John Crawford: Burst of Activity in Downtown Dallas

John Crawford

October was quite a month for downtown Dallas! We’ve had some major announcements and events, starting with the lighting of the Historic Statler Hilton, a special event where a crowd of residents, community members, and Downtown Dallas Inc. board members gathered at Main Street Garden to witness the official lighting of the façade in blue LED lights, thanks to Ricchi Investments.

The very next day, City Council and Downtown stakeholders gathered for the exciting announcement about the plans for 500 S. Ervay. Alterra International spoke about development plans for the vacant building at 500 S. Ervay, just across from City Hall. Located in the heart of Dallas’ growing central business district, this exciting mixed-use development will be the cornerstone of new growth in an area the developer calls SoYoung, or South of Young. Initial plans by Alterra include a Hilton-branded 200-room hotel, 250 residential units, and approximately 21,000 square feet of restaurant, event, and retail space.

And the last weekend in October, we experienced the long-awaited opening of the Klyde Warren Park. The new 5.3 acre deck park now provides free daily programming for the public, ranging from yoga to dog training to outdoor concerts. I attended the festivities all weekend and couldn’t be more excited about what Klyde Warren Park will do for downtown Dallas. Not only does it provide a pedestrian link from the Uptowndistrict to the Dallas Arts District and Central Business District, but it will attract visitors from North Texas, North America, and all over the world. Klyde Warren Park is a prime example of a successful public-private partnership.

With all of this exciting news and much more to come, we have had no shortage of information to share on our radio show, Pulse of the City, which airs each Sunday at 9 a.m. on KRLD. Tune in each Sunday to hear special guests take an in-depth look at issues associated with our community.

This past Sunday we spoke with guests from Headington Cos. and the Joule, Spectrum Properties, Neiman Marcus, and DRG Concepts about happenings in the Main Street District. The Main Street District in Downtown Dallas has been transformed over the last decade into a hub of residential, commercial office, restaurant and retail, hotels, and vibrant public spaces. We heard about the expansion of the Joule, which includes a spa, a new restaurant concept and additional retail that should be complete in February, as well as some interesting news from the other guests.

This coming Sunday, we will focus on Downtown Dallas’s premier event, City Lights’ Opening Night. Set for Nov. 17, the event kicks off with a “Holiday Festival” along Main Street that will continue throughout the evening. There will be family-friendly activities, including an outdoor market, face painting, ornament making, musical performances, food and much more. The “Holiday Light Show” lights up the night at 7 p.m., with the one-of-a-kind light installation along Main Street and lighting of Downtown’s 65-foot holiday tree at Main Street Garden.

If you miss a show, you can listen online. Be sure to tune in this month, as we cover the Turkey Trot, the Children’s Parade and Dallas Marathon in coming weeks.

John F. Crawford is president and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc. Contact him at [email protected]