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Downtown CBD / Areas Outside Of Uptown

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With projects getting mixed in the uptown thread, thought it would be good to have thread for posting CBD and projects outside of uptown. Uptown is where the majority of the construction is taking place currently, but there are plenty more projects and developments elsewhere in DFW.

List NOT to include:

- Projects pertaining to transportation such as the Texas Trans Corridor.

- Projects pertaining to suburban development.

This thread is intended to post the developments taking place in urban Dallas and Urban Ft. Worth.

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Developers have lofty goals for area south of downtown

Project in Cedars neighborhood to blend homes, workspaces

11:21 PM CST on Monday, January 24, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

Two business owners in the Cedars neighborhood are planning a combination workspace and residential project just south of downtown.

Partners Zad Roumaya and Kevin Parma want to build about 35 of their Dream Lofts along Akard Street at Griffin.

The project is a block across Interstate 30 from downtown Dallas in an area that is seeing redevelopment. The new Dallas police headquarters complex and huge Southside on Lamar loft apartment project are a few blocks away.

"The workspace will be on the first floor and serve as a storefront," Mr. Roumaya said. Above that, the buildings that front Akard will have two floors of townhomes.

"The location allows us to have great views of downtown," Mr. Parma said. "And the Akard Street bridge across I-30 is a direct pedestrian connection" to the central business district.

Mr. Roumaya began renovating small commercial buildings in the Cedars district about seven years ago.

He operates the Change Chamber Studios out of a remodeled garage on Akard. It provides facilities for design and fabrication of artwork and is used for temporary shows.

"We get a lot of pride out of saving some of these old buildings," he said.

Much of the neighborhood has been cleared and has caught the eye of potential developers.

Development sites in the Cedars area trade for $10 per square foot or less, compared with more than $70 per square foot on the north side of downtown.

The lofts, which Mr. Roumaya and Mr. Parma plan to start in the next few months, will range from about 900 square feet to 1,500 square feet and will start at around $120,000.

E-mail stevebrown@dallasnews.com

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Redevelopment projects go from bust to boom

12:08 PM CST on Saturday, January 15, 2005

By DAVID FLICK / The Dallas Morning News


There has been nothing like it in downtown Dallas for 20 years. After a period when progress on redevelopment seemed stalled, or at least invisible, the coming year will see at least 10 projects in various states of construction in the center city. Most of the projects will convert office buildings into residential and retail space. The DP&L and Interurban buildings will be ready for occupancy in the first half of the year, and city officials say they expect construction to begin or continue on the Republic Bank Tower, Gulf States Building, Fidelity Union Life Insurance building, the so-called Davis lot, the 1414 Elm St. building and the 1200 Main St. building.

In addition, work will proceed on the new hotel-retail complex at 1530 Main St. and the retail building at 1217 Main St. The last time we had so much construction going on downtown at one time was six years ago, and this is much larger than that," said Alice Murray, president of the Central Dallas Association. "I think it makes a big statement." Last week's edition of Downtown This Week, published by the CDA and the Downtown Improvement District, noted that the number of housing units downtown grew 747 percent between 1995 and 2005

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From downtowndallas.com

Two new downtown destinations are now open - Dallas Fashion Incubator and Pandora Japanese Cuisine. In addition, Dallas City Council gave final approval on a program that will provide incentive dollars to entice more retail downtown.

Dallas Fashion Incubator is now OPEN at 1623 Main Street, Suite 106. Drop by the European-style boutique which features up and coming Dallas-based fashion designers. Currently carrying unique women's apparel and accessories, the Incubator is sure to become one of Dallas' premier shopping destinations.

Indulge at the sushi bar or robata grill at Pandora Japanese Cuisine, now open at 2208 Main Street, Suite A. Pandora is open Tues-Wed, 5 p.m. - midnight, Thurs-Sat, 5 p.m. - 2 a.m. For more information call 214-655-2800 or visit www.padoradallas.com.

To spur growth of additional retail downtown, the Main Street District Retail Recruitment Initiative was proposed last summer. Last week, Dallas City Council voted on the final structure of the program, and two retailers are expected to be approved by the end of the month - an upscale women's apparel boutique and a custom wine maker and wine accessories store. The program allows for varying amounts of rent subsidies and tenant improvement allowances for traditional retailers, i.e. apparel, home furnishings, bookstores, etc. For more information, call 214-744-1270.

