Old 97’s to host inaugural “county fair” and concert in Downtown Dallas in April

January 19, 2016

Received a slightly confusing email this morning from the Homegrown Festival folks announcing an Old 97’s “county fair” taking place in April at Main Street Garden. For a second there, thought this was Homegrown — the seventh, by my math. Made sense: That annual wingding’s usually in May, after all. Moving it up a month seemed perfectly reasonable.

But, no. Homegrown’s still on the calendar: May 14, with a dozen “acts with ties to the state of Texas” still awaiting their formal bow in coming weeks. (Headliners aren’t usually announced till February, so patience, patience.)


This 97’s thing — complete with a Ferris wheel — is a completely separate event. Which means you get two outdoor downtown concerts in the span of a few weeks come springtime. A win-win. And this 97’s county fair will be the first but not the last: The release that went out this morning refers to it as the “inaugural.”


As you can see, the line-up’s top-notch and includes the Drive-by Truckers, Lucero, Deer Tick, Justin Townes Earle, Nikki Lane, Brent Best (on and off of Slobberbone) and Madison King. An all-day, all-night, drink-responsibly affair. With rides. Midway games. And a Ferris wheel.

Says the release, “Old 97’s County Fair is poised to become one of the marquee outdoor events in Dallas.” I can live with that.

Tickets are $35, with VIP admission a round $100. They’ll be available here. At some point.

As reported by the Dallas Morning News: http://www.guidelive.com/music/2016/01/19/old-97s-host-inaugural-county-fair-concert-downtown-dallas-april

DDI Installs LED Pedestrian Lights

January 18, 2016

Downtown Dallas, Inc. recently paid for two new LED pedestrian lights to be installed on Akard between Commerce and Main Streets.  As part of this project, the pedestrian lights on Akard between Main and Elm Streets were repaired as well.



The Fifteen: January 14, 2016

January 15, 2016

Check out this week’s edition of The Fifteen newsletter!


Farmers Market Stakeholders Association Elects 2016 Officers and Directors

January 15, 2016

Farmers Market Stakeholders Association Elects 2016 Officers and Directors

Dallas, January 14, 2016 – The members of the Farmers Market Stakeholders Association elected officers and directors for 2016. The newly elected officers and directors are a mix of property owners, business owners and neighborhood residents.

The officers are Marilyn Pippin, Hopkins Public Relations, president and board member; George (Rob) Robinson, neighborhood resident, treasurer and board member; and Matthew Vermillion, neighborhood resident, secretary and board member. The four additional board members elected are Ed Lopategui, resident; Craig Melde,ARCHITEXAS; Mike Ruibal, Ruibal’s Plants of Texas; and Tanya Ragan, Wildcat Management.

“It has been an honor and incredible journey to serve as president of FMSA since its inception.  I am confident that Marilyn Pippin will do a wonderful job as the new president, and take the organization and membership forward,” outgoing president Tanya Ragan said. “The friendships, camaraderie and teamwork it took to convince the city that our side of town had potential, could be privatized and could be revitalized show what a community can do. It is amazing what we have accomplished together!”

In 2015 FMSA again saw progress in improving the quality of life in the district. The following are milestones for 2015:

  • Encore Community Garden & Encore Amphitheater were both completed.
  • The Market (formerly Shed 2) at Dallas Farmers Market was completed.
  • FMSA worked closely with DART staff, city staff and area stakeholders to have the planned D2 DART Rail Line routed along Jackson, saving area homes, a church and local businesses.
  • FMSA advocated for increased police presence during the evening hours.  Dallas Police Department added a 1st Watch Shift on December 2, 2015.  Prior to this, Dallas Central Business District was the only major city in Texas without 24/7 police coverage.
  • National Night Out & District 2 Senior Brunch had record attendance.
  • Plans for Harwood Park were announced and Belo donated $30M towards downtown parks.
  • Mayor Rawlings addressed the homeless failure at the Downtown Dallas Inc. Annual Meeting and the need for additional homeless shelters outside of downtown.
  • The Verizon cell tower location was placed on hold and area stakeholders stepped forward with building rooftop alternatives to ensure the cell tower would not be placed on street level.
  • Farmers Market Stakeholders Association surpassed 5,000 followers on its Facebook page, surpassing the goal of reaching 3,500 by year end.  The group’s following is growing organically through sharing and social engagement.
  • Farmers Market Stakeholders Association participated in the Downtown Dallas 360 Plan Initiatives.
  • Alta Farmers Market Apartments was completed, Alliance’s Broadstone Apartments started construction and Farmers Market Square is building their final townhomes.

