Museum Tower Tops Out

The Museum Tower topped out as the construction reached the 42nd floor progressing toward a late 2012 completion date. The 42-story Museum Tower condominium building has been under construction for more than a year in the Arts District. The luxury residential tower won’t open its doors until next fall, but the high-rise has already made a big change to Downtown skyline.

The project’s General Contractor is Austin Commercial; designer is LA-based architect Scott Johnson; developers are Brook Partners principals Lyle Burgin and John Sughrue, with Turtle Creek Holdings partners Dan Boeckman and Gregg Greene.

The $200 million tower will have about 110 condos, starting at more than $1 million. Museum Tower is the tallest Downtown building constructed since the 55-story Chase Tower was completed in 1987. And it’s one of the tallest buildings under construction in the country.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Receives Top Honors from International Downtown Association

DDI wins IDA Merit Award for Downtown Dallas 360 Plan & the Retail Activation Strategy 

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) is being honored by the International Downtown Association (IDA) after receiving a Merit Award for its work on the Downtown Dallas 360 Plan and the Main Street District Retail Activation Strategy. 

Every year IDA Achievement Awards features innovative best practices projects from Downtown Associations around the world. These projects are creative, diverse and present the best and brightest in leadership, public space and economic development. 

“It’s wonderful news and well deserved based on the time, effort and results we are already seeing with 360,” said John F. Crawford, DDI President & CEO. “This is the perfect example of what can occur through public/private partnerships.” 

DDI collaborated with the City of Dallas to create Downtown Dallas 360. This strategic, action –oriented development plan addresses public spaces, transit and transit oriented development, a long-term parking strategy, creating housing for all income levels, adding retail to the city’s core and making stronger physical connections between Downtown’s fifteen Districts. The plan focuses in large part on how Downtown should look and function in the future, and specifically how to get there. 

DDI will be honored next month at an award’s ceremony at this year’s IDA Annual Conference and Tradeshow to be held in Charlotte, NC.  DDI has won IDA awards in years past in Community Development for the Universities Center at Dallas; Business and Economic Development for the original Main Street District Retail Plan; and Marketing for the Where’s Your D Spot Marketing Campaign.

DDI’s Newest Addition Doesn’t Mind Getting His Hands Dirty

Dustin Bullard was selected as the Cityscape and Urban Design Manager for Downtown Dallas, Inc. in March 2011. The first position of its kind within the organization, it combines both Dustin’s efforts and his passion concerning Downtown’s revitalization, which he has been actively engaged in since 2004.

Prior to his appointment, Bullard served as a Landscape Architect with La Terra Studio, a downtown-based design firm. Within this role, he actively engaged with his clients in order to successfully execute designs from his drawing board to their ribbon cutting. Primarily tasked with the design of municipal parks and public spaces, he quickly learned the importance of balanced budgets, forward thinking and the formation of relationships with clients along with construction and park staff members.

As Cityscape and Urban Design Manager, Dustin is tasked with the active cleanliness, maintenance and improvement of Downtown’s public spaces.

An active member of the Downtown Resident’s Council for the last six years, Bullard has advocated for the requests of his neighbors; recently, he lobbied for the implementation of a litter and waste public campaign to help improve their space. In addition, Dustin served on two input committees, starting in 2010, to establish the Downtown Dallas 360 Plan and Main Street Retail Activation Strategy. The experience gave Dustin an understanding and familiarity that will help him settle into his new position.

Dustin graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor degree of Landscape Architecture from Texas Tech University in 2004, where he also served as Student Chapter President of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

A Message from the CEO: Quick Wins and Bold Ideas will Shape the Future of Downtown Dallas

Members, supporters and friends of Downtown Dallas, Inc.,

What was presented to this year’s sold out, record breaking crowd at our Annual Meeting on Februrary 16 was Downtown Dallas 360 – a roadmap for the next phase of Downtown revitalization, shaped with Quick Wins and Bold Ideas.  However, before we were given this glimpse into the future, I spent some time looking at the state of Downtown today, and reflecting on the last decade’s worth of momentum in our city’s core.

Close your eyes and imagine Downtown just ten years ago.  Our first adaptive re-use residential projects were just opening.  Our city center residential population was just beginning to climb into the thousands.  Nodes like Stone Street Garden were emerging.  Planning efforts such as the Parks Master Plan, the CBD Transportation Plan and the Inside the Loop Committee initiatives were just commencing.  It was a time, similar today, full of vision, strategy and promise.