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Museum Expansion News

Team Leads the Drive for New Nature Museum

02:02 PM CST on Saturday, November 20, 2004

By ROBERT MILLER / The Dallas Morning News

The silent phase of fund-raising for the Museum of Nature & Science is reaching a crescendo. Dallas and Houston investor and civic leader Forrest Hoglund, who will play a leading role in raising funds for the proposed $100 million-plus museum, says talks have been going on for some time with a list of donors that includes wealthy individuals, corporations and foundations. City Hall could also offer an assist.

The museum won't replace the Dallas Museum of Natural History at Fair Park - it will complement it, organizers say. That museum will continue as a scientific and educational institution.

Mr. Hoglund, no stranger to projects of this kind, was chairman of the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the 1990s. He headed up that museum's corporate fund-raising when it underwent a major expansion and renovation.

His fund-raising prowess was also recognized by his alma mater, the University of Kansas, which named him to chair a $600 million capital campaign that's about to be wrapped up.


From left: David Corrigan, Forrest Hoglund and Nicole Small are among those heading up the fund drive for a new Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas.

Mr. Hoglund says international prestige for the Dallas museum is no idle dream.

"Dallas deserves to have a first-class museum of natural science," he said.

"The model to follow is Houston's, and there is no reason Dallas can't have a museum as good as Houston's."

That museum "is the fourth-largest-attended museum in the U.S., with over 2 million visitors a year, drawing busloads of kids from as far away as Louisiana. It has outdrawn all the other museums in Houston combined.

"It is a wonderful educational opportunity featuring the world's greatest energy exhibit, the world's best display of quality minerals exhibit, a chemistry hall, a live butterfly rainforest, IMAX theater, planetarium, paleontology hall, Hall of the Americas and many other exhibits," Mr. Hoglund said.

"They also attract and sponsor many outstanding traveling exhibits, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

"We are working to provide a similar museum experience to the citizens of Dallas and the surrounding area. This will be a gigantic win for Dallas and its downtown area."

Close to Victory

A contract for a 4.2-acre site for the Museum of Nature & Science was signed last summer. It's scheduled to close in the first quarter.

The site, on the northwest corner of Field Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway near Ross Perot Jr.'s Victory development, could vault the museum into worldwide prominence.

Mr. Hoglund; David Corrigan, a longtime board member of the Dallas Museum of Natural History; and Nicole Small, executive director of the Museum of Nature & Science, say the fund drive will really begin after the site purchase is finalized.

Ms. Small said "the Victory/Hillwood people have been wonderful to work with," and the money in the bank more than totals the cost of the land.

Mr. Hoglund says the museum plans to incorporate the "flexible space" from the Ralph Appelbaum & Associates plans that have been in the works almost since the board raised $1 million to study the project in the late 1990s.

A 'living' facility

The museum will be a "living" facility that will be renovated and expanded as changes are required.

"It is not a static building like a symphony hall," he said.

"Once the land is finalized, I think it will take around three to five years to complete the project."

The names of several world-renowned architects have been mentioned, but the facility will be designed "inside out" with the Appelbaum firm laying out the exhibit space before the architect addresses the design of the exterior.

'Bridging ability'

Ms. Small says the location offers "bridging ability." It's only a few blocks from Victory and the American Airlines Center, the West End, the Arts District, the Sixth Floor Museum and the projected Calatrava Bridge from Woodall Rodgers over the Trinity River.

"We have been very focused on collaboration," Ms. Small said.

"In the past two years, we have forged partnerships with, but not limited to, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, UT-Dallas, Southern Methodist University, Houston Museum of Natural Science, American Museum of Natural History, KERA, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and many others."

"We have just completed our most profitable year in over a decade and are continuing to grow our programs today."

Get ready.

It won't be long before Mr. Hoglund and his team of rainmakers come calling.

