Downtown's East Quarter

Commercial Real Estate

Emerging Details on Downtown’s Newest District, East Quarter

The district put on the map by automobile industries in the 1920s will become a walkable, urban neighborhood.

Sorry, Tim Rogers. The new downtown district is not called Story. The newly anointed East Quarter, just west of Deep Ellum and north of the Farmers Market, promises an old-meets-new downtown district. In an area of town formerly known for automotive facilities, private and public interests will create a walkable, urban neighborhood with wide sidewalks, restaurants, creative office space, and narrower traffic lanes.

Todd Interests, headed by Shawn Todd, has been quietly (or not so quietly, depending on what circles you run in) buying up historic buildings in the area with investor J.P. Morgan Asset Management for a couple years. Todd Interests is the firm behind the renovation of the old post office at 400 Ervay and One Dallas Center. Today, Todd shared more details about the reinvention of the 1920s-era neighborhood that’s now being called East Quarter. More details to come, but here’s what we learned.

  • On May 21, Todd Interests, along with architects Omniplan and SWA Group and general contractor Andres Construction, will tear down the windowless 1980s-era one-story building fronting Main Street and Cesar Chavez Boulevard. The five-story building behind it, which housed the former Purgatory nightclub, will be transformed into a Class A office building, pictured in the rendering above.
  • By the end of 2018, the site, 2200 Main St., will look like the rendering above. Construction will be limited to the demolition and renovations within several of Todd Interests’ 18 buildings in the East Quarter, with no vertical construction.
  • Todd Interests is spending $2 million to improve the surrounding streets. In conjunction with the city and Downtown Dallas Inc., improvements will include widening sidewalks, adding landscaping, and narrowing Cesar Chavez from five lanes to three.
  • Bike lanes on Jackson Street will eventually connect the Santa Fe Trail to the West End.
  • Restaurateur Nick Badovinus (Neighborhood Services, Town Hearth, Offsite Kitchen) is launching two new concepts in the Magnolia Oil/KLIF Building: National Anthem, which will have a rooftop patio, and a breakfast and coffee concept called PMA All Day. Badovinus teased the concept to our dining critic, Eve Hill-Angus, in January.
  • Peloton, headed by T.D. Briggs, will handle office leasing and property management for the East Quarter. Tenants already in the district include software company Order My Gear and branding firm Tractorbeam. In total, East Quarter has 200,000 square feet of creative office space.
  • The forthcoming Harwood Park, which is set to be completed by 2022, is also within the district.

    East Quarter


  • RompingWillyBilly

    After all the freeways, race creeds & colors, conservative suburbanites, and clothing are removed from the whole of the central Dallas area, there won’t be any distinguishable neighborhoods left. So, being generic, why bother branding it? Instead, open up a butcher shop with only a single cash register. This way, the line outside will wrap five times around the block insuring a plentiful amount of beef will always be available in the freezer. Next, dress up the city officials in the gray colored garments of peasants. Meanwhile, D.I.S.D is continuing to do its part brain washing the youth. When their agenda is complete, as they did over in Cambodia, the militant extremist kids will round up all the evil rich folks of the Park Cities, march them into the Trinity River bottoms, and slaughter them!

    • Congratulations on one of the more bonkers comments I’ve ever read on our site. Maybe sit a few plays out.

      • RompingWillyBilly

        Branding neighborhoods by splitting them up into a Six Flags like theme park only leads to one thing – a hand stretched out begging for a city subsidy.

        • JohnyAlamo
          • RompingWillyBilly

            That looks great! But, you know, even six flags has side walks and trains that divide the park into suburban like squalor!! Perhaps if central Dallas could remake their boring light rail lines into roller coasters! That’s the ticket!
            Seriously, I had what I think is a unique idea many years ago and it is free. Incorporate Deep Ellum into the Fair Park for one month of the year. After walling it off, move the Midway and its rides to Deep Ellum. Keep some of the rides in Deep Ellum on an annual basis. In this way, the Dallas Fair Park will be connected to downtown and the city will stand a chance in keeping the State Fair.

        • alexander troup

          My grandmother also in the 70s when she was still alert, as she would recall the late 19teens and then the 20s saying that it was not always Black it was Jewish merchants first and Italians and other Germans from the old country, then you have the Mexican Americans who came in the next poll was what was it in 1885, well it was Germans and not Blacks they were by Dove street and worked at the Cotton Compress in the Farmers Market Area….and live by South Dallas…in old shanty towns that sprang up…..the Deep became by World War one when they shut down all of the Expensive Red Light quarters the city never talks about because it is Baptist Run, Being Catholic I can tell all…So Blind Lemon and T Bone all come from the Red Light District of the West and South End when they are closed by 1918…there will always be a competition on what part of town did you come from…Always……

          • Bizarro BigTex

            I think Alexander Troup has stumbled on an amazingly out-of-the-box idea that could be a game changer. Bring back the Red Light District from Dallas yesteryear! Not a smarmy imitation of cheap Nevada brothels, but an area modeled after the De Wallen area of Amsterdam. Little shops of pleasure with big picture windows where the entrepreneurs of carnality sit. These shops can be arrayed along lovely landscaped walkable streets. Throw in canals modeled on the Amsterdam geography and you have an adult Six Flags. After the Ladies of Easy Virtue move in, the cafes, cannabis coffee shops, and jazz clubs will follow. An explosion of hip, au courant urbanism that pays homage to early Dallas, yet moves us into a World Class 2018 society we so richly deserve.

