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

December 21, 2011

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.

Museum Tower Tops Out

December 21, 2011

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.

From our Family to Yours: Happy Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011

John Crawford

Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare.  They are consumed in 12 minutes.  Half-times take 12 minutes.  This is not coincidence!!!!

In our hurry, hurry lifestyle, don’t forget to slow down for just a little while, enjoy all Thanksgiving offers, reflect and be grateful for our many blessings and have some fun.

As the Holiday Season begins (kicked off in fine fashion by over 40,000 people Saturday night with CityLights at Main Street Garden), here’s your thought to get the Season started:  “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late”; wish I could take credit for that thought but it was Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Downtown and DDI are better because of your support and commitment.  We would not be where we are today without you and we need your continued support going forward to achieve our mutual goals and objectives.

May today and everyday be blessed with simple and quite moments of Thanksgiving.

All the best,

John Crawford

the holidays begin and continue Downtown

November 22, 2011

The holidays begin and continue Downtown. This year’s CityLights celebration proved to be the most successful to date. A record crowd turned out to be showered in lights and wonder, as we lit Downtown’s 65-foot holiday tree at Main Street Garden, unveiled a one-of-a-kind light installation spanning 5 blocks of Main Street and witnessed Santa’s unforgettable arrival from the North Pole.

CityLights would not have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors and for that we would like to express our thanks, for making this year’s celebration one to remember, building upon the rich holiday legacy in Downtown Dallas. We must also thank you too for making CityLights a true community event that brings families near and far to enjoy our vibrant city center.

This year we want you to keep coming back to Downtown for more holiday cheer. Our 15 districts have decked the halls and have rolled out the welcome mat for you. Bring your family and friends and make Downtown your holiday tradition all season long.

There are holiday events throughout our 15 districts. Go to http://www.downtowndallas.org and begin planning your holiday with us, Downtown!

Happy Holidays!

Downtown Dallas, Inc. Annual Meeting – Save the Date

November 10, 2011

On the heels of the debut of the new Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel, 2012 will prove to be a monumental year for Downtown. Openings like the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Belo Garden and The Park will add even more recreation, greenspace and iconic architecture to our city.  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. Downtown Dallas 360 will be in full implementation mode, focused heavily on activating our streets, creating new public-private partnerships and improving transit, housing and parking in the core.  There’s no better moment in time to Invest Yourself in Downtown.

On January 24, 2012, Downtown Dallas, Inc. will hold its annual meeting and luncheon, the only event dedicated solely to the development and success of Downtown Dallas.  This year’s theme, Invest Yourself, will carry through the year, encouraging the dedication of the corporate community and Dallasites as a whole to the continued momentum of the center city.

We are thrilled to announce the 2012 keynote speaker will be Carol Coletta, former CEO of CEOs for Cities, and current head of ArtPlace, a new national initiative to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. ArtPlace is a collaboration of the nation’s top foundations, leading banks and federal agencies and the National Endowment for the Arts.  At CEOs for Cities, Carol led a national network of urban leaders building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities, while also hosting a nationally syndicated public radio show, Smart City. Her vast experience in city advocacy and development also extends as the former executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and American Architectural Foundation. Carol is a dynamic and engaging speaker who advocates across the globe for the health of center cities.  In the end, her mission is simple as she sets out to answer the question:  What makes cities succeed?

In addition to the keynote address, as always DDI has a special surprise in store – the announcement of a new initiative aimed at carrying out the Invest Yourself mantra.  Be the first to get the details!

For more information and sponsorship opportunities please call 214-744- 1270.

Introducing DDI Board Member David Terry

October 28, 2011

David joined Comerica Bank Texas in 1992. He is currently the manager of the North Texas and Arizona Middle Market division.  Comerica’s Middle Market business is dedicated to providing world-class banking services to owner-managed, entrepreneurial, and investor-owned companies with annual revenues between $20 and $500 million.

Prior to his current position, David has held a variety of posts at Comerica.  He held the position of Group Manager of the Middle Market office at NorthPark where he managed a team with calling responsibilities in the eastern part of Dallas and East Texas.  He was also the Chief Credit Officer of the Texas division where he had credit oversight of the Texas lines of business including Middle Market, Energy Banking, Heavy Equipment, Small Business and Private Banking.

David joined Comerica through the credit training program after completing graduate and bachelor’s degrees from Texas Tech University. He is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.

David has been active with the United Way of Dallas and has served as a Commissioner in various municipal boards in Coppell, Texas where he lives with his wife, April.

Did you know?

David’s favorite Downtown destination is  Comerica Bank Tower!  It’s where he does what he does.

David is passionate about Downtown because it’s a vibrant place and the “public face” of the city.

David’s favorite Downtown memory is when I first worked Downtown, 20 years ago.  The best part of the memory is the comparison to today.  There has been so much progress making Downtown a vibrant, safe, clean place for people to live, work, and play.

David supports Downtown Dallas, Inc.  because it is an organization with a compelling mission, a proven track record of success and a vision that he would like to see come to pass.

Downtown Dallas Fall 2011 Wrap-up

October 28, 2011

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

October 27, 2011

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.

400 Ervay Promises Modern Urban Living with Historic Charm

September 23, 2011

Imagine playing pool, cards, or sipping on a cocktail in the same room where legendary Judge Sarah T. Hughes presided. Residents of the historically significant, United States Post Office and Court House building at 400 North Ervay St. will be able to do so. The new residences will be ready for occupancy first week of October and we got a sneak peek.

Developer Builder Shawn Todd hit this one out the park. This building is the perfect example of Italian Renaissance with the latest in deluxe apartment living. Inside the mostly one-bedroom rental units are the latest in Brazilian Acacia brown granite counter-tops and modern stainless appliances. Architect David Demarest successfully combined the old with the new. The resident amenity areas — which are accessed off a separate lobby on the ground floor of the post office — look pretty much as they did when the building opened in 1930.

“The renovation wasn’t easy but it’s nearly complete and we are so happy,” says Todd. “We couldn’t have done with without the help of John Crawford and his team at Downtown Dallas, Inc.”

Two courtrooms including one used by Judge Hughes have been preserved as public amenity areas for residents. The rental units average around 800 square feet and range in price from $1,200 for the smallest one –bedroom to $4,000 a month for the biggest two-bedroom with an outdoor deck overlooking Bryan Street. Todd says they’ve has already begun leasing the units.

“We had a waiting list of people who had observed the construction,” Todd said. “And we’ve already signed some corporate leases.”

Main Street Garden Creates Community Downtown

September 23, 2011

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.


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