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Dallas Holocaust Museum


Phase #2

Like a butterfly bursting out of its small, dark cocoon, the Dallas Holocaust Museum is breaking out into larger quarters (5,200 square feet) and, from January 2005, will be spreading to a new, impactful, multi-sensory experience in a new location. Being located in the center of Dallas

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City's inaction on downtown faulted

As redevelopers express frustration, council remains divided

08:46 AM CST on Thursday, January 27, 2005

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News

It may be months before the city decides how to invigorate its downtown redevelopment efforts, despite Mayor Laura Miller's assurances that firm decisions will arrive within weeks, some Dallas City Council members say.

Such talk infuriates downtown redevelopment advocates, who say that City Hall is, at best, dawdling, and at worst, telling lies.

"Oh, they talk a good game," said David Biegler, chairman of the Central Dallas Association and chief executive officer of Dallas-based Estrella Energy, of the council. "They all say they're for apple pie and motherhood, but when it comes to picking apples and being a mother, they don't do it.

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En espa

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Lumber store closes

Shamburger site to be redeveloped for mixed uses

12:05 AM CST on Tuesday, February 1, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

One of the few independent lumberyards in Dallas has closed to make way for a mixed-use development.


Denny Plumb helped his dad, Mark, take down one of the Shamburger buildings Monday. 'A lumberyard has been on this corner for almost 60 years,' said C.D. Shamburger. A partnership set up by Prescott Realty Group bought the Shamburger Building Center at Yale Boulevard and Greenville Avenue just east of Southern Methodist University.

A lumber company has operated on the almost three-acre site since the 1940s.

But with a DART rail station a block away and development picking up in the neighborhood, the days of selling building materials are over.

"A lumberyard has been on this corner for almost 60 years," said C.D. Shamburger, who recently sold the property to Prescott Realty. "There used to be scads of lumberyards around Dallas.

"We are not the last of the Mohicans, but there are not a lot of Mohicans left," he said.

Mr. Shamburger said increased competition from big national home improvement chains and rising costs made it impractical to continue operating the business he took over from his father.

The yard operated as Williford Lumber before the Shamburgers acquired it.

"By the time my dad bought this lumberyard [in the 1970s] we were already a somewhat outmoded business model," said Mr. Shamburger, who began work at the yard while in high school.

"Our market here is basically a five-mile radius," he said. "In that five-mile radius, we now have three Home Depots."

For the last two decades, Shamburger Lumber has relied on business from remodelers fixing up houses in East Dallas.

"Convenience and specialty lumber played to our strengths," Mr. Shamburger said. "And our good location certainly didn't hurt us."

The location also makes it an ideal spot for redevelopment.

Just east of Highland Park, the property is near the Mockingbird Station retail and residential complex and a short walk to the DART station.

Prescott Realty, which bought the site, also owns the nearby 6060 North Central office tower .

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The new owners plan to temporarily use the property for parking and other uses while studying designs for new construction, said Prescott principal Jud Pankey.

"At some point we'll do some residential development and maybe a little bit of commercial," Mr. Pankey said. "This is a long-term planning project, and it needs to be done right."

Mr. Pankey said broad-based planning for the entire neighborhood may need public sector assistance.

Despite the economics, selling the Greenville Avenue location wasn't easy, said Mr. Shamburger, whose great-grandfather started the company.

"We have been in the lumber business since 1908," he said. "We will continue to have a store in Wichita Falls.

"We are still going for our streak of 100 years."

E-mail stevebrown@dallasnews.com

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Steve Brown

A flaw in the numbers game

Downtown vacancy rate is being recalculated to drop boarded-up shells

09:48 PM CST on Thursday, February 3, 2005

Often things aren't as bad as they appear.

That turns out to be the case with the downtown Dallas office market.

For years, we've heard how downtown has the highest office vacancy in the known universe

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I think this is a common problem we are starting to see rise as more and more people want to move downtown. I read something very similar from the Houston Newspaper.

About Downtown: They'd move in today, but prices lock out renters

12:25 PM CST on Saturday, January 29, 2005

By DAVID FLICK / The Dallas Morning News

Charlotte Schofield has no official role in the discussion about how to transform downtown Dallas into a viable neighborhood. She is just a private citizen.

But she poses a good question.