          • alexander troup

            WELL YOU GUYS ARE running slow over by Victory the Best Brothals are now going on, and tho no one was aware it would ever happen…

            Sin City in Dallas Texas really not going to make it Wild West Days here again…..not when you have a big race problem, Gender problems and on top of that …money sounds good but it cant happen …

            .Lightning does not strike Twice in the Same Place…but It will for Victory that went bad in 2001….beside with some chopped ice, cokecaine and Soda Pop it is possible to have an old 19th Century Drink that Whore and Sports loved to enjoy…a good glass of Harmless Vice… and then again be so broke you are picking up trash of the freeway…for the next 6 years,,,,

          • alexander troup

            Thanks Bizarro, like I told the Barry Kooda Today…the Hell with the Irving Hall of Fame Music Museum that went belly up last week, Make the Nervebreakers a Deep Elm Hall of famer over there…

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Ever read about the Yellow Rose of Texas? She was said to be of mixed race and was forced by Santa Anna to serve as his prostitute. Seems as the Texicans were attacking under the command of Sam Houston, she had the great Emperor compromised with his pants down to his ankles.
            So, indeed, in Texas, a reverence should be shown towards our prostitutes. In the least, during every Independence day celebration, bundles of roses should be placed in their honor.

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Thank you for this insightful information. Deep Ellum wasn’t contrived. It is a special part of the nine square miles making up central Dallas today.

      • RompingWillyBilly

        My crazy historical perspective on communism aside, I have had time to rethink the development. I now realize that most of those eighteen or so buildings can’t be demolished. So, they had to put lots of thought into planning their development.
        Simply put, I was wrong. Still, I think begging for a handout works against both any future customer and the tax payer.

    • Kyle Reese

      WTF did I just read?

      • RompingWillyBilly

        While boundaries can be bad, they are necessary. The developer is trying to brand a part of town by concocting a name for it. I am suspicious that it is being contrived for the purpose of asking for an official handout. Developers know where to place retail and officials don’t. They will put retail on every corner and block. The subsidy from the city will compete against those developers building without a handout. This insane way of doing business is why Dallas has become poor,

        • Kyle Reese

          They will undoubtedly get money from the cities’ taxpayers and Mayor Rawlins will defer payments on our crumbling roads while you get double-taxed and have to pay for a new suspension and tires. Then we’ll have a new, shiny place to make ourselves feel good. But it will price out any young, working people while all the rich folks stay away from downtown because there are a few homeless people wandering around muttering to themselves.

          • RompingWillyBilly

            Exactly. One reason the company has to brand the development though is to preserve the buildings. In other words, there is just so much residential to go around to support new retail. They are up against it. It would probably be better to bulldoze those buildings to construct residential. That way, the main retail districts will continue to build up in the Dallas Farmers Market and Deep Ellum.

          • Kyle Reese

            Let’s sue over the zoning laws. Can we do that? I feel like we should be able to do that. We need some practice before they do whatever nitwit bullcrap they’re gonna do at the Trinity River.

  • Mess Wright

    East of Deep Ellum?

    • Kyle Reese

      West. On the other side of 345.

  • Los_Politico

    When does the narrowing of Chavez start?

    • alexander troup

      Its by Elm and Preston or Pearl Street, it is a disaster a cross road of crap to wait and go, no that is not 21st Century, it is 19th…..

  • Naming things is hard. It could have been SO much worse than East Quarter. Time will tell us if it sticks.

    • RompingWillyBilly

      Lots of research should be put into creating a name. If it doesn’t already exist, it shouldn’t be contrived. For example, I think the name of “The Joule Retail District of downtown Dallas” should be placed on the luxury retail district surrounding the area anchored by the original classic Neiman Marcus department store, the new contemporary Forty-Five-Ten, and the Art Deco styled Joule Hotel. When I try to explain this area to others, it is difficult to do as the area hasn’t been well defined. Indeed, while Neimans and Forty-Five-Ten are Dallas institutions, the redevelopment of the Joule should be credited for bringing the area back to life.

      • alexander troup

        Yes I worked on that area also and we had a lot of Trouble with Closed Door City of Dallas and Mark Dotty in 2014….where 7 great buildings had to go and that stupid looking bad taste poor Imitation Eye Ball of junk sits today…

    • Kyle Reese

      Call it whatever the eff they want, just make sure it’s got bike lanes. Real ones.

  • RIccardo Tassin

    From the rendering, the new quarter contains more asphalt than brick. Parking spaces abutting a six-lane road? Really? Did anyone think to get a designer for the new district?

    • alexander troup

      Got to Go guys going over to Fannie Howard’s too get a big glass of chopped Ice, some Coke a Cola and some Coacaine exstract ….later ,… back next week….

  • JohnyAlamo

    From the pic on the easel, shouldn’t they be naming it “East 10th?” What are the other 3 quarters they are implicitly referencing by the name? #BadFractions

    • disqus_Ml0l9V8D4m

      quarter: noun – a part of a town or city having a specific character or use.
      synonyms: district, area, region, part, side, neighborhood, precinct, locality, sector, zone.

  • J.W. Engblom

    I think you mean WIDENING CC from 3 lanes to 5? Its currently 3 lanes and the rendering shows 5?

  • alexander troup

    Ok who though of East Quarter that fancy new who new century look…na its not natural..Deep Ellum was a bit of said we are getting away from old Downtown hide from the police when prohibition comes knocking on our door…and by 1921 there where woodsheds full of homemade apple jack where does this new term East Quarter not New Orleans Quarters nickles and dimes…come from..the hidden door developer…who will fly by night when it is done..