Enhanced Services from Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) continues to observe, listen, and respond to the needs and concerns of Downtown. The below highlights are enhancements to DDI services that have already been implemented or will be implemented next week.

PUBLIC SAFETY + HOMELESS OUTREACH

  • Daily hours for the Downtown Safety Patrol are from 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. DDI is providing additional security coverage at Main Street Garden, Belo Garden, and Pegasus Plaza from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at each location (168 hours of weekly additional security presence).
  • There is now a dedicated off-duty DPD officer at Main Street Garden daily (four-hour shifts / 28 hours per week).  Also, DDI is providing additional DPD patrols and resources weekly in Downtown.  As a reminder, DDI already funds off-duty DPD officers seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • City of Dallas Park Department has increased their deployment of Park Rangers to provide additional patrols throughout Downtown parks.
  • Safety Patrol is adding 18 new full-time security professionals.
  • Homeless Outreach Team has grown to three members (Manager, Coordinator, and Street Outreach Specialist). This team dedicates over 80 hours a week to meaningful engagements with individuals experiencing homelessness. Within the last 45 – 60 days, DDI’s outreach team has successfully connected 17 individuals experiencing homelessness to long-term service recovery programs.
  • We have launched the Homeless Fellowship Program by hiring an individual who is sheltered at The Bridge Transitional Unit as an independent contractor to join the DDI Street Outreach Team during engagements with shelter-resistant individuals.
  • DDI continues to work with the City, surrounding neighborhoods, and scooter operators to address concerns related to scooter operations throughout the area. DDI is hopeful that additional information regarding scooter operations will be communicated next week.

CLEANING + MAINTENANCE

  • Daily hours for the Clean Team are 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Clean Team has added three new full-time positions.
  • Clean Team continues to provide sanitization of high-touch items in the public space and parks such as tables, benches, playgrounds, and trash receptacles.
  • DDI is providing funding to double the frequency of our power washing contractors’ efforts, and will be purchasing additional power washing equipment for Clean Team to begin utilizing on an on-call basis starting in September. As a reminder, DDI already provides over 250,000 square feet of power washing each month; this enhancement will ensure roughly 500,000 square feet of sidewalks are washed monthly. Pressure washing services are provided throughout Downtown with a focus on pedestrian corridors. Additionally, Clean Team will begin daily washing of hot spots as needed.
  • DDI has purchased and is installing 16 park rules signs that are being deployed to Pacific Plaza, Main Street Garden, Pegasus Plaza, and Belo Garden. Expect to see increased enforcement of park rules.

These are just a few of the enhanced services you will see from DDI immediately. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming plans and enhanced programs next week! As always, report issues as you see them right from your phone on the See Say Now app, available on Android and iPhone. You can also reach dispatch at 214.741.1151. Have ideas or feedback? Email us at info@downtowndallas.com.

Guest Blog from Parks for Downtown Dallas: Interactive Water Table in West End Square Will Change Modes Based on Dallas Weather

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What was once a parking lot in the West End Historic District will soon be home to the second of our four priority parks: West End Square. The site is bound by North Market, Corbin and North Record streets, as well as the previous Spaghetti Warehouse building, placing it front-and-center in a truly iconic part of the city.

For James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), the landscape architecture firm leading the project, balancing that rich history with a cutting-edge park became a top priority early in the design process. The firm has designed a flexible public space that uses technologies to support park maintenance and operations, reinforcing the West End’s emerging identity as Dallas’ Innovation District.

Among the amenities, which include an outdoor workroom, prairie gardens, porch swings and game tables, will be a standout water feature unlike anything JCFO has designed before. Known as the Water Table, this feature will measure roughly 20 feet by 11 feet and will be made of Mesabi Black granite—but the basic specs are just the beginning. What really makes this feature one-of-a-kind is its dynamic modes of operation, each corresponding to a different weather pattern.

“The weather in Dallas can be quite dramatic with very still days, framed by the warm glow of the Texan sun, to dramatic storms and very dry, hot days,” says Isabel Castilla, JCFO’s Principal-in-Charge for the project. “We wanted to design a feature that would enhance the visitor’s experience by providing a unique and changing experience as people visit the project during different times of the day and across the seasons.”

