Downtown Dallas, Inc.’s John Crawford tapped to receive Michael F. McAuley Lifetime Achievement Award for longtime community service

Three North Texas real-estate legends are getting their due come May 4.

The North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals (NTCAR) will induct John Scovell, founder and chairman of Woodbine Development Corporation, and Jack Huff, principal at Transwestern in Fort Worth, into the 2017 Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Also, John F. Crawford, the longtime president/CEO who was recently named vice chairman of Downtown Dallas, Inc., will receive the Michael F. McAuley Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of service promoting the central city, the region and other causes.

The 30th NTCAR Reunion and Hall of Fame event will be held Thursday, May 4, at the Dallas Country Club (4100 Beverly Dr., Dallas) with a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by the induction ceremony at 6:30 p.m. (See bios on all honorees at the end of this release.) Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne are expected to attend. The event’s title sponsor is the Irving Economic Development Partnership.

Huff, who has brokered more than 1,150 transactions with a total consideration in excess of $1 billion, has covered the gamut in commercial real estate with brokerage specialization in the areas of office tenant representation, office-building sales and urban land. His vast investment/development experience ranges from resort land, retail centers and commercial land, to office/medical, mineral interests and parking garages.

A University of Texas-Austin graduate, Huff began his career with Swearingen Management in 1979. He later became a founding member and principal at NAI Huff Partners (formerly NAI Stoneleigh Huff Brous McDowell). It was the largest commercial real estate firm in Fort Worth until January 2011, when Huff Partners merged with global real estate giant Transwestern. His major transactions include the 1995 negotiation of the sale of Continental Plaza Office Tower, which he co-brokered with Wayne Swearingen  for $75 million, the 2000 negotiation of the Carter & Burgess Sublease at 777 Main Street with a total consideration of $64 million, and the 2014 sale of 66 acres of land, formerly known as Lockheed Martin Recreational Facilities worth over $24.5 million in total consideration, purchased by Trademark for the Waterside Development.

“Jack Huff is a legendary real estate leader whose hustle and business savvy have left a remarkable footprint on North Texas,” said Chris Teesdale, chairman of the 2017 Hall of Fame event.

Scovell, whose civic contributions rival his business acumen, has been associated with Woodbine Development Corporation since founding the company with Dallas businessman Ray L. Hunt in October 1973. Woodbine has been involved with the acquisition, development, design, construction, and/or asset management of 18,000 acres of land. The resulting 15 million square feet of hospitality (11,000 hotel keys developed including five destination golf resorts), office, retail, warehouse, residential, and mixed-use development represents about $3.5 billion of real estate improvements and value. Current properties include Union Station in Dallas (which celebrated its centennial in 2016) along with Reunion Tower and

the Hyatt Regency Dallas; the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio; Legacy Trails, a master-planned community in San Antonio; and the Hunt Headquarters in downtown Dallas.

Scovell is a former Texas Tech quarterback, Rhodes Scholar finalist and Harvard MBA graduate. In addition to being a past member of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, his local contributions have included leadership roles as chairman or president of the following entities – Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, Dallas Citizens Council, The Real Estate Council (founder as well) and Downtown Dallas, Inc. He was the 2010 recipient of the Linz Award.

“As a lifelong developer, John Scovell has built many things, not the least of which have been great relationships. In addition to his talent, his rare ability to connect with people has been foundational to his success, whether on the football field, in the board room or in the creation of award-winning projects across the country. His dedication, contributions and leadership have not only had a significant impact on our industry, they’ve also been difference makers for dozens of nonprofits in our community,” said NTCAR Hall of Fame Committee Member Greg Cannon.

Since Crawford took the helm at DDI in 2007, more than $5 billion of investment has been made in Downtown Dallas, with the Downtown city center residential population growing by over 185% and membership in the organization increasing by 245%. He has also lent his expertise to numerous civic and charitable organizations, chairing the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce (Dallas Regional Chamber), Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Dallas), Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, March of Dimes and the Greater Dallas Planning Council. He also has been tapped by numerous Dallas mayors to serve on task forces and advisory councils. In August of 2013, he was selected for Honorary Membership in the Texas Society of Architects for his contributions and leadership in stimulating and accelerating the renaissance of Downtown Dallas. Crawford was named to the DCEO Dallas 500 in 2016.

