The common perception is that the Dallas central business district is a tale of two cities separated by Ross Avenue—the haves and have not’s.
The reality is that the core CBD has been growing at a rapid rate, and adding the necessary amenities and infrastructure to begin to compete for large corporate users. Much of the growth has centered around Main Street. Historically known as the financial hub of Dallas, Main Street has experienced a renaissance of sorts over the previous decade, transforming Dallas’ most historic street into a thriving center of commerce, shopping, living and recreation.
In 1996, downtown Dallas was home to fewer than 200 residents. In just over 10 years, that number has skyrocketed to more than 30,000—5,000 of which reside in the CBD alone. Of the 13 districts that comprise downtown, all now boast living options, each unique to the flavor, architecture, history and brand of the district. And more residents are on the way, with 14,000 residential units announced or under construction. Downtown is poised to become home to 50,000 residents within the coming decade.
Neiman Marcus continues to attract affluent shoppers, and the famous Joule Hotel, which houses five-star restaurant Charlie Palmer, is undergoing a $78 million expansion, which will undoubtedly bring additional tourists and local trend-setters. Dallas Chop House, located in Comerica Bank Tower, arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in North Texas, and countless other restaurants also call Main Street home.
Major world-class developers, such as Forest City Enterprises, have been a force behind projects including the Continental and The Mercantile building, which offers a front row seat to Main Street’s eclectic style. Additionally, Ricchi Development Group is working on a redevelopment of the historic Statler Hilton, which is expected to provide another boost to Dallas’ CBD.
Although certain challenges remain, such as sufficient parking, it’s clear Dallas’ central business district is headed in the right direction.