To keep up with the forecast, the Table will have three distinct modes. On calm days, it will serve as a reflecting pool; on windy days, it will have bubblers; and on particularly hot days, it will create a cloud mist with potable water for cooling. The decisions about which modes to use were not made lightly. When planning, JCFO felt it was important to take in the larger surroundings and how they could be best framed through the use of the Water Table.

“We worked closely with GPSI, the water feature engineers, to arrive at a number of effects that would visibly interact with the weather, and by doing so, make visitors aware of their immediate environment,” she explains. “For example, a reflecting pool for still days would frame the sky and large canopy trees above.”

But what makes this feature technologically exciting is that it can toggle through its three modes automatically, as well as be controlled remotely, thanks to weather sensors built into the design. In other words, when the wind picks up in the area, anemometers can detect the breeze and immediately trigger the bubblers.

Though the feature was uniquely designed for West End Square, New-York-City-based JCFO did pull inspiration from popular past projects, including a potable water mist at Brooklyn’s Domino Park and a sundeck water amenity at New York City’s High Line.

The Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) Foundation made a $300,000 gift to ensure that this park element becomes a reality. “The DDI Foundation is pleased to make its very first grant to Parks for Downtown Dallas and West End Square. This water feature will make this public space both unique and welcoming to everyone living, visiting and working in Downtown” says Kourtny Garrett, CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc.

Construction for West End Square, which kicked off at the beginning of this year, is slated for completion in early 2021. Once finished, it will mark the end of an almost 20-year process, beginning when the area was first identified as a priority park site by the 2004 Downtown Parks Master Plan.

Which of the three Water Table modes are you most excited to experience firsthand? Share your thoughts with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

John Crawford: The Connected City—A Design Challenge

D Real Estate Daily: Blog

As the region’s greatest natural asset, the Trinity River Corridor has the potential to transform Dallas like virtually no other project in our history, or our future. Though a long-term vision, tangible progress on its redevelopment is evidenced by the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge, Audubon Center, Santa Fe Tressle Trail, Great Trinity Forest Gateway and Horse Trails, Moore Park Gateway and Pavilion, 10K Levee-Top Trail, Trinity Overlook, and the ongoing work on the Standing Wave. In addition, ancillary development has been catalyzed:  Trinity Groves and west Dallas have become one of Dallas’ emerging neighborhoods, and significant land plays have been made along Riverfront Boulevard. As the front yard to the core of downtown, how the Central Business District connects to, and interacts with, the Trinity is critical, to say the least.

Downtown Dallas 360, our strategic development plan guiding the collective vision for the future of downtown, identifies the “Reunion/Union Station” district as one of five key focus areas. The stated opportunity: “Establish a landmark mixed-use office and residential district that connects the Trinity River Corridor to the downtown core.” Yet, as the plan also presents, it is an area faced with great challenge: “Although it has many acres of developable land, the [area] is challenged with topographic changes, two viaducts, and a freeway interchange that prohibit the site from functioning as a contiguous district.”

So how do we reconcile the opportunity with the challenge in order to connect downtown with the region’s greatest natural asset? That is the question that spurred DDI’s commitment to the Connected City.

The Connected City Design Challenge is an open call for urban design strategies to connect the core of Downtown Dallas and the Trinity River. Run by the Dallas CityDesign Studio, in partnership with The Trinity Trust, DDI, and The Real Estate Council, the Challenge seeks bold solutions from professional designers, students and citizens. With two streams of entries, professional and open, a “no boundaries” approach is encouraged. Thus far in the process, the professional stream submission process in under way, with over 30 entries from across the globe submitted, narrowed down to three finalists who will be in Dallas this month for further work.

The process of first-round qualification review was fascinating. In addition to logical criterion like project team experience, diversity, and relevant work, two key benchmarks arose in the context of our mission at DDI and implementation of Downtown Dallas 360.

