Friday, September 14, 2007

The major banking and financial firm will be moving its home office from Detroit to Dallas, leasing five floors of office space into the newly renamed Comerica Bank Tower at 1717 Main St. Comerica is leasing 164,000 square feet in the skyscraper and will have a banking center on the ground floor. The bank plans to move more than 200 positions from Detroit to Dallas over the next three years and already has about 100 employees in its regional office downtown. “Comerica will become the largest Texas bank and, as a result, be good for downtown Dallas. We are glad to have them,” said Don Dowell of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas, Inc. who worked closely with the lease negotiations. Mr. Crawford, President and CEO of DowntownDallas, said that Comerica’s move is likely to bring increased office space demand from firms that do business with the bank.

DOWNTOWNDALLAS’ President & CEO John Crawford joined Shelle Sills, the Neiman Marcus’ vice president and general manager and DOWNTOWNDALLAS Board Member, Mayor Tom Leppert, and a collection of Neiman’s fans in wishing Neiman Marcus a happy 100th birthday on Monday. A celebratory event was held at the Downtown flagship store and included kind words from Shelle Sills, John Crawford, and Mayor Tom Leppert on the rich history of the downtown flagship store as well as it’s crucial role in downtown’s revitalization. Mayor Leppert proclaimed September 10, 2007, to be Neiman Marcus Day in Dallas at the birthday event as well and a cake cutting shortly followed. Neiman Marcus Day will provide many black-belt shoppers in Dallas a wonderful reason to “celebrate” future birthdays for the retail mecca!

On Thursday, September 13, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. Operation Rescue will begin, which is a preplanned collaborative partnership between the City of Dallas Crisis Intervention Team and the Dallas Police Department, in conducting an outreach to those chronic homeless who are suffering from debilitating disabilities. The initiative will target the area defined by Young/Harwood/I-30/Ervay, which has become an informal “safe haven” that has gradually grown through the year.
The goal of Operation Rescue is to assist unsheltered homeless people experiencing severe mental health and addiction disorders to gain treatment and entry into supportive housing programs. Crisis Homeless Outreach caseworkers will intensify their ongoing engagement in reaching out to the unsheltered homeless, and will focus on those who may be experiencing a crisis.
For more information, please contact Dave Hogan of the City of Dallas Crisis Intervention Unit 214-957-6902 or Deputy Chief Vincent Golbeck of the Dallas Police Department at 214-670-5059. The staging area is operational at 5:30 p.m. at the northeast corner of Cadiz and Ervay. Media outlets are encouraged to attend this operation.

• Web Design Studio is a web design company based in Raleigh, N.C., that provides interactive website design, e-commerce online stores, consulting services, and custom business solutions for clients worldwide. It will be opening its newest location in Dallas at the Crescent Court.• Midwest law firm Dykema will be expanding into downtown’s Comerica Bank Tower soon where it plans to eventually add up to 50 lawyers to the Dallas firm. Darrell Jordan, a recent Dallas mayoral candidate has been named managing attorney for the Dallas office.• Intellectual property litigation firm Alston & Bird recently opened a Dallas office at 2200 Ross Avenue. They are known as one of the largest intellectual practices among general practice law firms in the country.

The downtown landmark is getting a makeover of monumental proportions. The former bank space will soon become one of the most exclusive residential addresses in town. The building is being transformed into 215 apartments with two floors of retail space in the bottom. Atop this majestic giant will be a 3,000-square-foot penthouse that will have a 360-degree view of the city. As part of the renovation, the developer, Forest City Enterprises, has used environmentally friendly building materials in all of the apartments, including carpet produced from recycled materials and countertops made from crushed glass.

DOWNTOWNDALLAS has been busy in the recent weeks making downtown a more beautiful place to live, work, and play. In the last few weeks, the organization has increased landscape maintenance for areas around I-35 on the west side of Downtown. We will continue providing additional mowing, trimming, and edging of the grass in this area as well as areas along I-30. We currently provide enhanced maintenance for the entire area on the south side of the Woodall Rogers Freeway as well.
On Commerce Street adjacent to Neiman Marcus, DOWNTOWNDALLAS has made landscape enhancements to three tree wells. We have also completed the Seasonal Color Installations at Dealey Plaza, Morton Meyerson Symphony Center, Akard Park, and in the medians of Field and Pearl Streets.

