Meanwhile, Council Gives Craig Hall What He Wants: Big, Bright Signs in the Arts District

HallArtsCenterModel.JPG
A model of the proposed Hall Arts Center was schlepped into council chambers before today's vote.
A few weeks ago we noted that developer Craig Hall finally wants to build in the Arts District -- 25 years after he first came to the city with those extraordinary renderings of that spiraling tower. But he has maintained for months that the proposed Hall Arts Center, which would sit across the street from the Meyerson Symphony Center, is a no-go unless he gets the OK from the city to put tenant signs on the building -- which appalls some residents and building owners in the Arts District who're afeared of rendering the area too ... vulgar.

As Hall put it to the city council moments ago, "You cannot get tenants to pre-lease a substantial space without a sign, which is why we are here." And he had many supporters, among them Downtown Dallas Inc. President John Crawford and former council member Veletta Lill. Said Crawford, prospective Arts District and downtown tenants all tell him the same thing: Without "competitive signage options available, there is little to" no chance they'd ever make the move. "I think the bottom line is this is an economic development decision, and it relates to the growth [and] prosperity of downtown," Crawford told the council.

And so moments after the council killed that Lower Greenville bowling alley, it voted to give Hall what he wanted, more or less: one sign on each side of the building, so long as they're put at the top of the building. There were other restrictions too, the result of a last-minute compromise reached at noon, said council member Sandy Greyson. But in the end, he got what he wanted two weeks after the absent Angela Hunt tabled the discussion till this afternoon's meeting.

Of course, this guarantees nothing.

Before the vote, Sheffie Kadane asked Hall: "Does this get the building built?

To which Hall responded, "This is a helpful step, but it is not an assured thing this gets the building built. We're doing construction drawings now with all-local people. We were prepared if this did not pass to stop drawing and shelve the whole thing."
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Travis Rex
Travis Rex

Victory Park dreams...we know what happens when they wake up.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

There are lots of full downtown buildings without big lighted signs. 

Rangers100
Rangers100

There's also a One Arts building with a giant neon square sign.

Let him have a few signs.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Apparently, he needed the signs to get Omni Consumer Products to commit to a long term occupation, er lease.

Mister Nifty
Mister Nifty

I think it would be unwise for him to build anything substantial here.  In this time of a great recession, the prime area to build is very narrow.  As what is the prime area of central Dallas is dynamic and on the move, I think the best area to build now is in and around CityPlace because it has developed as the primary commercial shopping district for Central Dallas.Downtownl Dallas is an exellent example of how they won't come when its built.  Understand, how the city could care less.  The building can sit there empty as far as they are concerned just as long as it appears as a shell of prosperity.    

md
md

I agree we should adopt central planning and tear down those stores to construct an office tower.

Mister Nifty
Mister Nifty

That is how Uptown got built with lots of existing structures demolished.  Downtown no longer is the prime commercial shopping district of central Dallas it once was.  Victory Park is considered a failure because it couldn't develop retail.  The best place for that to happen is in and around CityPlace.   

NotTheSuburbs
NotTheSuburbs

I would bet you don't spend much time in downtown or the Arts District.  Quite a bit of construction going on now in both places.  CityPlace??

Mister Nifty
Mister Nifty

Construction is going on, but it isn't developing as a commercial shopping district.  Figure as the new terminal is completed added along with the Katy Trail, Turtle Creek, Lemmon Avenue, Central Expressay, and Haskell, this will become the true prime area.  Retail just isn't going to get built anywhere on a substantial order until the pecking order is established.

Anon
Anon

What on earth do the economics of this project look like when this sign determines its viability?

Guest
Guest

Some day, I am going to go before the city council and get them to vote for some special treatment for my imaginary properties, too.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

If the building is imaginary then who gives a shit if the vote goes his way or not?

Guest
Guest

I only care to the extent that I think it's marginally stupid we have city regulations on signs at all.

cp
cp

Good point. Especially since we have such visual blight as giant billboards littering up everything in town. 

G_David
G_David

Nobody, from what I can tell.  Other than himself.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

He sounds like a jerk. Just be happy that you got the special treatment you asked for and quit it with the threats. Just build the damn thing already.

Gabe
Gabe

*shelve the whole thing. 

Shelf is the noun, shelve is the verb. It's like effect and affect. Of course it doesn't help that  shelves is the plural as well as the 3rd person singular verb form.

/grammargestapo 

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

"Effect" can be both a noun and a verb.

Gabe
Gabe

True, I'd forgotten the older meaning, which is sometime like "create" or "do" or "put in effect". 

"We should effect these changes today"

Do people still use is that way? I'd sort of thought that had gone away. 

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

I rarely see it used as a verb in regular conversation.  I usually see it in legal (memos, statutes/regs and contract documents) and some technical writing.  As you mentioned, the two are often misused. 

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Fixed, of course. Because the last thing I need is anything with the word "gestapo" in it coming after me.

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