Introducing DDI Board Member: Steve Whitcraft

February 24, 2012

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

February 24, 2012

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

February 23, 2012

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?

February 23, 2012

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 Takes Its Message on the Road

February 23, 2012

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.

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.


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