“Great things are happening in the Farmers Market district for businesses, residents and visitors,” Marilyn Pippin said. “I look forward to continuing to serve the community and being part of the progress.”

The Farmers Market Stakeholders Association is a group of businesses, property owners and residents from the Farmers Market District who are interested in revitalizing the market and its neighborhood.  A non-profit, volunteer organization, FMSA was created to promote public safety, crime prevention, neighborhood revitalization, improved economic conditions, quality of life and property values for area businesses and property owners.

For more information, contact: Marilyn Pippin, Marilyn@hopkinspr.com. 214-826-0670.

AT&T Launches Smart Cities Framework With New Strategic Alliances, Spotlight Cities, And Integrated Vertical Solutions

January 5, 2016

AT&T Launches Smart Cities Framework With New Strategic Alliances, Spotlight Cities, And Integrated Vertical Solutions


DALLAS, Jan. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T* is building a framework to help cities better serve their citizens. We’re using Internet of Things (IoT) innovations to create impactful solutions for cities and forming alliances with technology leaders and industry organizations.

AT&T has formed alliances with Cisco, Deloitte, Ericsson, GE, IBM, Intel, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to help support the new framework, building more connected communities.

We will bring the smart cities framework to several initial spotlight cities and universities that include Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chicago and Dallas.

Atlanta is a great city and, thanks to our collaboration with AT&T, it will soon be a smarter city,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. “Improving sustainability and increasing public safety are already top priorities for the City of Atlanta. With the integration of AT&T’s Smart City solutions, we will be better positioned to support these initiatives while also enriching the lives of our residents.”

Atlanta has long demonstrated how private-public relationships enabled the city to serve as an innovator in many areas of technology and society,” said Steve Cross, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech.Georgia Tech is excited to bring its research competencies to work with the city, AT&T as well as other companies, NGOs, and education organizations to set the standard for building a smart cities framework.”

“From water system sensors to advanced analytics and energy efficiency efforts, Chicago has already taken steps to become a Smart City,” said Brenna Berman, CIO of the City of Chicago. “We are excited to team with AT&T, a leader in Internet of Things solutions, to help us harness the power of near real-time information to create a safer, cleaner and more efficient city.”

“The Dallas Innovation Alliance is thrilled to work with AT&T on its smart city initiatives for the city of Dallas,” said Trey Bowles, cofounder of the Dallas Innovation Alliance. “The DIA was established to gather the expertise and perspectives of public, private and academic institutions. By working closely with the mayor, city manager, CIO, key non-profit and industry leaders, we look forward to building a holistic approach to smart cities beginning in the West End Historic District in Downtown Dallas.”

“We’ve built strong relationships with cities across the U.S. for over 100 years,” said Mike Zeto, general manager of Smart Cities, AT&T IoT Solutions. “We’re continuing to be a leader in smart cities innovation. Our holistic strategy can help cities save money, conserve energy, improve quality of life, and further engage with their citizens.”

IoT Innovations

We already help communities solve problems with solutions that connect utility meters, street lights, and water systems. The new framework adds several new categories:

  • Infrastructure – Cities are able to remotely monitor the conditions of roads, bridges, buildings, parks and other venues. Maintenance crews can identify slick roadways during freezing weather or detect bridges that may need repairs.
  • Citizen Engagement – Mobile apps give people information to stay better prepared. For example, you can be notified in near real-time if a traffic light isn’t working on your route. You can also remotely view parking meters and reserve spaces ahead of time.
  • Transportation – Digital signage lets commuters know in near real-time when the next bus or train will arrive. People can rent electric bikes at stations across the city to reduce traffic.
  • Public Safety – Cities can better manage traffic patterns of pedestrians at stadiums, parks, and busy intersections. Gun fire detection technology helps law enforcement know where a shooting occurred. It also helps them determine the number of people involved and rounds fired.

AT&T is also developing a new digital dashboard that gives cities a high-level look at their communities’ conditions. The Smart City Network Operation Center (SC-NOC) offers cities a dashboard view of how assets are performing in near-real time. City officials can keep tabs on power outages, water leaks, traffic issues, and more – all from one location.

We’ve recently joined Envision America, a new smart cities program under Envision Charlotte, helping cities become smarter and driving technologies that tackle energy, water, waste, and air challenges. We continue to lead organizations in this space such as the Dallas Innovation Alliance, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Smart Cities Council.

The AT&T Foundry for IoT innovation center in Plano, TX also helps foster collaboration to advance cutting-edge smart city technologies. The company will demo several smart cities solutions at the AT&T Developer Summit Jan. 4-5 in Las Vegas.

