Thursday, August 07, 2014

Dallas Parks says Pacific Plaza going out to bid with strict requirements

Pacific Park is a city-owned 3.5-acre park in the middle of downtown Dallas. The City of Dallas currently doesn't have any money to transform the surface level parking lot into a lush garden, but some Dallas developers hope to help make the site a profitable venture. Photo courtesy of Michael-Chase Eaton of Aerial Photography Inc.

The Dallas Parks Department met Thursday to discuss the development of Pacific Plaza, a city-owned 3.5-acre site that's currently being used as a surface parking lot and is earmarked to become a city park.

Despite the two remaining development proposals on the board to turn the parking lot into a lush park, the parks board has decided to take the project to a full bidding process.

"They don't want any structures on the surface of the park, but they want to see underground parking underneath the park," Turkish developer Mike Sarimsakci told the Dallas Business Journal."People will need to sit back and do a financial analysis and see if it's feasible.

"We need to seriously look at how much it will cost to build, how much revenue you could generate from parking and crank out the numbers," he added.

Originally, Sarimsakci put together a proposal to help pay the $11 million to $12 million to convert the surface parking lot into a park, which includes two high-rise office towers and retail space.

He was one of three developers and development groups that proposed plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create a much larger vision for the park space to attract residents and office tenants to downtown Dallas.

Pacific Plaza has become ground zero for a debate on the city's green spaces and parking places.

As part of the bid process, the Dallas Parks Department wants to maximize the amount of greenery on the Pacific Plaza park. The details of the developing request for proposal haven't been outlined yet.

Sarimsakci says he'll look at the request for proposal carefully as his property at 211 N. Ervay and the neighborhood could benefit from more parking.

"If it works out, a parking garage would help all the buildings around that park," he told me.