“For decades, John Crawford volunteered his services to an array of organizations, boosting them all in significant ways,” said NTCAR Hall of Fame Committee Member Robert Grunnah. “He continued that success as he guided Downtown Dallas through a period of tremendous growth.”

In addition to Teesdale, Grunnah and Cannon, other Hall of Fame committee members are Kathy Permenter and Darrell Hurmis.

Founded in 1995, the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals (NTCAR) is a trade association that exists to enhance the business opportunities of its members through real-time access to critical real estate information, education, recognition and networking events. One of the first and leading local commercial real estate associations in the country, NTCAR’s members benefit from proprietary industry resources and customized services.

The NTCAR Hall of Fame was launched in 1988, when the first six distinguished real estate recipients were Trammell Crow; Lyn Davis; Henry S. Miller, Jr.; John M. Stemmons, Sr. and his brother, L. Storey Stemmons; and Angus G. Wynne. Later additions to the roster included John Carpenter; Roger Staubach; Henry S. Miller Company; Ross Perot, Jr.; Gerald Hines and Jeff Hines; and many others.

In 2016, John Goff of Crescent Real Estate and John P. Weber of Weber & Company were the honorees, and Larry Good of GFF (formerly Good Fulton & Farrell) was the McAuley Award recipient.

These and other recent Hall of Fame recipients will be featured in the third edition of THE BOOK – Dallas/Fort Worth Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame – scheduled for release in late 2018. Created in 2008 and updated in 2013 by NTCAR Hall of Fame co-chairs Robert Grunnah, Chris Teesdale, Darrell Hurmis and Greg Cannon, THE BOOK captures the stories of the past Hall of Fame honorees and Michael F. McAuley Award recipients – all legendary figures whose extraordinary vision and real estate prowess played a major role in North Texas’ development over the past 100 years.

The coffee table book, filled with historical photos, is available for purchase for $150. Please contact Cathy Powell at 972-419-4078 for details.

A number of sponsorship levels are available – title sponsor at $25,000 (one), inductee table sponsorships at $10,000, gold sponsorships at $5,000 and bronze sponsorships at $3,000. For more information, go to or contact




John F. Crawford: The man that brought Downtown Dallas back

Last night at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas, our Vice Chairman John Crawford was awarded the Dallas Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award!  We couldn’t be happier to have John as part of Downtown Dallas, Inc.  We thank him for all the work he’s done throughout the years to make Downtown Dallas such a wonderful place.  Congrats, John!


John F. Crawford: The man that brought Downtown Dallas back

By: Candice Carlisle

The Dallas Business Journal


When Boeing decided to move its corporate headquarters to Chicago instead of Dallas in September 2001, John Crawford remembers the aerospace giant’s executives explaining the rationale behind the Dallas snub: “Downtown is dead and there ain’t no culture.”

Crawford, 74, remembers the exact verbiage of the communication, in part, because it set him on a new path. At that moment Crawford realized someone needed to step up.

“Downtown was at a time when something needed to be done and somebody needed to take the lead,” said John Crawford.

“If somebody or something didn’t happen, we were in deep trouble in terms of Dallas realizing its potential that could have and should have in the future,” said the longtime executive. “There was a lot of people in Dallas that had the perception that downtown wasn’t safe or clean. Some of it was true and some of it wasn’t, but we had to change that perception.”

The Memphis, Tennessee-native became intimately involved with an organization called the Central Dallas Association, which he changed the name of to Downtown Dallas, Inc.

That emphasis on downtown Dallas and rebranding the organization was part of Crawford’s plan. But becoming so intimately involved in its future was not part of the plan. That just happened.

Crawford, who was a volunteer chairman of the board of Downtown Dallas, Inc., began looking for the right executive to lead the revamped advocacy group through a nationwide search. Unable to find the right executive to pull off a win, someone asked Crawford, “Why don’t you just do it?” He’d been asked numerous times, but this request got him thinking.

“Downtown was at a time when something needed to be done and somebody needed to take the lead,” he said. “I saw myself coming to a point when it was time to lead. I had the relationships, I knew the territory, I could afford to do it and I was coming to a point in my life where I needed to do it.”

