Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
76° F Dallas, TX


By A. E. |

DALLAS-In an unusual three-way effort between North Texas State University professors, business professionals and a Phoenix commercial developer, Dallas’ first retail computer mall opened last month near Central Expressway and LBJ Freeway, smack in the middle of a rapidly maturing high-tech corridor.

Yes, there is a Trammell Crow connection. No, it’s not another INFOMART. It’s called Computer Park Inc., and it occupies two levels in the Park Central office complex on Coit Road south of LBJ Freeway. The lower level houses retail showrooms for some of the nation’s top microcomputer manufacturers, including Texas Instruments, Apple, NCR and Wang; the upper level houses NTSU’s microcomputer training center, which is open to corporations and the public. By this fall, some of the computer courses will be offered for college credit.

The computer mall is modeled after the first retail computer mall, Computer Showcase, which was opened in Phoenix last July by developer John Holmes. Educational courses at that facility are provided by professors from Arizona State University’s Computer Institute. Holmes brought the concept to Dallas under the name of Computer Park and encouraged NTSU’s Professional Development Institute, a professional education corporation, to become a partner in the venture.

Dr. Gerald Knezek, who is on the computer science faculty of NTSU, will direct the educational division of Computer Park. He says that in addition to NTSU’s ability to train corporate employees and the public on microcomputers, it’s an exceptional facility for educational research for the professors who will be working there part time.

Knezek says that Crow’s newly opened INFOMART in the Dallas Market Center is no threat to the success of Computer Park; in fact, he believes they complement each other.

At Computer Park, customers can buy microcomputers and software from any of the companies displaying their wares in the retail mall, and computer education is included in the customer package. At INFOMART, however, no sales transactions are allowed to take place.

Knezek says that the public shouldn’t be turned off by Computer Pork’s effort to attract corporate customers. He says that basic and advanced courses in everything from “computer awareness” to “artificial intelligence” are competitively priced and that customers can expect them to range from $39 for a three-hour course to as much as $500 for a two-day seminar.