After my recent column about the coming boom in downtown apartments, Ms. Schofield, who teaches creative writing at Richland College, e-mailed.

"So far, all I've been able to discern is that they'll be waaaay out of the range of [most] apartment dwellers," she said of the new apartments. "This may be why Dallas' downtown thing has so much trouble actually catching on!"

Wouldn't downtown boom more quickly, she asked, if more people could afford to live there?

A Central Dallas Association survey found there are, in fact, moderately priced apartments downtown. The Manor House, for example, has one-bedroom units that start at $670 a month, and even the recently renovated Kirby Building has floor plans that begin at $750.

But Ms. Schofield has a point. At most of the new downtown apartment buildings, rents begin in the upper $800s, and the cheapest apartments in the Dallas Power & Light building will be $940.

And these, of course, are the lowest rents in the building. Prices of more than $1,000 a month are more common, according to the survey. Top rents are $2,300 a month at the newly opened 1001 Ross apartments in the West End, $2,160 in the Camden Farmers Market and even $1,950 in the aforementioned Manor House.

"There are people who can't afford to live downtown, who would be dying to move there," she said. "I'm not talking Section 8. I'm talking elderly people who are alone and young people who would be alone."

People like herself, for example.

The lively Ms. Schofield is retired ("I'm 74, but I'm cute!"), and besides her teaching job, she earns income by designing Southwestern-themed greeting cards. ("I've cornered the market on cards for donkey breeders," she says proudly.) She lives in an apartment in North Dallas and would like to move downtown.

As it happens, she has some background in city planning. Before retiring, Ms. Schofield worked as a planner at various times for the city of Austin, San Francisco, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state of New Mexico. She said she has designed a prototype low-cost modular apartment building, but "I couldn't bring myself to pay to build it. I lost my nerve."

I ran Ms. Schofield's complaint past some of the people most closely involved in trying to revive downtown housing.

Larry Hamilton, who is redeveloping the DP&L building, said part of the problem is that cheaper apartments tend to be older apartments.

"What generally happens in there is an evolutionary cycle in apartments," he said. "What was built in the '70s and '80s is now attracting some of the lower rents. But not a lot of apartments got built in downtown Dallas in that era."

Those that are being built now face costs, such as asbestos abatement, that drive up the price of rent, he said.

There is a way to build expensively but rent cheaply: The city could subsidize affordable downtown apartments.

In fact, Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans said the city several years ago earmarked $4 million in center-city tax money for affordable housing, but it was mostly redirected toward the southern sector of Dallas, not downtown.

Ms. Schofield said she fears that a lack of lower rent prices will deny downtown Dallas the mix of people needed to make the city truly cosmopolitan.

"What they'll end up with is a population that looks like Highland Park, and there's not going to be any diversity," she said. "And Dallas is not going to be a real city. It's going to be just a big town."

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Atmos Energy giving buildings to city

Donation could help redevelop long-ignored section of downtown

09:53 PM CST on Tuesday, February 8, 2005

By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News


Atmos Energy plans to donate at least two little-used downtown buildings to the city of Dallas, three officials confirmed Tuesday, creating the potential for new development in an increasingly blighted section of the city's center. The buildings are part of the former TXU Gas complex

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  • 2 weeks later...

Downtown renovations keep attracting residents

11:19 PM CST on Friday, February 18, 2005


At one time, it was the biggest building in the state housing Fidelity Union Life Insurance. Now it's a renovation project to help draw more Dallas residents downtown.

"Location is vital, this property is right near ground zero of downtown Dallas," says developer Larry Hamilton.

After a $100 million transformation, the Fidelity Union building will become "Mosaic," with 433 up-scale condos for rent. to the urban dweller who's finally reaching critical mass in Dallas.

Who is that person? The typical downtown resident is single, 36 years old, with an annual income of $ 54,000, who works downtown or in uptown.

That person is much like Chad Davenport. He's a bartender who doesn't fit the profile exactly, but who's lived downtown for the last three years.

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Video: Jeff Brady reports

"So I've got a little bit of pride, you know, when I say I live downtown, because I know it's growing and it's booming, and ulitmately, a lot more people will be living done here, and I'll be able to say I was one of the first," Davenport says.