Now open your eyes to the reality that exists today, to the community that has been built in Downtown Dallas.  More than 2 billion dollars has been invested in the heart of our city.  We have witnessed the residential population grow in the Central Business District to over 7,000.  Throughout all of Downtown we have more than 35,000 people living. Our employment population holds strong at 135,000, and we continue to be the largest workforce in North Texas.  Kicking off in 2007 with announcements by 7-Eleven and Comerica Bank, followed by AT&T in 2008, we’ve seen more than 60 companies relocate back to the city center, absorbing more than 2 and a half million square feet of space.

Landmark projects with decades of promise are now complete or underway.  The AT&T Performing Arts Center brought us one step closer to completing the Dallas Arts District master plan.  Woodall Rodgers Park now shows visible signs of progress with beams stretched across the canyon freeway.  The first Calatrava bridge is complete, changing the Dallas skyline forever, and the Omni Dallas Convention Center hotel is within just a year of opening, putting Dallas back on the map as a top tier convention destination.  And the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, a spectacular showcase, is well underway.

Residents, employees and visitors relax and recreate at Main Street Garden.  Belo Garden is under construction.  First Baptist Church of Dallas is in the midst of a $130 million renovation. The Dallas Arts District drew more than one million visitors last year.  Have you visited Main Street on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night lately?  The District is buzzing with traffic with people from close and afar visiting our restaurants and entertainment destinations.  And we’ve recently hosted three major national sporting events – the NBA All Star Weekend, the World Series and Super Bowl XLV.  Though the games were played miles away, the spotlight was shining on the Downtown skyline.

DART opened its Green Line in 2010, making it now the largest light rail system in the U.S. And MATA is extending – already underway is the Arts District extension, with funding secured for future expansion to Federal – ultimately connecting Uptown, the Arts District and the Main Street District.

Educational opportunities are increasing Downtown.  With more than 30 schools of varying levels, some of our prized facilities include the University of North Texas System and the Universities Center at Dallas; El Centro Community College and their School of Nursing and Allied Health in the West End.  Booker T. Washington High School continues to turn out record numbers – in 2010 more than $12 million worth of scholarships were awarded to their students.  The Pegasus School for the Liberal Arts and Sciences continues to be ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top ten high schools in the nation, and last year we welcomed Laureate Prep charter school to the West End, a prestigious Uplift Education program.

Indeed, there is much to celebrate as we look back at accomplishments over the decade and Downtown Dallas, Inc. is committed to remaining aggressive and continuing with resolute focus on the betterment of the area.

It is with this commitment that we come to Downtown Dallas 360.

Downtown Dallas 360 has been a full year in the making.  Built by workgroups of property and business owners; large corporations and small businesses; real estate and transportation experts; residents and other 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 is also a prime example of a public-private partnership.  The City of Dallas’ vision served as the catalyst for the project, and since the launch we have worked hand in hand.  I’d like to particularly thank Theresa O’Donnell, Peer Chacko and Karl Zavitkovsky with the City of Dallas, and Kourtny Garrett and Jim Wood with the DDI TEAM for their leadership and guidance of the plan’s creation.  Literally, every city department and DART have been involved, along with the outstanding leadership of the Downtown Dallas 360 Steering Committee.  Our City Council, Mayor and City Manager have been instrumental in providing the support and guidance needed from the public sector to bring such an ambitious city-changing project to fruition.

360 is arguably the most important project for Downtown going forward.  The Plan will guide future investment, development strategies and the activation of our streets in a tangible way for years to come.  It will bring together the vision of the public, private and community sectors under one common goal – to fuel the creation of a 21st century Downtown Dallas.

The future is bright.  All of the statistics, economic and quality of life indicators bode well for Dallas.  According to the Dallas Federal Reserve, Texas is rising above the national average in payroll employment growth, we sit well below the national average in unemployment, construction contract values showed growth at the end of 2010, home sales are beginning to rise, and Texas exports are raising while the rest of the nation experiences declines.  With over-regulation and increasing taxes to our north, east and west, the market is funneling toward Texas, and even more so toward Dallas…and Downtown.

With Quick Wins and Bold Ideas, Downtown Dallas 360, along with the daily stewardship of the Downtown environment by our organization, we will move into the next year (and next decade!) with strategic, thoughtful development.  Our ultimate vision will continue to develop into reality – a thriving, vibrant and sustainable Downtown Dallas.

As goes Downtown, so goes Dallas!

John Crawford

The Westbound Lanes of Woodall Rodgers Will Close at Various Times This Weekend

This is a special message from the Downtown Emergency Response Team.