That was nearly 11 years ago. In that time, Crawford has had quite the impact on the city’s urban core, taking his commercial real estate background and bringing those relationships into the central business district to help develop the hub of the region.

Without Crawford’s stewardship, Dallas’ downtown wouldn’t be nearly as successful as it is today, said Mayor Mike Rawlings.

“He understood he had to be an advocate for developers for capital to be put back into the city, and he also had to make sure it was a place that was livable,” Rawlings said. “He was constantly going back and forth between neighborhoods and those developers to make sure he got the right equation.

“He had the ear of the people at City Hall and people took him seriously because he was always doing the right thing,” he added. “I’m so grateful for what he has helped the city accomplish.”

Crawford helped bring a nearly non-existent residential population to 11,000 residents in the inner core and more than 50,000 residents in the greater downtown Dallas district.

He also assisted in bringing a number of developments to fruition with the help of public-private partnerships. In the past year, more than 90 developments have either started or been announced in the central business district.

He also contributed in shaping the Downtown Dallas 360 plan, which gives residents, community stakeholders and developers a vision for the surrounding neighborhoods in the city’s urban core.

Crawford’s success at the non-profit advocacy group is rooted in the relationships he has made in North Texas, which began when he worked at the Henry S. Miller Cos. in Dallas and helped develop two office towers — Cityplace Tower and Bank of America Plaza.

“The greatest thing I have learned over my 40 years is the importance of relationships,” Crawford said. “No man or woman is an island, and success is a team sport.”

For Crawford, he’s been able to develop those relationships through his active civic and charitable career outside of work. He has served various roles in numerous organizations, such as the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, the Greater Dallas Chamber and the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Much of what I have done has been with sweat equity,” Crawford said. “It’s about getting involved.”

Rawlings said he hopes other community and business leaders will follow in Crawford’s footsteps and get involved in the “gnarly, dirty world of creating a city.”

After leading Downtown Dallas, Inc. either as president or CEO for more than a decade, Crawford stepped aside for the group’s new leader, Kourtny Garrett. He will remain at Downtown Dallas, Inc. as vice chairman and serve as a spiritual thinker.

Garrett, who shares Crawford’s passion for the CBD, said he has been an instrumental leader for Downtown Dallas, Inc.’s history and helped reinvent the organization over the last decade.

“His saying of, ‘As goes downtown goes Dallas,’ is representative of when reinvestment really began in downtown Dallas,” she said. “Downtown would not have its place in the political scene as well as the economic and investment scene if it were not for John.”

Downtown Public Safety Community Action Plan – Status Update April 2017

As you know, we hosted a Downtown Public Safety Meeting in January following a series of incidents that heightened concerns about public safety in our community. Coming out of that meeting, we facilitated crafting a Community Action Plan, summarizing the top priorities from residents, businesses owners, and additional stakeholders.

As continued follow-up, please find status updates related to the Community Action Plan below.  Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, concerns, or additional contributions.

1. Residential Property Safety Audits: Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) visits residential property managers to offer coordination assistance to conduct DPD-led safety audits of their buildings, including parking garages. This will include an emergency access plan for police and fire and recommendations from DPD to improve personal safety of residents.

STATUS: COMPLETE – DDI visited every residential property in the CBD and successfully facilitated completion of the safety audits for 24 residential properties. Residential Safety audits will be completed on an annual basis going forward. updates and crime watch meetings are scheduled with residential property managers throughout the year.

2. Ongoing Community Collaboration:  DDI will coordinate quarterly meetings (more often as needed) to serve as a forum for public safety collaboration. Additional invitees to add to the base of residents at the first meeting will include: DART; The Bridge; Oncor; property owners, managers, and security directors; merchant businesses; and other concerned employers.

STATUS: DDI facilitates 200 safety and crime watch meetings with Downtown stakeholders. The Safety Patrol attends monthly meetings with; CBD Crime Watch, Downtown Residents Council (DRC), Downtown Dallas Neighborhood Association (DDNA), Downtown Security Directors Association (DSDA), West End Association, and the Farmers Market Stakeholders meeting. DDI/Downtown Safety Patrol (DSP) has a standing offer to attend and present at any and all resident, neighborhood association, and HOA meetings.