The numbers really speak for themselves. So far, developers have about 1,200 residential units here in the Main Street Historic District of downtown Dallas, 450 more units under construction, and 950 more are expected to start before the end of the year.

Owners consider the Davis Building the model, with its rustic urban finish to the walls, but slick countertops and appliances. It started leasing 17 months ago and is now 95-percent occupied.

"Retail is our missing link," says developer Ted Hamilton. "And retail traditionally follows rooftops, and we're finally getting enough rooftops down here that the retailers are starting to get some interest."

Here, too, the Davis building is at work. New Orleans resturanteur Jason Doyle has plans for a Russian vodka bar and restaurant in the old building's vault.

A community growing and going downtown.

A fun video clip:


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7-Eleven may move downtown

One of its options is building a tower in the Arts District

11:32 PM CST on Thursday, February 24, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

7-Eleven Inc. may move downtown when its lease at the Cityplace tower runs out.

The convenience store giant is looking at an Arts District location for a new building and has shopped at least one other vacant building downtown, real estate brokers say.

If 7-Eleven moved downtown, it would be the biggest corporate headquarters to move into the central business district since Blockbuster Inc. in 1996.

7-Eleven sold the 42-story Cityplace building on North Central Expressway last year for $124 million. Its lease is up in just over two years.

"We continue to look at all options for our headquarters, and that includes remaining in this building," said Margaret Chabris, 7-Eleven's public relations director. "We have not made any decision about a move."

Real estate brokers say 7-Eleven's top relocation site is a 10-acre tract on the eastern edge of the Arts District.

Developer Lucy Billingsley owns the property at the intersection of Central Expressway and Woodall Rodgers Freeway that was recently added to the Arts District. The land is across the freeway from the booming Uptown neighborhood.

Preliminary plans call for a mixed-use development on the mostly vacant property.

"All I'll say is, I have been in contact with several different corporations about our downtown property," Ms. Billingsley said. "There is tremendous excitement about the Arts District."

If 7-Eleven moves inside the downtown freeway loop, it would be a coup for the central business district, property brokers say.

"It would be a huge win for downtown and signal that development in the core is back," said Joel Pustmueller of Peloton Real Estate. "If that project goes forward, it would anchor the Arts District on the east side.

"And it would provide great visibility on the skyline for someone like 7-Eleven," he said.

Because of the time required to build a large office project, a decision is probably close at hand, Mr. Pustmueller said.

"It would be outstanding if 7-Eleven relocates to downtown," said John Zogg, senior vice president of Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. "I know they are considering a new building as well as existing buildings."

"They would be endorsing all of the significant changes and vibrancy in downtown today," said Mr. Zogg, whose company is downtown Dallas' largest office landlord.

In recent months, 7-Eleven representatives have looked at existing buildings downtown and locations in the suburbs, brokers say.

Whether the company stays at Cityplace or moves to the central business district, keeping 7-Eleven in town is key, said Dallas City Council member Veletta Forsythe Lill.

"We need to do whatever is necessary to keep them," she said.

7-Eleven built the Cityplace tower in 1988 and has had its headquarters in the skyscraper since then.

About 1,000 7-Eleven employees occupy almost 500,000 square feet in the 1.4 million-square-foot tower.

7-Eleven said when it sold Cityplace that its new landlord, Prentiss Properties, would owe an additional $14.5 million for the building if 7-Eleven decides to stay after its lease expires.

E-mail stevebrown@dallasnews.com

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Dallas Plan Debuts to Bridge Gap for 6M-SF Development Op

By Connie Gore

Last updated: February 24, 2005 08:05am

DALLAS-Taking a cue from Seattle's Freeway Park and Chicago's Millennium Park, Dallas' movers and shakers plan to bridge the gap between Uptown and Downtown, using the Arts District as the median, by building a 5.3-acre park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway. The ambitious undertaking will open the door for a potential 6.1 million sf of development.

The project officially got off the ground yesterday at a press conference announcing the launch of a public-private partnership spearheaded by Texas Capital Bank. It is being seeded with $1-million donations from the bank, its chairman Jody Grant and his wife, Sheila, and the Real Estate Council Foundation and $500,000 from Crescent Real Estate Equities Co., the team that masterminded the plan.

