Downtown Dallas Featured in Dallas Business Journal Special Insert – July 19, 2013

Downtown Dallas was recently featured in a special insert in the Dallas Business Journal. Click the link below to read about updates on Downtown Dallas 360, the fifteen districts, the Downtown retail market, entertainment districts and economic development.

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DDI Honors Downtown Champion: Jeff West

Some called him a Downtown champion, others called him an artist and others will remember Jeff West as a savvy businessman. He was an active member of the DDI Board and Executive Committee. Here around the DDI office we will remember Jeff as the guy full of life. You always knew when Jeff was in the room. His laugh was contagious. He always seemed genuinely interested in what you had to say, he could always relate and he gave the best hugs around.

Jeff West worked behind the scenes for many years to better Downtown Dallas and improve the city’s arts. He died Monday at 54.  West’s work included 11 years as executive director of the Sixth Floor Museum and five years as managing director of the Dallas Theater Center. At the time of his death, he was working as vice-president at Matthews Southwest, the development company responsible for the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel.

West helped bring the American Film Institute brand to Dallas during the 3-year run of the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. That event is now known simply as the Dallas International Film Festival.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. President & CEO, John Crawford recalled West’s dedication to the city thru his work in numerous non-profits over the last 20 years in everything from the film festival to working to bring conventions to town.

“One of the marks of success is that you leave a place better than when you started.”  Crawford said.  “Jeff West accomplished that with all he did as an advocate for Downtown and the arts. It’s a sad day for all of us.”

Introducing DDI Board Member: Tara Green

Tara Green is Chief Revenue Officer at Center Operating Company (COC), the entity that manages the American Airlines Center, home of the World Champion Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars. Green has been there since August.

Prior to that Green spent three years as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. In that position, she led, managed and directed all day-to-day operations for the Committee. That included myriad responsibilities such as: the maximization of departmental efficiencies; oversight of all operations including fulfillment of the group’s NFL bid commitments; administration of the NFL Experience’s grassroots marketing programs; and the coordination of regional participation for Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving. Green also managed local participation in the Texas Major Events Trust Fund.  The North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee generated more revenue than any previous host committee in the 45-year history of the game. Green was also part of the regional team that pursued and brought Super Bowl XLV to North Texas.

Prior to her duties with the Super Bowl, Green worked at the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau where she served as Vice President of Sports Marketing for 11 years, bringing many major sporting events to the community and increasing room-night production from 30,000 to 100,000 room nights in a five-year period.

As Chief Revenue Officer at American Airlines Center, Green will be responsible for leadership and direction that will generate and retain revenues across multiple channels for Suites, Club Seats and Sponsorships. She will implement strategies, tools and systems to make sure American Airlines Center has continued success in Dallas.

Did you know?

Tara is passionate about Downtown because Downtown Dallas is the heart of the city. It is the place were commerce, culture and sports intersect. It is where you feel connected to the business and entertainment offerings of the city.

Tara’s favorite Downtown memory is Big D NYE.  For the last four years, American Airlines Center has hosted Big D NYE. It is the place to ring in the New Year in Dallas. Always a favorite memory.

Tara supports Downtown Dallas, Inc. because it’s a way to connect all of the businesses and residents in downtown to American Airlines Center and I hope that we can improve how those businesses and residents enjoy their experiences in Downtown.

Introducing DDI Board Member: Steve Whitcraft

Steve Whitcraft is a 28-year construction-industry veteran who has a broad background of experience and accomplishments, from field supervision to project administration, estimating and executive management. His expertise in the construction business and project leadership has led to the success of $2 Billion dollars in volume and over 6 million square feet of completed construction.

Notable, award-winning projects include South Side on Lamar, The Tower Condominiums, CIGNA Healthcare Headquarters, Verizon Arena, Grand Treviso Condominiums, Baylor All Saints Women’s, Diagnostic and Treatment Center and Townview Magnet School. Currently, he is project principal on the Maxim Integrated Products Headquarters being completed in Farmers Branch, a data center underway in Richardson for a confidential client, and the 17-story Hall Arts Center class-A office in the Arts District, which is expected to start in summer of 2012.

In his role as Turner’s Director of Commercial and Healthcare Segment Groups in the Texas region, Steve is responsible for client development, project strategy, preconstruction and construction leadership on office, multi-family, mixed use and healthcare building sectors. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Michigan, he is a Certified Professional Constructor (AIC), a Certified Healthcare Constructor from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and holds a Healthcare Construction Certificate from the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE).

Steve serves on the Board of Preservation Dallas as Vice President of Development (past president 2006-2007), serves on the Board of Downtown Dallas, Inc., he is a Graduate of Leadership Dallas (Class of 2003), he is on the UT Southwestern President’s Research Council, Real Estate Financial Executives Association, and is former co-chair of the AIA-AGC Liaison Committee.