DOWNTOWNDALLAS Board Member, Shelle Sills
President and General Manager, Neiman Marcus Downtown
Shelle is a native Dallas-ite. She was a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.She has been a part of the Retail Industry for more than 25 years in various capacities. She was the owner of The Gazebo, a women’s specialty store, for 17 years and in 1999 she joined Neiman Marcus as Vice President and General Manager of the Downtown Flagship store.
Ms. Sills currently serves as Chancellor for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a Board Member for Presbyterian Hospital; Foundation and Camp Sweeney/Southwest Diabetic Foundation Inc. In 2002 Fashion Group International honored Shelle with the Career Achievement in Retail Award. She serves on the Executive Committee for Downtown Dallas, serves on two TIF boards and is chairman of the retail sub committee
She serves on the board of The Salvation Army, is a member of the Crystal Charity Ball, serves on the Advisory Board of Cattle Barons Ball and Art Ball for the DMA.
Shelle’s D SPOT! (a.k.a. her favorite Downtown destination)"#1 is Neiman Marcus Downtown but a close second is standing in the Nasher Sculpture garden looking south and viewing the amazing sculpture against the Downtown skyline – It always makes me grateful to be a part of this great city."
Why Shelle is passionate about Downtown?"The opportunity to build Downtown with all its moving parts…Main Street, The Arts District, Victory, West End, the Trinity, Deep Ellum, and the Cedars is critical to the future of our city."
Shelle's favorite Downtown memory"As a little girl coming to the Downtown store with my mother and Grandmother – going to the Zodiac Room where the blue sugar turned my tea green, having a princess sundae and watching the fashion shows, and attending my first fortnight with my mother."
Why Shelle supports DOWNTOWNDALLAS "There isn’t a more important way to help in the ongoing revitalization than to participate in the DowntownDallas organization. We are at a critical point and our efforts now will determine the future of Downtown and the greatness of our city. For decades the Neiman Marcus flagship has stood alone and we are now positioned for the vibrancy of the past to come alive in a new and impactful way."

Texans of all ages are invited to join Downtown Dallas in celebrating the first day of the great State Fair of Texas? Friday, September 28, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Pegasus Plaza for the biggest and best lunchtime party in the nation. Over 45,000 revelers are expected to attend the FREE Downtown Roundup, the 15th consecutive year that Downtown has kicked off the fair with live music, an exciting chili cook-off and a colorful parade.
Don’t forget to pull on your jeans and boots, grab your cowboy hat and mosey to Pegasus Plaza (Main at Akard) for these festive activities:
11:00 a.m. – Dance to live tunes from Blue Lisa and the T Bones at Pegasus Plaza
11:30 a.m. – Savor the aroma as corporate teams, representing a “Who’s Who” of Downtown, vie in the good-natured and lively DOWNTOWNDALLAS Chili Cook-off. Using only Texas-based ingredients, the six-person teams prepare their own special recipes as they compete for prizes in three categories: Spirit, Showmanship (decorations) and, of course, Best Chili. This year the festivities will include a special Downtown Chef’s competition! Best of all, after the teams have been judged, the public is invited to stop by the creatively decorated booths to sample the tasty entries while supplies last.
12:00 p.m. - The high-stepping Opening Day Parade begins at Main and Houston streets. Traveling eastbound on Main to Good-Latimer, the procession features decorated floats, the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps from Washington, D.C., equestrian and marching units, giant stilt walkers and other colorful units highlighted by the popular corporate marching brigades.
12:45 p.m. - Who will win this year’s coveted “Best of Downtown” awards? The winners of the chili cook-off and brigade competition are announced at Pegasus Plaza.
The 2007 Downtown Roundup is presented by DOWNTOWNDALLAS and the State Fair of Texas. For information about the Downtown Roundup only, call 214-744-1270 or visit