The cost is still being fine-tuned, but preliminary estimates run from $45 million to $60 million, Linda Owen, TREC's president, tells GlobeSt.com. The tentative plan calls for a 2007 groundbreaking and 2010 delivery.

The plan has been brewing nearly two years, but it's just been in the past six months that it's gained momentum. John Zogg Jr., Crescent's managing director of asset management and leasing in Dallas, says he got a cold call from Grant, who said he'd heard about the plan and was willing to plant the $2-million seed "without seeing the plans or our vision."

Zogg says the Crescent idea took root at a meeting with John Goff, vice chairman and CEO, and Dennis Alberts, president and CFO, in an upper-bank conference room in Trammell Crow Center at 2001 Ross Ave. After seeing how other cities tackled major downtown changes, they glanced across the streetscape and started to discuss the feasibility of marrying Uptown to Downtown and eliminating a freeway barrier labeled yesterday as a "concrete moat." Within 18 months, Zogg was presenting the idea to "put a lid on the freeway" to TREC, which had been looking to donate $1 million to a legacy project.

"Crescent saw this project as a bold move for our region to change our landscape so our city will sell," Zogg says. "Dallas has phenomenal assets and they're all sitting around Woodall Rodgers and a big moat." Crescent is donating proceeds from condo sales at the Residences at Ritz-Carlton Dallas, which are rising beside the REIT's mixed-use landmark in Uptown.

"We're not done, but we've made a large step toward getting this project done," says Zogg, who's turned over the project's reins to Grant. "He understands how public-private partnerships work. He understands how to bring the teams together to make these things happen." Grant was the moving force to get Interstate 30 relocated to improve traffic flow around Fort Worth.

Before a jam-packed room of Dallas/Fort Worth's most influential people, Grant said a renowned designer will be hired, but public input will be sought as well "so it truly will be a park for the people." The Office of James Burnett, a landscape architect and planner based in Houston, did the preliminary design. Grant will chair the Woodall Rodgers Foundation, which has a "blue ribbon" board of directors as the cornerstone.

"Today we are pledging to do something quite magical," Mayor Laura Miller said during the project's public debut. "This is our Millennium Park. When people come to this park, they're going to think about Uptown and Downtown all as one."

With a downtown revitalization under way, the park will create a direct connect to the tony amenities of Uptown and the Arts District, further strengthening the city's bid to become a 24-hour destination city with cosmopolitan appeal. "Woodall Rodgers Park will be the gateway to Downtown," Grant says. The bank's fiscal support, he says, is "just our way of saying thanks for what you've given to us."

The foundation hopes to raise $20 million to $25 million, according to Owen. The park's cost will be equally divided among the city, private donations and other public funding sources. The foundation is structuring a 501 ©(3) for donations.

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Follow-up file: City lights

01:39 PM CST on Saturday, February 19, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

More than a year after tying up land for the project, developers are still refining plans for a large shopping center to be built on the eastern edge of downtown Dallas.

Called City Lights, the retail complex is earmarked for more than two blocks near Live Oak Street and Good Latimer Expressway.

Margaux Development Co. originally intended to anchor the 350,000-square-foot shopping center with a supermarket, but lining up a tenant hasn't been easy.

"The grocery store market

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Framing a vision for Trinity

Land-use proposal has development on both banks; some put up caution signs

12:31 PM CST on Saturday, February 19, 2005

By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News

For years, they've dreamed big.

Of high-rise office towers looming over the Trinity River. Of waterfront condos where today's scrap yards sit. And of artsy lofts and busy shops replacing worn-down warehouses on the river's edge.

Now the Trinity River Project's loyal supporters have a blueprint for their vision

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Extending the central business district across the Trinity River is one of the most exciting aspects of the plan, Mr. Oakley said. He said the city already has developers trying to accumulate property on the Oak Cliff riverbank.

