When Will They Begin to Re:Vision Dallas? Depends On When City Creates That "Sustainable Design District" Downtown.

entangled-bank_2_ed2.jpg
If you thought they'd forgotten to build this behind Dallas City Hall, you'd be wrong.
It's been an awful long time since last we wrote about John Greenan and Brent Brown's plans to build that green, sustainable building of tomorrow directly behind Dallas City Hall. But a few days ago, a piece written by a former local crossed my screen celebrating Dallas -- and this project in particular -- as "the future of urban design." And, it said, groundbreaking is scheduled for later this year. Which is what Greenan and Brown hoped for when we started talking about this in 2008.

But, no. Put away your shovels. It'll be a while before they Re:Vision Dallas.

"It's funny -- stories about this keep echoing around the Internet," Greenan said when I called this afternoon for a long-needed update. "People find the pictures, I guess, then write about it, because they think it's cool. And that's good. I guess that means there's interest."

But the project, he says, has become entangled -- as in, the Entangled Bank, for those who've forgotten -- in the North Central Texas Council of Government's big-picture project known as the Building Blocks Sustainable Development District. As it turns out, the COG granted the city of Dallas $156,250 to look at creating what Greenan calls a "sustainable design district in the southern part of downtown," more or less between Dallas Farmers Market and the Dallas Convention Center.

The city and COG, he says, want to create an "incentive to encourage this kind of development, which sounds a little oblique, I know, but we have to start somewhere." He says it's more or less "envisioned as an addition to the Downtown Dallas 360 plan," with the hope that the Re:Vision Dallas building will serve as the center piece.

Greenan just turned into the city a draft letter outlining the criteria for the district, and in June or close to, he says, the city start trying to find a consultant who will "examine the capacity for wind energy, solar energy and various kind of urban agriculture and sustainable development across that area and determine what's feasible and how. And then the city will determine how to best develop that area."

So, no. No groundbreaking in 2011. But some day, he promises.
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12 comments
Dallas Real Estate
Dallas Real Estate

LOL, after the Barnett Shell we have Drills everywhere.  To top it off they try to cover them up with these huge cloth perimeters.  I think they are on track on Making the Green!

James Brazos Cole
James Brazos Cole

Even if this is finished, it will be anything but "affordable housing".

Catbird
Catbird

I'll never happen because it cannot sustain itself financially without significant government subsidies.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

That looks great. I realize it'll take a lot of white paint to get the rest of the city as an appropriate background, but I imagine there is a study planned for that...

Pennywhistle
Pennywhistle

It would be fantastic if the Design Studio would work on designing something where there is demand and that can be financed. So far it seems like they've done a great job of putting together wonderful color pictures of an imaginary Dallas. These guys work in a laboratory devoid of what makes projects actually work and they have no experience with successful development. These activities should be done in a university setting.

Rantanamo
Rantanamo

Something is missing from the story. Is this against current zoning or something? Are Greenan and Brown looking for TIF money? Why wouldn't they just build it?

Texaspainter
Texaspainter

Dallas will never be a green city unless they prevent gas drilling from coming into the city.

moderndrift
moderndrift

I'm so confused. They need the study to move forward with funding for the building? Why not just build it and then let the district sprout up around it? It's become almost a joke, but these studies are getting out of hand.

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

This looks like a gigantic Hydroponic Garden for Cannabis.

"You put your WEEEEED in there!"

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

Dallas: a "City of Districts"

It amuses me how everything in this city has to be categorized, studied-to-death and is not allowed to develop organically. Shouldn't sustainable design be promoted everywhere in Dallas?

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