Inside out: Connecting the core of the CBD to the Arts District and Uptown

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By Brooke Armstrong

Dallas Skyline properties are evolving, morphing themselves into a ‘live, work, play’ environment, with new developments and capital improvements to established assets generating strong interest in the CBD and nearby Uptown for perspective tenants and investors, alike.

Our solid economic fundamentals, strong employment pool and continued job gains are driving demand and interest to the area. While the Dallas Arts District and Uptown maintain their momentum, it’s the historic “core” assets within our Skyline that are struggling to find their identity.

It’s the “how” and the “when” owners supplement their investments to these assets that has a lot to do with the level of success they have in our highly active market.

This year’s Skyline report provides a unique look at the trends happening in the Dallas CBD and Uptown, but more importantly, may provide a blueprint for how the two areas may soon be more connected.

The CBD is particularly attractive to the professional services industry. Accountants, law firms, and consultants, etc. are able to secure a work environment with nearby amenities in close proximity to their fellow business-to-business type companies. They want to be where the action is.

Next steps may require the right investor or investors with vision and pioneering spirit to continue what we’re seeing in and around Comerica Bank Tower. With The Statler Hilton, and strategic investments by Tim Headington, such as relocating Forty Five Ten to Main Street, we’re starting to see this area’s potential come to fruition.  This been a long time coming.

If we could see that momentum continue down Main Street, and then move up toward the Arts District, where we could connect the two, creating one cohesive living-working environment.

Progress will likely be slow and may take upwards of ten to fifteen years to generate the necessary energy from these southern assets the north. But fortunately, there is some activity in the north working its way south.

Recent announcements such as the renovation and addition to Trammel Crow Centers’ tower with the mixed use project of retail, hotel and multifamily to the south of the tower is a great example.

This development cycle is bringing more discussion of development south of Woodall Rogers than we saw last cycle with the Bank of America site, Hall, Spire, the West End, etc.  This activity could start to bridge the gap between the core and Ross Avenue.

There’s tremendous opportunity and potential, but it’ll take time. What’s recently been “a tale of two cities” for our downtown will inevitably become a unified and vibrant urban core.

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