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Public/Private Partnership to Develop Five Acre Public Park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway | Klyde Warren Park

Jody Grant, chairman of Texas Capital Bank, Linda Owen, president of The Real Estate Council, and Mayor Laura Miller announced today the formation of a public/private partnership to create a five acre urban park that will connect Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District, and will play an integral role in the City’s continued renaissance.
 
Woodall Rodgers Park will be built on top of a deck that will cover Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl Street and Akard Street. A study is currently underway to determine the cost of the project? however, the private sector fundraising effort has been successfully launched with the formation of a 501(c)(3) and four lead donations, which will be allocated throughout the project:
  • $1 million The Real Estate Council Foundation
  • $1 million – Texas Capital Bank
  • $1 million – Jody and Sheila Grant
  • $500,000 – Crescent Real Estate Equities 
Mr. Grant has been named chairman of the private sector capital campaign and has assembled a Board of Directors that is comprised of business, civic, cultural and city leaders, which can be found at the end of this release.
 
“Urban parks have helped define some of the world’s greatest cities including New York’s Central Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, London’s Hyde Park, and Boston’s Public Gardens,” said Mr. Grant. “This is our opportunity to contribute to the revitalization of Downtown Dallas and give Dallas a lasting legacy.”
 
"What is unique and remarkable about this park is not simply the beauty of the park itself, but the amazing way in which it will be created out of thin air and on top of a freeway," said Ms. Owen. "The park will be a joyful and memorable gathering place and will reflect the bold collaboration of people from throughout our region to create a public asset for the entire community.”
 
Ms. Owen also believes that Woodall Rodgers Park will spur economic development in the area. "Our initial estimate is that annual tax revenues could increase approximately $34 million. As soon as the feasibility study is completed, we will have more numbers to report and will share those with the public."
 
The Park and Recreation Department’s 2004 Master Plan identified a number of potential sites, including the space over Woodall Rodgers, that could create a network of signature parks. The plan was approved by the City Council and the order of priority was to be dictated by private sector support.
 
“Woodall Rodgers Park will, once again, unite three of the most vibrant and fastest growing areas of Dallas – Uptown, Downtown, and the Arts District. The park, coupled with our plans for the Trinity River Corridor, the revitalization of downtown, the cultural metamorphosis in the Arts District and the Uptown/Deep Ellum entertainment zone makes Dallas an unbeatable city for our citizens and visitors,” said Mayor Miller. “This is another great example of the private sector stepping up to turn a vision into a reality.”
 
Timing for the park couldn’t be better as the Arts District continues to flourish with plans for the state-of-the-art Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, a new Museum of Nature & Science at the corner of Field and Woodall Rodgers, and the Trinity River Corridor, which will link downtown with the southern sector via three Santiago Calatrava-designed bridges.
 
Woodall Rodgers Park is estimated to be completed in 2012.
 
About Texas Capital Bank
 
Texas Capital Bank is a commercial bank that delivers highly personalized financial services to businesses and private clients. Headquartered in Dallas, the Bank has $2.6 billion in assets and has fullservice locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Plano and San Antonio. The Bank is the primary subsidiary of Texas Capital Bancshares (NASDAQ: TCBI), which is included in the Russell 2000 ® Index. For further information, please visit us at www.texascapitalbank.com.
 
About The Real Estate Council
 
The Real Estate Council, organized in 1990, is comprised of more than 1250 members engaged in all aspects of commercial real estate. Through The Real Estate Council Foundation, founded in 1994, members have invested more than $4 million and thousands of hours of pro bono professional expertise in economic development initiatives within Dallas’ inner city. Today, The Real Estate Council participates in a range of activities—educational, charitable and political—designed to foster job growth and a better quality of life in the North Texas region.
 
About Crescent
 
Celebrating its tenth year, Crescent Real Estate Equities Company (NYSE: CEI) is one of the largest publicly held real estate investment trusts in the nation. Through its subsidiaries and joint ventures, Crescent owns and manages a portfolio of 75 premier office buildings totaling 30 million square feet primarily located in the Southwestern United States, with major concentrations in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Denver, Miami and Las Vegas. In addition, Crescent has investments in worldclass resorts and spas and upscale residential developments, such as the new Residences at Ritz Carlton Dallas scheduled to break ground this year. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.crescent.com.
 
EXAMPLES: DECK PARKS
  • Millennium Park in Chicago and Freeway Park in Seattle.
 
EXAMPLES: URBAN PARKS THAT ARE SIMILAR IN SIZE
  • Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta (7 acres)
  • Yerba Buena Park in San Francisco (5.5 acres)
  • Bryant Park in New York (5.4 acres)
  • Union Square in San Francisco (2.6 acres)
  • Post Office Square in Boston (1.7 acres)
RELATED QUOTES
 
Mayor Laura Miller, State of the City Address, February 5, 2003 
“I am dead set on getting Dallas to the next level of revitalization – a downtown that is alive with shops, restaurants, parks and green spaces that can become Dallas’ central living room.”
 
Dallas Morning News, September 5, 2004
“Council members wisely endorsed the downtown parks master plan and included $5 million for downtown parks in the bond package. Those are the first steps towards providing more green space in the center city – which is critical for the sort of revitalization that would boost tax receipts from commercial properties downtown. And that’s one way to lighten the tax burden that now falls disproportionately on homeowners in the northern sector.”
 
Adam McGill, magazine, January 2004
“Woodall Rogers has always been an eyesore we’ve tolerated. But now that the lovely, serene Nasher Sculpture Center has opened, something must be done. Put a lid on it. In 1994, Fail Thomas of the Dallas Institute commissioned architects Phil Tabb and Robert Armann to devise a plan called the Dallas Urban Village. The plan included covering Woodall Rogers between Peal and Akard Streets, providing an aesthetically pleasing public space.
 
John Glad, a self-described urban pragmatist, came up with a master plan of his own. His version of a covered Woodall Rogers is between Pearl and Harwood, and it bridges downtown Dallas with the Crescent. He calls hi scheme the One Sky Center, and he likens it to Paris’ ChampsElysees. There would be a plaza level for dense commercial development? beneath that, there would be parking and stores and the like? and then, beneath that, Woodall Rogers traffic.
 
Be it park or plaza, we’re in favor of any alternative to the noise that emanates from the concrete corridor.”
 
Inside the Loop Committee, 2003
“Other major cities across the United States have invested hundreds of millions of dollars – or even billions of dollars – in coordinated public/private strategies for their downtowns. It is time for Dallas to undertake similarly bold strategies in an ambitious, yet businesslike, orderly and pragmatic manner. We must have the collective will – in both the public and private sectors – to embrace this approach in order to realize the economic benefits such investments deserve.”
 
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