"We've got more people looking at the other side of the river than you could imagine," Mr. Oakley said. "When you have that kind of investment in a project, people want to know they can be part of something

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^ I think its just a matter of time. Probably not as long as 50 yrs, but I think with all the infrastructure that is currently being built with Dart, future infratstructure in the Trinty Plan/ Project Pegasus, and current infrastructure getting you across the Trinty it is only a matter of time before having an office over looking the skyline and the Trinty River being a "prized possession." There are plenty of examples across the US where this model is repeated and the connections between two "key" developments does not keep one from developing over the other. And manyof times the infrastructure is much worse then we have now. I don't think we'll see another skyline like downtown form over there, probably more like the uptown area or possibly a more organic feel like Turtle Creek but not the associated wealth. It will probably be about 2010 that we will start hearing projects being announced over there at the same pace we are currently hearing of in uptown/downtown/deep ellum.

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City's center filling, some stats indicate

Maybe it's not so down

08:26 AM CST on Friday, March 4, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

Downtown Dallas' office market isn't the disaster many people think it is.

FILE 2003/Staff photo

While some surveys still show that more than a third of downtown's office space is empty, the number is less than 20 percent for newer buildings. Years of steady leasing and the conversion of many old office buildings into apartments have eaten away at the amount of empty space downtown.

And although some surveys still show that more than a third of downtown's office space is empty, the number is less than 20 percent for first-class buildings.

"The vacancy downtown decreases by almost 10 percent if you look at the numbers the way they should be," said John Zogg, senior vice president of Crescent Real Estate Equities, downtown's biggest office landlord.

Of course, how you spin the numbers is the issue.

With about 4 million square feet of empty first-class buildings, downtown's supply is less than total vacancies in Las Colinas and along LBJ Freeway.

And the inventory of empty first-class buildings

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Praetorian Building to become lofts

Exterior will be restored

12:01 AM CST on Friday, March 4, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

When the Praetorian Building opened on Main Street in 1908, people paid a quarter to climb to the top floor and look out over downtown.

At 16 stories, it was the tallest building in Texas.

But the last office tenants of "the pioneer skyscraper of the Southwest" moved out in 1993.

Now a California investor has decided that the landmark could be a hit with loft apartment renters. 3J Development LLC of San Diego bought the Praetorian Building this week.

"It's not going to be sitting empty much longer," said 3J Development president Joseph Sapp. "We are not going to let it sit dormant but are going to move forward with the project."


3J Development plans to replicate the original exterior of the Praetorian Building, built in 1908. The Praetorian is 3J Development's second buy in downtown Dallas. Mr. Sapp's development partner in the project is Don Cooksey of CGP LLP in California.

Last month, the commercial builder and investor purchased the mostly vacant 1600 Pacific tower. The 33-story, black glass tower will be turned into about 370 residential units.

The Praetorian Building and 1600 Pacific (formerly the LTV Building) are a block apart on the popular Stone Street Gardens mall.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but the Praetorian Building is valued at about $900,000 on the tax rolls. 3J Development bought it from a Singapore investor.

The Praetorian was built with an elaborate stone exterior. But the classical architecture was obliterated in the 1960s, when the building was "modernized" with a metal-and-glass exterior.

The new owners plan to replicate the old exterior. "Maybe people love that metal fa

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Main Street high-rise gets under way today

Parking garage, retail and apartments are planned

11:09 PM CST on Monday, March 7, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

Construction begins today on a Main Street residential tower between two historic buildings in downtown Dallas.

The project includes 84 apartments, a six-floor garage that will bring needed parking downtown and 20,000 square feet of retail space.

Spectrum Properties is developing its 17-story building in the 1400 block of Main near Akard Street.

The new project will fill a parking lot between the Gulf States Insurance Building and the Davis Building. It will be tied to the Gulf States building, which is already being converted to residential.

"The entire project will be completed by the summer of 2006," said Edward Okpa, who's overseeing the development with Spectrum Properties.

Spectrum Properties started renovation of the Gulf States Insurance Building late last year.

Built in 1928, the vacant office building will house 68 loft apartments.

A smaller former department store behind it at Elm and Akard will also be redeveloped into 14 apartments.

Spectrum Properties is receiving an $8.5 million interest-free loan from the city of Dallas and Dallas County to build the parking garage.

Plans for the project have been in the works for almost three years.