And thanks to Councilmember Adam Medrano, there is now a monthly Crime Watch meeting being held with all relevant parties on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. DDI actively helps promote the monthly Crime Watch meetings to residents and stakeholders.

3. DART and DPD Communication: Several concerns over the communication between DART and DPD were expressed, including statistical reporting and call response.

STATUS: A monthly task force meeting has been established that includes DPD, DART Police, DISD Police, El Centro Police, Dallas County Marshal’s and DSP to facilitate a coordinated effort to address public safety issues Downtown including: K2 use and K2 dealers, aggressive panhandling, and other Quality of Life (QOL) ordinance violations.

Other ongoing Initiatives include:
 Top 10 Panhandler initiative
 Quality of Life Task Force – West End/Lamar Corridor
 Impact Offender initiative

Additionally, a partnership has been implemented between the DPD, County Jail, District Attorney, and Criminal Courts to: identify, hold on high bond, prosecute, and issue maximum sentences to remove career criminals from Downtown. In the past, low bonds and plea bargains put career criminals back Downtown within 24 hours. The impact offender list ensures career criminals are held on high bond and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (no plea bargains).

4. Neighborhood Crime Watch: DDI will host a series of workshops led by the DPD to offer Downtown-area neighborhood groups, building associations, and the overall community the opportunity to develop and establish a neighborhood crime watch program, building off of the success of the established Farmers Market Crime Watch.

STATUS: Again, we are grateful to Councilmember Medrano for his leadership to establish the monthly CBD Neighborhood Crime Watch.

5. Lighting and Sidewalks: Though significant progress has been made to improve lighting and walkability, dark spots and broken sidewalks still exist in Downtown. Short term, DDI will work with residents to identify “quick win” projects that can be implemented swiftly with available resources. DDI will also engage Oncor in the conversation. Longer term, the Greater Downtown Dallas 360 plan is addressing many of these infrastructure issues to assist in setting priorities for future bond funds.

• DSP officers check all Downtown street lights twice per month to note and report any light outages to private owners, Oncor, and City of Dallas. Most outages are fixed within 36 hours.
• DDI has funded an engineering firm to evaluate and map sidewalk conditions for every sidewalk and crosswalk in the CBD. This report should be complete in Q3.
• DDI will have initial design concepts for 8-10 new quick win projects to present for feedback by mid-summer.
• DDI has funded the design and has designated funds to complete the sidewalk on Main Street to connect Main Street District and Deep Ellum. DDI is also exploring ways to partner with Deep Ellum Foundation to incorporate additional lighting under 345. We are awaiting the approvals and/or additional information from TXDOT and City of Dallas on both projects.

6. Merchant Safety Seminars: DPD is visiting with Downtown merchant businesses to provide safety tips for employees, as well as security audits of their establishments. Contact us if you have interest in this program and we will connect you with DPD coordinators.

STATUS: DPD and DSP regularly check in with businesses to offer safety audits and meetings. DSP and DPD have reached out to all businesses in the CBD offering to conduct safety audits and meetings.

7. Reinvigorate No Panhandling Campaign: DDI will reinvigorate its panhandling awareness campaign that is aimed at educating the public as to better ways to give, as well as the no panhandling law. Businesses may request the DDI No Panhandling posters by emailing

STATUS: DDI has distributed over 250 ‘No Panhandling’ posters to businesses and residents since January.  The more permanent orange and white no panhandling signs can be ordered directly from Fast Signs (for a nominal fee). Remember to call 911 on panhandlers, especially if aggressive. You can also call DSP at 214.741.1151 who can assist by calling our off-duty officer for assistance in removing/arresting the panhandler. DPD has made 366 panhandling arrests since January.

8. Lasting Solutions to Address Panhandling, Vagrancy, and Homelessness:  These are three distinct issues that require a comprehensive approach including regulation, enforcement, and social services. DDI encourages public policy leaders, related agencies, social service providers, and the community to refocus on solution-based planning that looks at the entire city as a whole, understanding the impact of concentration in Downtown.