AT&T has created a new report to share how businesses can best use the Internet of Things to help cut costs, grow revenues, boost efficiency and satisfy customers. To learn more about IoT’s potential, download the report here or visit www.att.com/iot.

Stay up to date on the latest news at CES by following along with these hashtags: #ATTDevSummit, #ATTVegas, #CES2016, #IoT

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services. We’re the world’s largest provider of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. In the U.S., our wireless network has the nation’s strongest 4G LTE signal and most reliable 4G LTE. We offer the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider*. And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with our mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.

Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at http://about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.

© 2016 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Signal strength and reliability claims based on nationwide carriers’ 4G LTE. Signal strength claim based ONLY on avg. 4G LTE signal strength. 4G LTE not available everywhere.

*Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. International service required.  Coverage not available in all areas. Coverage may vary per country and be limited/restricted in some countries.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140408/CG99935LOGO


DDI President & CEO John Crawford Named to the Dallas 500 2016

January 4, 2016

A big congratulations to our President & CEO, John Crawford, on being named to D CEO’s inaugural edition of Dallas 500 2016, a list of the most powerful business leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth!  The Dallas 500 is the region’s new and highly selective biographical database of the people who really run Dallas-Fort Worth business, based on extensive contacts in North Texas business circles, hundreds of interviews, and months of research.

A copy of The Dallas 500 can be purchased here: http://productions.dmagazine.com/content/the-dallas-500/

EarthWater Kicks Off 2106 with “Back the Blue with Black” Campaign

January 4, 2016
1,000 Bottles of FulHum donated to Dallas Police Department and Distributed by Non Profit – Downtown Dallas, Inc.


Jan. 2, 2016 / PRZen / DALLAS — EarthWater, Inc. (www.EarthWater.com), a manufacturer of high alkaline mineral infused beverages under the brand “FulHum” (www.FulHum.com), announced today the Company has donated 1,000 Bottles of FulHum to the Men and Women of the Dallas Police Department. This donation was made in conjunction with the nonprofit organization “Downtown Dallas,” the principal advocate, champion and steward that will be handling the distribution of FulHum to the members of the Dallas Law Enforcement Community.

EarthWater Chairman, CJ Comu, stated, “We are delighted to make this contribution to the Men & Women of the Dallas Police Department that work tirelessly to provide law & order in our community. We are also very proud to collaborate with the Non Profit ‘Downtown Dallas’ in our effort to give back to the community to help Law Enforcement stay: Rehydrated, Replenished and Recovered during their time at work. We support the motto, ‘Back the Blue’ with our outstanding Black Colored FulHum Beverage.”

FulHum is manufactured & bottled in Dallas, TX. FulHum is 100% USDA registered organic with ZERO: Sugars, Calories, Carbohydrates, or Chemicals. FulHum is originated from “Fulvic and Humic” trace minerals that represent the DNA of all of our food groups, and is the main natural component of our 100% natural, high alkaline mineral-enriched beverage. The proprietary FulHum formula is different from other mineral beverages because it could detoxify free radicals, eliminate harmful pathogens, and improve nutrient absorption all while delivering essential minerals that are limited in daily diets.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Vice President of Marketing, Shalissa Colwell Perry, stated, “Downtown Dallas is proud to partner with EarthWater to provide FulHum, a healthy and unique hydration beverage, to our brave Men and Women in Uniform protecting Dallas.”

Since its creation more than 120 years ago, the Dallas Police Department has created an atmosphere of ethical, caring behavior. The 3,640 sworn officers and 556 civilians who make up the Department take special pride in helping to make Dallas a safe place to live, work and visit. The Men and Women of the Dallas Police Department work with the Citizens of Dallas to provide the highest level of quality, professional service that the City deserves.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2789685#ixzz3wINWZD2g

The Fifteen: New Year’s Edition

December 29, 2015

Check out upcoming New Year’s events! Subscribe to The Fifteen here.

Happy New Year from Downtown Dallas, Inc.!

December 29, 2015

2015 was a great year for Downtown Dallas and as a result, hopefully it was for you too (as goes Downtown So Goes Dallas)!

Downtown Dallas, Inc. values its media partners who help us tell the story of Downtown revitalization each year. Here are a few of the top stories of 2015. If you want more, you can find the Downtown Monthly newsletter archive at www.downtowndallas.com.

Downtown Dallas, Inc. and Dallas Business Journal hosted an informative (and sold out!) panel discussion about Downtown: City Living. Check out the special insert here.

Bisnow called Downtown ‘sexy again’! And provided 8 reasons why Downtown Dallas is the ‘next big thing’.

The Dallas Morning News reported about new jobs being created in Downtown Dallas, along with some high profile relocations.

