Downtown Dallas 360: Endless opportunity

Posted by Emily Ray-Porter Group on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 at 1:59pm.

Dallas Business Journal                                                                                                Candace Carlisle

As the annual Downtown Dallas Inc. meeting and luncheon drew to a close at the Fairmont Wednesday afternoon, officials presented a 360-degree view to the 1,000 attendees who — other than getting a little dizzy — were left with a laundry list of endless development opportunities.

The annual meeting doubled as the kick-off event of the Downtown Dallas 360 action plan, which will give city officials and private business leaders a blueprint for the next stage of developing downtown, said John Crawford, CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc.

"We think we can certainly achieve this and it will not sit on a shelf and gather dust," Crawford said, adding that the plan would take downtown from a one-dimensional office center to a multidimensional area in which to live, work and play.

The plan is based on five strategies to expand downtown transit, beautify streets and public spaces, achieve great urban design, expand housing projects at affordable price points and revamp parking access.

In expanding downtown transit, the plan includes investment in light rail and streetcar systems and the development of surrounding depot areas to promote pedestrian traffic. The plan will be supported through public-private partnerships.

Some of the areas targeted for public investment and private development include the Farmers Market, the Lamar Corridor near the Convention Center, the West End, Uptown, the South Arts District and shopping in Dallas' downtown core, said Christopher Beynon, principal and director of planning and design services for Calif.-based MIG Inc.

Interestingly enough, the plan's "retail activation strategy" includes bringing downtown shopping back to the early 1900s, when Dallas was a retail hot spot.


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