulse of the City” on KRLD, you can listen here. Our guests did a great job talking about trails and connections in and around Downtown. 

John F. Crawford, President & CEO, Downtown Dallas, Inc. Recognized as an Honorary Member of the Texas Society of Architects

March 7, 2014

March 7, 2014 – Thursday night, AIA Dallas hosted Celebrate Architecture, a special event at Klyde Warren Park, to honor the recipients of the 2013 Community Honor Awards. These annual awards recognize exceptional members, firms, individuals, and organizations for their outstanding achievements in support of the profession of architecture, the built environment, and the quality of life in Texas. John F. Crawford, President & CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc., was recognized as an Honorary Member of the Texas Society of Architects.

 

Honorary Membership in the Texas Society of Architects is one of the highest honors the Society can bestow upon a person outside the profession of architecture, and is awarded to an individual for their long-term association with architects, architecture, or allied professions in providing a better quality of life in Texas. Honorary Membership is awarded for accomplishments of the nominee, which are truly outstanding and of statewide significance.

 

AIA Dallas’ 2013 Community Honors Committee, chaired by Larry Good, FAIA, nominated

chapter members, companies, and other individuals for various awards bestowed by the AIA

Dallas Chapter, Texas Society of Architects, and AIA National.

 

John’s nomination for Honorary Member of Texas Society of Architects was accompanied by several letters of recommendation from city and civic leaders including former City Manager, Mary Suhm, Jody Grant, Robert Decherd, Larry Good, and Ray Hunt.

 

Robert Decherd, former President of A.H. Belo Corporation, mentioned in his nomination letter, “John has done more than anyone to fundamentally change the perception of Downtown Dallas and its surrounds, while also achieving unprecedented political support for public-sector investment.”

 

Larry Good, of Good Fulton & Farrell Architects goes on to say, “John is Downtown’s most visible, effective and respected spokesman.”

 

“My perspective is one of a longtime Downtown corporate citizen and an associate with John in more than 20 years of leadership in a variety of civic matters. Although he has made contributions in many arenas over that period of time, I perhaps most respect the role he has played in leading Downtown Dallas in a most impressive return to vibrancy,” said Ray Hunt.

 

Each year since 1971, the Texas Society of Architects has recognized members, individuals, and organizations who are exemplary in their support of the Society’s mission: “The Texas Society of Architects is the voice for Texas architecture, supporting the creation of safe, beautiful, sustainable environments.”

 

“I am extremely honored to join such a select group and truly believe that only through public/private partnerships will we succeed in generating vibrancy, attracting investment, and creating a live, work, and play urban environment that’s second to none,” said John Crawford, President & CEO, Downtown Dallas, Inc.

 

About Downtown Dallas, Inc.
Downtown Dallas, Inc. is the primary advocate, champion, and steward for Downtown, effecting change by developing  strategies, setting targets, and mobilizing resources that:

  • Stimulate a vibrant and sustainable Downtown environment
  • Improve infrastructure
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Create a culturally inclusive urban center
  • Position the area as a global destination

 

Our program areas include:  public safety; capital improvements; maintenance; economic development; public policy; planning/transportation; and marketing. For more information, visit www.downtowndallas.com

 

 

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Pulse of the City – Last Sunday’s show about Spring Break is a ‘must-listen’!

March 6, 2014

Pulse of the City – Last Sunday’s show about Spring Break is a ‘must-listen’!


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