Everything you wanted to know about the Urban Core, Uptown and Downtown Dallas, Texas & Dallas Ft. Worth Area Real Estate - Its growth, prosperity, setbacks and unprecedented revitalization is told here...Randall Turner of Harvard Companies, Inc 214-373-0007, 3500 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 325, Dallas, Texas 75219
Friday, February 10, 2017
Green Land Means Green For Developers
DALLAS—Klyde Warren Park created green space out of thin air, connecting the Uptown neighborhood with the Dallas Arts District and downtown, and has generated a real estate boom in the surrounding area.
DALLAS—Public parks strengthen communities and benefit resident health, the environment, quality of life, demand for surrounding properties and the economy. Klyde Warren Park, located at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul streets, created green space out of thin air, connecting the Uptown neighborhood with the Dallas Arts District and downtown.
When it comes to downtown turnaround, there is widespread praise for turning an eyesore freeway into a green space built atop it. Its transformation effectively erased the barrier between downtown and the Uptown district’s multifamily, retail and office markets.
The concept of building a deck park over the freeway may have originated in the 1960s when Dallas mayor J. Erik Jonsson decided to recess the freeway. Many years later in 2002, the idea resurfaced in the real estate community and John Zogg began to rally support for the project, says ULI.
In 2004, the Real Estate Council provided a $1 million grant to fund feasibility studies. Texas Capital Bank founder Jody Grant heard about the project and joined the cause with a $1 million personal donation and a $1 million donation from the bank.
In 2004, Grant, Zogg and Linda Owen formed the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, the organization that led the project from design to completion in 2012. The $110 million project was funded through a public-private partnership. Public support included $20 million in bond funds from the city, $20 million in highway funds from the state and $16.7 million in stimulus funds. The balance of funding was through individual donors directly to the foundation. The park is owned by the city, and privately operated and managed by the foundation.
Building a 5-acre deck park over a recessed eight-lane freeway took an imaginative team and a clear vision. The park was designed by landscape architect Jim Burnett, principal of The Office of James Burnett. The sustainable landscaping includes 37 native plant species and 322 trees.
The park is also a feat of engineering and design, created by Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. It is aligned with the street level and preserves clearance for the highway below. The deck is made of more than 300 concrete beams arranged in groups with spacing. Concrete slabs span the spaces connecting to the bottoms of the beams and forming trenches. The trenches act like planter boxes, allowing the trees growth space. A combination of Geofoam and specially designed soil helps keep the deck from being too heavy, according to a report by ULI.
The design and construction of the park was managed by Bjerke Management Solutions. The Texas Department of Transportation selected Archer Western as the contractor for construction of the deck plaza. McCarthy Building Companies Inc. served as the contractor to construct amenities and complete the park, GlobeSt.com learns.
Dan Biederman, president of Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, has been involved in the planning, operation, sponsoring and programming of the park. Biederman is best known for transforming New York City’s Bryant Park, as well as creating Levy Park in Houston.
“The project unlocked value and appeal for commercial building next to a gorgeous park,” Biederman tells GlobeSt.com. “It has been a catalyst for building in downtown.”
Indeed, the park has generated a real estate boom. Rents for office buildings near the park have gone up as much as 60% since 2014, and prices for development sites, such as surface parking lots, have approached $400 per square foot in some cases, says CBRE.
Along Pearl Street, which borders the northern edge of the park, two office projects are under construction. A partnership of Trammell Crow Company and MetLife is building the PwC Tower at Park District, a 20-story 500,000-square-foot office tower slated for completion in 2018, with PwC occupying 200,000 square feet of space. The building is part of the partnership’s mixed-use development, called the Park District, which also will have a 30-story residential tower and retail space overlooking Klyde Warren Park.
Across the street from the PwC Tower, Lincoln Property is developing a 260,000-square-foot 25-story office project at 1900 Pearl St. This site is adjacent to the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Arts District.
The 68-acre Arts District has been a growth generator in its own right. Nearby, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened in 2012 and has been attracting 1 million visitors annually. Also, new residential projects such as the 42-story Museum Tower condominiums opened in 2013.