The contractor, Archer Western, contracted by The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to construct the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park, will close the westbound main lanes of Woodall Rodgers Freeway at various times to through traffic this weekend. Additionally, the eastbound and westbound frontage roads will be closed for a period of time on Sunday. This is the third and final closure this month with two more expected in March for this activity. These closures are necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public during the complex operations involved in the placing of beams for the project. The beams serve as the base of the park located above the freeway. The three main closures are detailed below:

1. The westbound mainlanes of Woodall Rodgers Freeway will be closed at midnight late on Saturday (early Sunday), February 26, 2011. The mainlanes will be reopened by 5 a.m. on Monday morning, February 28, 2011.

2. At 10 a.m. on Sunday morning, February 27, 2011, the eastbound and westbound frontage roads of Woodall Rodgers will be closed between Olive Street and St. Paul. Eastbound motorists will be detoured south on Akard, then east on Ross, then back north on Olive Street, back to the eastbound frontage road. Westbound motorists will be detoured north on Olive, then west on McKinney, then back south on Akard Street, back to the westbound frontage road. The frontage road closures will reopen late Sunday, February 27, 2011, at 7 p.m.

3. St. Paul Street will be reduced to one lane between McKinney and the eastbound frontage from 7 a.m. on Sunday and re-open at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Both southbound US 75 traffic and northbound I-45 traffic bound for westbound Woodall Rodgers will be detoured to westbound I-30. Motorists should seek alternate routes to navigate to their destinations through downtown Dallas this weekend.

-City of Dallas OEM

Quick Wins & Bold Ideas – Celebrating the Completion & Launch of Downtown Dallas 360

Downtown Dallas Inc. is touting quick wins and bold ideas for a new and improved Downtown. DDI President & CEO John Crawford, DDI Board Chair Shelle Sills and Downtown Dallas 360 consultants Daniel Iacofano and Chris Beynon gave a sold out crowd a sneak peek of an action plan that will provide a blueprint for Downtown revitalization at the DDI Annual Meeting & Luncheon, earlier this month.

From economic development and housing, to public space, transit, and parking, Downtown Dallas 360 outlines key strategies and specific recommendations that will ensure continued development of a vibrant and sustainable Downtown.

“The Plan will guide future investment, development strategies and the activation of our streets in a tangible way for years to come” said Crawford.  “It will bring together the vision of the public, private and community sectors under one common goal – to fuel the creation of a 21st century Downtown Dallas.”

The plan is based on five strategies to expand downtown transit, beautify streets and public spaces, achieve great urban design, expand affordable housing and revamp parking access. The plan includes investment in light rail and streetcar systems and the development of surrounding areas to promote pedestrian traffic.

Some of the areas targeted include the Farmers Market, the Lamar Corridor near the Convention Center, Reunion/Union Station, the South Arts District and the Main Street District. The plan will be supported through public-private partnerships.

O Tannenbaum!

Downtown Dallas, Inc. has re-erected a 65‐foot metal sculpted holiday tree at Main Street Garden. It was unveiled last Saturday, during City Lights, the annual kick off to the holiday season in downtown Dallas.

The tree will be up from November 20, 2010 – December 31, 2010. Throughout the holiday season it will be programmed with light shows and other festive programs. Please bring your family and friends.

TREE FACTS:

  • Metal tree frame architecture designed by Thomas Balsley the lead designer and landscape architect of Main Street Garden.
  • Lighting design by Excitement Technologies and Light Switch, the famed creator of the lights at Millennium Park.
  • Stands 65‐feet tall, with a five‐foot rotating illuminant star adorning its crown. It is strung with 10,000 feet of LED lights.
  • The largest ornament is 4 feet tall.
  • Dine inside the tree! A 500 square foot “room” inside the tree will provide a unique event space and light perspective for those wanting to throw a dazzling dinner party during the holiday season.
  • The lights will be programmed to dance and sparkle in custom programmed light shows that will play throughout the holiday season.
  • A crane will be used for the final erection of the tree at Main Street Garden beginning November 16. It is too tall to fully build at the Coliseum!
  • The Tree’s construction, spearheaded by Downtown Dallas, Inc. was a collective effort of Dallas area businesses, the City of Dallas and members of the Downtown community who wished to contribute to this spectacular icon as a civic venture…making it truly a priceless gift to the city.
    • The tree was sculpted and welded by the City of Dallas Park Department welding shop
    • The tree’s light design was contributed by LightSwitch, the famed creator of the lights at Millennium Park
    • Landscape architect Thomas Balsley designed the tree
    • Corgan Media Lab designed the ornaments, and is creating a time‐lapse video of the tree’s construction
    • Holly Metal Fabricators donated a significant portion of the metal as well as fabrication labor of the ornaments
    • Excitement Technologies Group has donated countless hours of labor, materials, construction management and final production of the tree, in addition to being the master‐minds behind the spectacular light show