Can this team balance innovation with context? This is a challenge that will require a grand solution, a “bold move,” per the 360 directive. We have entertained planners from throughout the world over the years, and many have commented that they’ve never encountered obstacles of such proportion. A traditional project approach just won’t do. However, the grand gesture must also fit within the context of those things that define us as a city—a place that exudes great bravado while opening its arms with a warm, southern welcome. The final solution must also communicate between two highly contrasting environments, the intensity of the Central Business District’s built environment and the organic softness of the Trinity River.

Can this team create people places? To us, as the management entity of downtown Dallas, the actual use of the space is critical. Too often we have seen form trump function, leading to aesthetically stunning structures that are … lifeless. Downtowns, by definition, are about bustle, activity, community, and the convergence of neighborhoods and culture. One of the transformative strategies presented in Downtown Dallas 360 clearly addresses this principle, “Create vibrant streets and public spaces.” The tactics contained therein include: programming parks and plazas, enhancing streetscapes, increasing street vendors, and putting an outdoor café just about anywhere there is opportunity. The vision for the Trinity River Corridor certainly creates these vibrant places—many of which are beginning to come to fruition—therefore, its connection to downtown must do the same.

We’ve witnessed what the mending of two urban neighborhoods with an activated public space can do in the short time since Klyde Warren Park’s opening. People have been brought together, not just to visit the attraction, but to integrate experiences on both sides of the former chasm between the Central Business District and Uptown, spurring social and economic growth. The same opportunity, magnified one-hundred-fold, lies ahead when we connect the core of downtown Dallas with the Trinity River.
For more information on The Connected City, including upcoming lectures and related events, visit http://www.connectedcitydesign.com.

John F. Crawford is president and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc. Contact him at crawford@downtowndallas.org.Image

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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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”? 

Belo Garden is Coming Together

Belo Garden opens this spring and I already like what I see. I drive by it every morning on my way to work and seeing it come together has been such a treat.

As you can see, the sign appeared a couple of weeks ago and I just had to share a recent picture of it!

Opening plans are in the works and we look forward to the opening of another wonderful greenspace in Downtown. Stay tuned!

Many thanks to Thomas Hubaceck with the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department for sharing this picture.

Have You Seen our new Vehicle Wraps?

DDI worked with a local vehicle wrap company to create custom graphic wraps for its 2 pickup trucks, 1 large water truck and fleet of 7 sidewalk/street sweepers. These custom graphics reflect the new DDI brand and reinforce that the Clean Team is a DDI program.

Over the past month, crews removed mistletoe from trees throughout the Downtown. A majority of mistletoe removed was along Young from

Ervay to Houston, Griffin from Ross to Woodall Rodgers and areas throughout the West End. Mistletoe is a type of parasite.  Mistletoe grows on a wide range of host trees and commonly reduces tree growth and can kill them with heavy infestation.

We want to thank the Dallas Citizen Foresters for helping us trim all the trees at Main Street Garden. We will continue to work with these folks and we’re already planning a second pruning event with them in the spring.

Finally, we are working with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department in a citywide effort to keep parks clean. It’s My Park Day will be Saturday, March 31st from 9 a.m. – noon. We’ll plant new ground cover, shrubs & seasonal color at Pegasus Plaza. Please bring your own work gloves. All other tools & supplies will be provided, including bottled water! Volunteers rsvp today: www.facebook.com/events/330796720289106/http://www.facebook.com/events/330796720289106/

Downtown Dallas Fall 2011 Wrap-up

We’ve been running around like zombies but not because of Halloween. We’ve been working hard to make Downtown FUN! It all started late last month with a new TX/OU tradition thanks to Downtown Dallas, Inc. and Mike Hoque’s DRG Concepts. Football & BBQ – what a winning combination, if we do say so ourselves!

We put a couple of Texas pitmasters up against some Oklahoma pitmasters before the big game. In the end we had Fort Worth’s Cousin’s competing against Leo’s from Oklahoma City and Cousin’s came up victorious, winning the title of Ultimate Pitmaster.

By all accounts, the first-ever Red River Rivalry BBQ Shootout was a tremendous success, bringing over 1500 people downtown for community and good food!

