Quick Wins, Bold Ideas, Talking Points Abound at Downtown Dallas 360 Plan Roll-Out

Categories: Development
DowntownDallas360_JohnCrawford.jpg
Photos by Patrick Michels
Downtown Dallas, Inc. President John Crawford conjures a vision of bright lights and walkable streets in the heart of Dallas.
Today, of course, as we mentioned over the weekend, marks a fair-sized milestone in the city's rich and storied tradition of urban plan unveilings, with a two-part ceremonial drop of the Downtown Dallas 360 plan.

In keeping with the public-private partnership-ness of the whole thing, the good folks at MIG, Dianiel Iacofano and Chris Beynon, presented the plan first to the City Council this morning (thrill to the PDF slideshow of the plan here), then to a collection of downtown business big-shots at the Fairmont for Downtown Dallas Inc.'s annual meeting and State of Downtown talk, over a lunch of herb-roasted chicken with smoked mashed potatoes. (The ones with the rosemary demi glace.)

A year in the making, and much previewed at City Hall already, the plan envisions lots of "glass box" kiosks and fancy lighting downtown, narrower streets at intersections, and retail rising Lazarus-like from the tunnels. The plan's even got an ESPNZone knockoff down by South Side on Lamar. More highlights follow after the jump.

DowntownDallas360_DanielIacofano.jpg
Chief urban planning mullah Daniel Iacofano scores quick wins with the bold ideas in the Downtown Dallas 360 plan.
Orbiting the podium with a mic in his hand, Iacofano warmed up the crowd with some encouraging news for everyone who wishes Dallas was a little more like Vancouver: "You're well on your way, with the vision of the Trinity Corridor," he said.

Putting the plan together, he said, they drew inspiration from the intersecting grids Dallas was built on, as well as "the seamless tapestry of districts" we've already got in some early evolutionary stages.

Iacofano also liked features like the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park The Park, to help blur the boundaries of the downtown loop, to help us "think about the loop as something that eventually disappears."

Iacofano said the council had been particularly enthusiastic this morning about the glass-box retail kiosks in the plan, which opened the possibilities for "quick wins" like the smell of popcorn popping and nuts roasting, the sorts of smells people fondly remember from busy downtowns they've known.

Beynon took over for the flashiest part of the presentation, a series of downtown snapshots -- views of Union Station, South Side on Lamar and the intersection of Main and Akard Streets -- that slowly morph from their present-day looks into a better lit and more walkable future view.

Crawford, who introduced the 360 plan with a quick look at the last decade of progress milestones downtown -- like today's celebration of the Nasher Sculpture Center's millionth visitor -- closed things out by assuring the room that there's a full schedule in place to turn the plan into action. "It's certainly achievable," Crawford said. "It's not a plan that's gonna sit on the shelf gathering dust."

The whole deal seemed to leave with a measured sort of optimism nicely wrapped up in a comment from a guy behind me on the elevator: "It may take 40 years instead of 20 years, but that's OK. The children'll enjoy it."
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CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

So, no food trucks (except in corrals where the city wants them) and no food carts, but popcorn and nut kiosks? Really, Dallas?

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Want to return to my youth in Downtown Dallas..Bring backBecks Burgers RockyFellers Burgers I think they were burgers..H L Greens Bargains The Preacher at across from NMThe Magic Shop by First Baptist ChurchMake Woodall Rodgers a tunnel Knowing Now what we didn't know then.

"like the smell of popcorn popping and nuts roasting, the sorts of smells people fondly remember from busy downtowns they've known."

Here as it was and still is the Stench of the Trinity . Then Intermixed with the Clouds of black diesel smoke from the old DTS Buses .

Somehow I don't think our ideas are going to jell.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Shanghai Jimmy's Chili Rice would be very nice.

Ed D.
Ed D.

I've been to 49 states (sorry, Alaska) and several countries but I don't remember ever seeing a glass-box kiosk selling popcorn in any of them. Not in Manhattan, not in Chicago, not in Toronto, not in Auckland, not anywhere. It sure _sounds_ nifty but wouldn't one of those rolling popcorn carts (of which I've seen plenty) make more economic sense for countless reasons? I had high hopes for this plan but what I'm hearing is "solar powered water taxis".

L_Streets
L_Streets

Will I be able to see the glass box kiosks from my solar powered water taxi?

Downtowner
Downtowner

So when is the first of the glass-box retail coming? And where? And what will they sell besides popcorn?

RC
RC

Are gas wells part of the plan?

db
db

I'd like to this plan not sit on the shelf

Guest
Guest

"narrower streets at intersections"

Except where there are old buildings that can be torn down. Those intersections will be widened.

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