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Kelcy Warren Gives $20 Million to Klyde Warren Park

The money will go toward the park's expansion.

Apparently not content to let li’l ol’ Pacific Plaza have its moment in the sun, the folks at Klyde Warren Park this morning held an event to release renderings of the park’s expansion — and to announce that Kelcy Warren and his wife Amy have committed $20 million to get the job done. (Kelcy, of course, donated a reported $10 million to get the park built in the first place and then named it after his son.) Here’s a video showing the expansion and some other changes to the existing park (a new fountain, larger children’s park). Below that, I’ll give you the full press release. It includes contact information if you’d like to donate money to the project, which will cost around $60 million. Naming opportunities are still available!

Klyde Warren Park today unveiled final renderings of the project that will expand the beloved greenspace 1.5 acres to the west over Woodall Rodgers Freeway toward Field Street. Construction is scheduled to start in winter 2021 with a completion date of mid-2024.

The renderings include a three-story, enclosed special events pavilion that will provide a vital, on-going revenue source to help support the privately-funded and operated Park. Revenue from the rental use of this space will help underwrite the upkeep of Klyde Warren Park, and ensure the more than 1,300 programs and events offered each year at the Park remain free to the public. Plans also call for a 36,000-square foot multi-use green space.

Later this year Klyde Warren Park will welcome its 10 millionth visitor since opening in 2012, making it one of the most frequented destinations in the city. It is estimated that Klyde Warren Park has had an $2.5 billion economic impact on Dallas.

“This much-needed expansion will create more space in the heart of the city,” said Jody Grant, chairman of the board of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. “It will also secure the financial future of the Park by creating multi-purpose space. The project will further enhance the land value around the Park and those taxes ultimately benefit the City and institutions such as our schools and hospitals.”

HKS, Gensler, Jacobs and OJB Landscape Architecture are collaborating on the design. The special events pavilion, which has yet to be named, was designed by Gensler.

In addition to unveiling these plans, Klyde Warren Park announced three major private gifts. These donations will help pay for the approximate $60 million needed to pay for costs of the amenities on top of the deck, including the special events pavilion. The gifts include: $20 million from Amy and Kelcy Warren, $1 million from Oncor and a generous donation from Miyama USA Texas. These are the lead gifts in a private sector capital campaign.

“The generosity of the Warren family is what has made Klyde Warren Park what it is today,” said Grant. “Their commitment to the expansion, alongside the generosity of Oncor and Miyama USA Texas, is an amazing way to kick-off our fundraising. We are incredibly grateful that our expansion plans have been received so positively.”

The construction of the highway deck that the expanded Park will rest on will be funded using the same public/private partnership used to build the existing Klyde Warren Park. The public sector has committed $40 million, including funds from the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Transportation Council and the City of Dallas. These funds will be used only for the construction of the deck and will not be used for any part of the Park itself or the planned enhancements.

“Klyde Warren Park is a beautiful place that helps stitch together our city center and serves as a wonderful attraction for Dallas residents and visitors from around the world,” said Mayor Eric Johnson. “Additionally, the park has been an incredible catalyst for economic development in our great city. The value of the property around the park has doubled in the past five years, providing significant tax revenue that pays for vital services for our residents.”

The special events pavilion, which will be located on the block between St. Paul and Akard, will include space for a single ground floor tenant. VisitDallas has plans to occupy this space and is planning to create an “Experience Center,” a state-of-the-art gateway into the City. The pavilion will also feature a café, a rooftop deck and special events ballroom.

Additionally, the space west of the pavilion along Akard will include 36,000-square feet of multi-use space for markets, festivals and recreation. Final renderings for this space are forthcoming.

Enhancements to the current Park were also announced. They include the:

• Pearl Street Water Fountain: The Park will be enhanced with a new signature fountain, bringing the lawn closest to Pearl Street alive with choreographed water shows that will light up the night.

• Children’s Park Expansion: One of the most visited spaces in the Park, the Children’s Park, will be expanded and improved to include more water features, playground equipment, a climbing wall and a family picnic area, providing more room for the youngest visitors to explore and imagine.

The private sector capital campaign, which will raise funds for both the expansion and enhancements, will be led by longtime Board members Sheila and Jody Grant. Naming opportunities are available for families, foundations and corporations, and further information is available by contacting Tricia Linderman at [email protected] or 214-714-4502.

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