Earlier this month we started the Pegasus Plaza Outdoor Markets and the Fall Movies Series. Today is actually your last chance to enjoy the markets and tomorrow is your last chance to pack a picnic and watch a movie at Main Street Garden.

The Outdoor Markets have been very successful and we want to thank all of the vendors who made it a grand success. We want to especially thank YOU for coming out, spending time with neighbors and supporting these local vendors.  These outdoor markets have created great community and we will hope to explore similar endeavors.

Earlier this week we had our 360 Community Forum and Reception. We began the evening with a quick update on Downtown Dallas 360. You may recall the City approved the plan in April. After the update, attendees were treated to yummy street vending, music, art and cocktails, as we activated Browder Plaza. This temporary urban space is an indication of what’s to come as we complete those “quick wins” laid out in the Downtown Dallas 360 plan.  Whew, what a ride. Again, pardon us if we look like zombies… Fall is almost over!

P.S.  Many thanks to Jaime Clintsman & Dustin Bullard for working day and night to make Downtown FUN!

 

Two Major Downtown Groundbreakings Call for Celebration

Downtown Dallas, Inc., the City of Dallas, Forest City Residential and Hamilton Properties invited the public for a celebration to announce the redevelopment of the Continental Building and Lone Star Gas Lofts. These projects are bringing new vibrancy to this southeastern quadrant of Downtown.

“This area of Downtown is becoming a prime destination and these new projects are going to add to the momentum,” said John Crawford, President & CEO, Downtown Dallas, Inc.

With existing assets such as Main Street Garden, the UNT System, the Mercantile on Main (Element), Comerica Bank Tower, Dallas Chop House, Wild Salsa and the soon to be developed Statler Hilton, this southeastern quadrant is one of Downtown’s fastest growing areas.

“We thank everyone at Forest City and Hamilton Properties for investing in Downtown,” said Crawford. “We are grateful

for their continued support in making Downtown a world premiere destination to live, work and play.”

The Continental Building, developed by Forest City will provide 203 apartment homes; 41 apartment homes are



 designated as affordable housing for families earning 80% of Area Median Income.

“We’re excited to begin construction and bring new life to the historic Continental building,” said Jim

Truitt, senior vice president of development, Forest City Texas. “This dynamic residential building will continue the momentum of Downtown Dallas while invigorating a piece of the city’s urban fabric for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.”

The Lone Star Gas Lofts, formerly the Atmos Complex, developed by Hamilton Properties will bring 230 new affordable loft apartments. Mayor Mike Rawlings praised Hamilton Properties, Forest City, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for bringing new affordable housing Downtown.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Rawlings. “This is all about how government and private enterprise work together.”

The redevelopments also will act as connectors bringing the Main Street District and Farmers Market together.

“This is about knitting our neighborhoods back together again,” said Councilmember Angela Hunt.

Main Street Garden Creates Community Downtown

Main Street Garden will be celebrating its two-year anniversary this fall and we continue to enjoy the added value it brings to Downtown. Earlier this month Main Street Garden hosted two big events: Salutation Nation and the YMCA Healthy Night Out. The park saw some 500 people that day, and not all of them were Downtown residents. In fact, I would venture to say many came from outside of Downtown to participate in these wonderful events.

Salutation Nation is a national event that highlights the health benefits of yoga. Main Street Garden hosted some 200 yogis, as they simultaneously rolled out their yoga mats with other yogis across the country.

They YMCA Healthy Night Out brought some 300 people as they celebrated healthy lifestyles. Families participated in adult & children’s yoga, zumba and more. The YMCA also is hosting the Outdoor Fall Sports Leagues at Main Street Garden. All are welcome, including corporate teams! Individuals or teams can sign up to play Kickball or Wiffle Ball. For more information about playing in the leagues call 972.560.3888 or email bdance@ymcadallas.org .

Come out and see what everyone is talking about including the Dallas Observer, which just named the Lily Pad Café at Main Street Garden the Best Place to Enjoy Downtown. The Observer also recognized the Homegrown Music & Art Festival, which all takes place at Main Street Garden.