D Magazine touted more than a few reasons “Why Investors are Flocking to Downtown Dallas

In June, Downtown Dallas, Inc. and the City of Dallas officially kicked off the ‘refresh’ of Downtown Dallas 360 plan. The Downtown Dallas 360 website was launched and over 300 people were in attendance at the kickoff event at the Magnolia and Fuse. Check out the recap here.

And mid-year, Dallas Business Journal printed the annual Downtown Dallas insert, containing information on economic development, Downtown Dallas 360, transportation, emerging economies and a guide to Downtown’s 15 districts.

In June, the original Pegasus was restored and installed at its new home at the Omni Dallas Hotel. As the Pegasus marked the beginning of the next phase of the city’s transformation, The Dallas Morning News featured John Crawford in an article about his vision for the next phase of transformation.

On a hot summer day, CBS DFW braved the heat to come out and report on the residential boom we are seeing Downtown.

Did someone say hotels? The Dallas Morning News reported the news that we have a dozen in the pipeline for Downtown Dallas!

And in case you’ve been living under a rock, CultureMap Dallas reminded readers that there are some pretty good restaurants popping up Downtown Dallas!

And speaking of food, the long awaited opening of The Market (formerly Shed 2), opened for business!

Downtown Dallas, Inc. unveiled a cool new concept for the holidays, featuring lots of pop up retail, pet events, live art and pop up art exhibitions. CultureMap Dallas kept us abreast of the happenings at Unbranded and CBS DFW came out to see what it was all about too! Dallas Innovates launched in December and included this story about Downtown Wanderland!

National Geographic Travel even got in on the action and gave Dallas a visit and had nice things to say!

Want more? Review the Downtown Dallas, Inc. Downtown Monthly newsletter archive for 2015 here. Interested in learning about all development projects happening in the greater Downtown area? Visit the Doing Business section of our website – www.downtowndallas.com.

To say the least, 2015 was a year of investing and reinvesting for Downtown and we do not see any reason why that will change as we move into 2016 with an updated Downtown Dallas 360 plan being completed and paving the way for continued success. Please save the date for our Annual Luncheon Meeting on March 7th. We will have a couple of special guests you do not want to miss who will be sharing their perspective on what makes an ‘urban city’.

All the best for the New Year. The best is yet to come!

DDI Membership Forum & Luncheon: Mayor Rawlings’ State of Downtown Address Recap

December 2, 2015

If you missed our annual membership forum, presented by AT&T, you missed a great event with about 1,200 of our closest friends. Mayor Rawlings gave his annual “State of Downtown Address” to another record breaking crowd at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. He spoke about accomplishments and momentum in the Downtown area over the past 15 years, exciting news for Downtown in the area of public safety, but also challenges and competing interests we face regarding our Trinity River project, balancing new construction and development with historic preservation, the need for more parks and open spaces and the need for growing transportation networks, homeless assistance and public safety, livability and mobility, and the DISD bond election. He applauded the work that the Downtown Dallas 360 team has been doing to reboot Downtown’s strategic plan as incredibly important and that it really speaks to the state of Downtown Dallas in 2015 and what it holds for the future.



Rawlings mentioned too many of them to list here, but some highlights that come to mind are the privatization and redevelopment of the almost complete Dallas Farmers Market (complete with a beer garden!), events like The Reunion, the fact that we have over 60 restaurants opened or opening in Downtown in 2015, the trolley extension into Downtown’s core, the Oak Cliff Street Car completion, D-Link approved for another year of service, and 12 hotels currently under construction (and I might add that hotel occupancy is at an all-time high), and the regular headlines and announcements of new movie theatres, office buildings, and grocery stores. In fact he said,​“You know you’re in Dallas when there’s a building crane on every street corner.” He touted the vibrant activity in the Dallas Arts District, including the recent event, Aurora, which brought over 50,000 visitors to the district (and that he would like to see it happen each year!).


He then teased a big announcement about parks and open spaces, which we found out later that day was an announcement that the Belo Foundation changed their name to Parks for Downtown Dallas and that they will commit up to $30 million in a dollar-for-dollar match to the City of Dallas to help complete the Downtown Parks Master Plan over the next 10 years.


Public Safety

Next, Rawlings noted that none of these achievements would be possible if our citizens did not feel safe living, working, and playing Downtown. He thanked the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, and spoke of making great strides when it comes to public safety across the city, including within the Central Business District (where overall crime in 2014 was down 12 percent when compared to 2010). “There is no question that Chief David Brown has continued to improve upon his predecessor’s success. But he would be one of the first to tell you that we still have room for improvement, which is one of the reasons why he is one of the best Chiefs in America.” Rawlings said it was his collaborative, community-friendly approach that led Chief Brown to support DDI’s request for a first watch. That shift will add 25 more officers to the CBD from the hours of midnight to 8:00 a.m. And we’re all pleased that the “first watch” is actually starting this week, ahead of schedule.