"It doesn't mimic the old construction but is very contemporary," said Alice Murray, Central Dallas Association president.

"It's a nice bridge between the Davis and Gulf States buildings."

E-mail stevebrown@dallasnews.com

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Council approves Arts District expansion

Dallas council also approves blueprint for Trinity corridor project

11:08 PM CST on Wednesday, March 9, 2005

By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News

Dallas City Council members unanimously approved two land-use projects Wednesday: an expansion of the city's Arts District and a blueprint for developing the Trinity River corridor.

The agreement to widen the Arts District boundaries ended eight months of negotiations over the zoning change.

And while one property owner in the expansion area spoke against lengthening the district, the others

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Redo is envisioned for derelict hotel

Plans call for much of the Statler Hilton to become condos

11:26 PM CST on Monday, March 21, 2005

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

A Houston investor is negotiating to purchase downtown Dallas' derelict Statler Hilton Hotel and plans to redevelop the building.


A Houston investor is in talks to buy the downtown Dallas hotel, which was once the flagship of the Statler Hilton chain. Gary Goff is joining a group of out-of-state partners on the project, which is in the early planning stages.

Redevelopment plans call for converting much of the 19-story building at 1902 Commerce St. into residential units.

"Our recommendation is to keep a portion of the building as a hotel and the rest of the building as condominiums," said Dallas architect Mark Humphreys, whose firm has done some preliminary design work for the buyers. "We're working on a lot of condo projects in other markets that include hotels."

Mr. Goff could not be reached Monday for details about his proposal for the Statler Hilton. His Houston firm, the Gadfy Group, has optioned the 49-year-old Statler Hilton from Far East investors who have owned the property since the 1990s.

The building most recently operated as the Dallas Grand Hotel but has been closed for several years.

Several potential developers have looked at converting the vacant building into residential or other uses.

Alice Murray, president of the Central Dallas Association, said Mr. Goff recently talked with city officials and other downtown business leaders about his plans for the old hotel.

"They've been visiting with a few people about the project," Ms. Murray said.

The 738-room Statler Hilton is one of the largest empty buildings in downtown Dallas.

Built in 1956, it was once the flagship of the Statler Hilton chain and one of the largest hotels west of the Mississippi.

The Hilton Hotel chain sold the building in the late 1980s when it pulled out of the downtown market.

E-mail stevebrown@dallasnews.com

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Steve Brown:

Condos galore; any takers?

Who's buying into the building boom is a hot topic around town

11:08 PM CST on Thursday, March 24, 2005

The most frequent question I get asked these days isn't about the strong-mayor election or what's going to happen to the Mercantile tower downtown.

What people really want to know is who's going to live in all those new condo towers on the drawing board?

Dallas is in the middle of an unprecedented high-rise residential boom. More than a half-dozen projects are in the works in Uptown alone, including the W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences, the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Cresta Bella, the Azure, and condo towers at the Stoneleigh Hotel and Maple Terrace.

High-rise living isn't new in Big D. It started in the 1920s with residential "hotels" such as the Stoneleigh, Argyle and Cliff Towers.

Dallas' penchant for residential towers was rekindled in the 1960s and continued through the 1990s with a series of buildings, mostly along Turtle Creek.

In the 1970s when people said they lived in a Turtle Creek high-rise, Dallas folks would raise their eybrows and suspect they were relocated New Yorkers.

But there aren't enough East Coast expats to account for the current boom.

Along with Uptown's building binge, developers are trying to convert a handful of downtown skyscrapers into condominiums. Who'd have guessed that the former LTV Building on Elm Street, for example, would wind up as trendy center-city residences?


W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residence is one of the condo projects under construction in Uptown Dallas. Dallas architect Mark Humphreys

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7-Eleven to move its Headquarters to the Arts District

Here's the link:


7-Eleven will move its location from Cityplace to a new mixed use development in the Arts District of Downtown Dallas. The new development will be at the end of Flora street (which serves or will serve as the "spine" of the Arts District). Flora will connect Dallas Musuem of Art with the new development. Expect to see a lot of construction in the Arts District starting late summer up to 2009. Click on the link above to go to the Dallas Morning News Article.

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