He lettered in Lacrosse at Michigan, earned Junior Maine Guide certification and played drums in several bands. He vacations with family regularly, making annual visits to parents and in-laws in Southern California, Maine and Guadalajara, Mexico.

Steve is a Dallas native, currently living a few miles from where he was born. He and his wife, Ann, and daughter, Hope (9) enjoy spending time at the lake.

Save the Date – DDI Spring Forum

Please mark your calendars for the Downtown Dallas, Inc. Spring Forum. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will be giving a State of Downtown Address on May 24th at the Sheraton Hotel. 

He should have plently to say as we continue to celebrate a monumental year for Downtown. As you may recall from our Annual Meeting, 2012 is set to be a big year with the openings of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Belo Garden, The Park and more.

We hope you will join us in the celebration by again “Investing Yourself” in Downtown. How will you “Invest Yourself”? 

Downtown Takes Its Message on the Road

Downtown Dallas, Inc is booming and people want to hear about it.

The North Texas Chapter of Certified Commercial Investment professionals or NTCCIM hosted our very own DDI President and CEO John Crawford at a luncheon on February 16th.  Crawford gave the group an update on status of Downtown Dallas’ revitalization and how it will help the region as a whole, allowing Dallas to be on a level playing field with other great American cities.  The audience consisted of executives in the Commercial Real Estate industry.  photo left to right: John Crawford, DDI, Janice Peters, Hudson Peters Commercial & Jeff Boykin, Boykin Partners

Crawford also moderated a panel discussion on The Future of Downtown. The panelists included Jack Mathews, Jack Gosnell and John Sughrue. The discussion is part of a very successful series of real estate related panels and discussions that are hosted by Bob Voelker, a Partner with the law firm of Munsch Hardt.  < photo left to right: Jack Matthews, Mathews Southwest, Jack Gosnell, UCR Urban, John Sughrue, Brook Partners & John Crawford, DDI

Thanks Bob Voelker and Janice Peters for the invitation.  We love talking about our booming Downtown.  If you would like to have us come speak to your group or organization drop us a note at info@downtowntowndallas.org

Season Greetings to Members & Friends of Downtown Dallas, Inc.

2012 is set to be another monumental year for Downtown and Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI), as we celebrate the completion of a number of significant projects. Dallas has been leading much of the nation in economic progress, and the trend is most apparent Downtown; from the construction and recent opening of the Dallas Omni Convention Center Hotel to our world-class Arts District. Openings like the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Belo Garden, The Park and completion of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will add even more recreation, greenspace, culture and iconic architecture to our Downtown. Cranes will continue to fly high on new residential projects such as Museum Tower, Lone Star Gas Lofts and the Continental Building, as well as pivotal mixed use developments such as the Grand Ricchi at 1600 Pacific, 1401 Elm, 500 S. Ervay and the Statler Hilton.

After just over a decade since the creation of the first Tax Increment Finance district in Downtown, which signified a common vision of the public and private sectors of a revitalized city center, today we are celebrating the realization of urban life. It is a reality of employees living where they work, and working where they play; a reality of entrepreneurial restaurants, a vibrant night life, a resurging commercial office market, and landmark projects that have moved beyond “planned” to groundbreakings and openings. There is a new heartbeat in the center of our city—a new generation of employees, residents and visitors that are changing our environment. Downtown has shifted from a one-dimensional commercial office center to one of many facets – living, shopping, dining, working, arts, recreation and public transportation. We no longer gaze at Downtown through a rendering of the future – instead we can see and feel tangible successes on the streets every day.

For several years now, the change Downtown has been most noticeably pronounced in its residential community. Historic structures, mid-century office towers and new construction have become home to thousands of new residents in the City’s core. Looking back to 1995, the Central Business District (CBD) was home to only 200 residents. Today you will find more than 7,000 urban dwellers in the CBD, and more than 37,000 who call one of the other 15 Downtown districts that comprise Dallas’s city center their home. All of this has created an exciting vibrancy Downtown that is now attracting major companies as well.

There is no question Downtown is growing by leaps and bounds, and this is just the beginning. Downtown Dallas 360,  a new action-oriented strategic plan for Downtown, is in full implementation mode creating new public-private partnerships, focused heavily on activating our streets, developing transit oriented development (TOD), housing and parking.

One of the real joys of the Holiday Season is the opportunity to say “Thank you” and wish you the very best for the New Year. Happy holidays from all of us at DDI. As goes Downtown, so goes Dallas!

P.S. Mark your calendar for January 24 to attend our Annual Meeting & Luncheon. Go to http://www.downtowndallas.org for details.

John F. Crawford

President & CEO

Downtown Dallas, Inc.