As Rawlings spoke about public safety Downtown, he also pointed out challenges we’re still facing. The first issue is homelessness vs. public safety. He told us it’s time for us to start thinking about an additional homeless assistance center, which has been the plan more than 10 years, as the Bridge cannot be the only resource. He also talked about the need for supportive housing for the homeless. The Continuum of Care Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance is beginning a housing priority list targeting people with the highest level of need for permanent supportive housing. Those are the answers that will help us both grow as a city and take care of our fellow human beings.


“We’ve got to be able to deal with seemingly competing issues, like green space vs. parking lots, D2 line vs. moving buildings or displacing people, highways vs. connectivity and walkability, and development vs. preservation. Rawlings believes the City Council and staff want to work together to find solutions to these issues. They all understand how important the Downtown area is to the rest of the city.


The Trinity River Project

Mayor Rawlings said “There is no greater challenge for our city than what we face with the Trinity River Corridor Project, which will be the most important project in the 21st century. That’s because this is a project that I believe will reshape Dallas for generations to come. It will transform the corridor from solely a floodplain to a grand, uniquely Dallas and easily accessible core space. It will help make the lives of our citizens richer and better. We must endeavor to create something that the world has not seen before, something that attracts new residents and massive economic growth.”


Rawlings has listened to residents and understands they are united around the desire for a grand park. That’s why he recently asked the Trinity Trust Foundation and Deedie and Rusty Rose to contribute to this cause. And thanks to their generosity, Trinity Urban Park planning, including how the park interfaces with the parkway and surrounding neighborhoods, will be privately sponsored by the Trinity Trust, using up to $1 million in contributions from the Roses. The planning will focus specifically between the Margaret Hunt Hill and the Margaret McDermott Bridges.  But we will have to raise a lot of private money…probably over $200 million.  The work has already begun with the Trinity Trust to make that a reality.


​And on the parkway, last year Rawlings and his team convened a “Dream Team” of 12 urban designers, planners, architects, and transportation experts. That team, led by international consultant Larry Beasley, produced a report that included 20 design ideas for the road. They believe in a smaller parkway for this generation; access to the park; landscape and park experience; and building connections to economic development.


A technical committee (many of whom were opposed to the original plan but in favor of the Dream Team plan), working in concert with Sandy Greyson and Jere Thompson, has been hard at work studying how to make the “Dream Team” vision a reality. This is difficult work because it must be executed within the framework of the parkway plan that already has federal government approvals. The key is to bring both sides together on this issue and to make sure we stay true to the vision of the “Dream Team.” It’s a vision that our City Council signaled its support for with a unanimous vote in August to restrict a portion of the parkway to no more than four lanes.


This is all so important because of the huge economic development potential of the Trinity Corridor that is going to drive future growth in and around Downtown. There is so much unused land that – once developed – could provide us with our own Central Park East and West.



Rawlings explained that Downtown Dallas and surrounding neighborhoods are important, but it’s part of a larger city. And what will change all corners of our city in the most significant way is our education system – our public schools. He has wishes for the children of our school district to graduate, go off to college, and come back home to Dallas to live, work, and lead. Since the Mayor spoke about this, the DISD bond narrowly passed. Funds will be used to build new schools, construct additions to existing schools, and enhance libraries, gyms, science labs, technology, fine arts, and more. Downtown Dallas, Inc. will now work very closely with DISD to ensure bringing additional school choices to Downtown Dallas is a top priority.


Downtown Dallas 360

The Mayor reiterated the importance of the Downtown Dallas 360 plan, and closed by talking about how important “infill” projects are, those that will help complete blocks, improve connectivity, and make Downtown a livable place.



As I hope all of you know, we are in the process of updating the Downtown Dallas 360 plan. The plan, originally adopted by Dallas City Council in 2011, is our blueprint to shape the next phase of Downtown revitalization. As a part of the process, we’ve spent the last five months talking to residents, developers, business owners, neighborhood organizations, employees, visitors – just about anyone who has interest – about what they “love about” and “wish for” Downtown. And overwhelmingly, two themes have emerged – livability and mobility – as being top of mind. We have spent the last five months in the community engagement and listening phase and are starting the technical phase of the project now. For more information, visit www.downtowndallas.com and www.downtowndallas360.com


As goes Downtown, so goes Dallas.


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