STATUS: DSP and DPD Crisis Intervention Team visit small homeless encampments around the perimeter of Downtown on Tuesday and Thursdays. Homeless individuals are identified and offered transportation to shelters for services. Bus tickets home are offered to homeless meeting reunification guidelines; approximately 150 homeless are reunited with family through this program each year.

Mayor Mike Rawlings has assembled a Commission on Homelessness to address the issue from a broad, holistic perspective. With the community, DDI will continue to monitor and engage in the process.

We thank you for taking an active role in making sure our Downtown is safe and inviting for all! We’re all in this together and appreciate your feedback.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Team

Come Unite to Support the Fight!


Ambition, aspiration, hope, and love is what you’ll find at Relay For Life of Dallas on May 20! This volunteer-driven, cancer awareness event honors cancer survivors, remembers loved ones, and helps fight cancer.
Relay For Life is a team fundraising event where team members will take turns walking the path around the Main Street Garden for 24-hours, symbolizing that cancer never sleeps. Those battling cancer don’t stop because they’re tired, and for one night, neither will we!


Join a relay team and help make a difference! Each team will set up a campsite at the event with food, treats, games, and activities in exchange for donations to help further their fundraising efforts. The money raised counts towards each team’s overall fundraising goal!



Cancer affects everyone, whether it invades your body or somebody’s you love. “It’s up to all of us to support the important research that can one day make a much sought-after cure a reality.” – Angie Harmon
The statistics are heartbreaking. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. You or someone you love could be one of those people and that is why everyone should Relay.
By volunteering, donating, and/or joining the Relay For Life of Dallas you are helping the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking research, crucial patient care programs, and education and prevention information. So Relay and help save lives!



We hope to see you there, and if you haven’t registered, you can do so by clicking here. If you can’t make the event and still want to help by donating, click here.
Dallas, come together and unite at Relay For Life to support and celebrate survivors and caregivers. We will see you there!


Get To Know: Frankie’s Downtown

Right on Main Street, Dallas’ hot new hangout is the place to go for handcrafted cocktails and home-cooked food, but also the place the community calls Downtown’s living room.


Frankie’s Downtown is more than what meets the eye. When you first walk in, you’ll be greeted by the aroma of their all-original, house-made, fresh menu items; from their Artisan Pizzas to the Panko Crusted Pesto Salmon. The intimate rustic décor and dimly-lit setting is perfect for getting together with friends or a romantic date night. Then as you walk down the stairs, “The Underground” comes to life.


The Underground provides guests with a speakeasy-style environment with live music and a chance to get away and unwind. The Underground lounge has a full bar, billiards, darts, and TVs for those keeping up with the games. The lounge is also a great spot to host private events!




Now let’s talk about their extensive bar. Frankie’s Downtown loves being a part of the Dallas culture and is truly the real neighborhood hangout. With 20 Texas craft beers on tap and an expansive selection of fresh, handcrafted cocktails, Frankie’s has a little something for everyone. Featuring 44 HD big-screen televisions with all major DirecTV sports packages, the upper-level is perfect for watching sporting events, grabbing dinner and drinks with the family, or simply just hanging out with your crew. Not to mention, Frankie’s has a killer weekend brunch (MIMOSAS)! The lower-level lounge is where you sip on liquor while listening to live, local artists.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 11.50.12 AM.png

From loaded fries to Parmesan crusted zucchini paddles with spicy tomato sauce and cracked pepper aioli, Frankie’s can satisfy any craving. Frankie’s offers weekly lunch specials, brunch, dinner, and weekend late night menu munchies until 2 am. In Dallas, brunch is a weekly must and Frankie’s was voted DFW’s Best Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar… Need we say more?


If you’re in the Downtown area and need a chill spot with mouth-watering food and luscious cocktails, stroll into Frankie’s! They also offer take-out and order ahead options for easy pick-up.


For a chance to win a $100 gift card to Frankie’s Downtown, click here: Frankie’s Downtown Giveaway  and make sure you follow us (@downtown_dallas) and Frankie’s Downtown (@frankiesdfw) on Instagram!

For more information on Frankie’s Downtown, visit


For more information on all things to eat, see, and do Downtown, visit And for a comprehensive list of Downtown events, visit


Frankie’s Downtown is located at:

1303 Main Street

Dallas, Texas 75202