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Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Unveils New Park Design and Announces Major Donor Gifts

The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation today unveiled the park design by renowned landscape architect James Burnett, FASLA, and announced more than $10 million in gifts to the project.
 
The design for the 5.2-acre park, which will be built on a deck over Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul Streets, was based largely on feedback from public input sessions held at the Nasher Sculpture Center in February 2006. The park incorporates a number of the features the public requested, including:
  • Children’s garden with a playground and a discovery area
  • Dog park
  • Café and outdoor terrace
  • Acoustical performance stage with lawn seating for up to 3,300 people
  • Reading and games area
  • Several plazas that include water features and moveable seating
  • Interactive water features and a 25-foot high glass water sculpture
  • Shady groves and lawn space
  • Wireless Internet access

“Great cities have great parks, and this fascinating park will become the ‘front lawn’ for downtown Dallas,” said Jim Burnett of the Office of James Burnett and landscape architect for Woodall Rodgers Park. “There’s something for everyone to enjoy, whether it’s strolling through the gardens, having a picnic on the lawn, eating at the café, taking the dog to the dog park, listening to a concert, or having children play in the discovery area. The park will be a vibrant and attractive addition to downtown.”

Linda Owen, president of The Real Estate Council, added, “This innovative deck park will have an impact in and around the central business district in terms of commercial, residential and retail development. It will generate important tax revenue that will help with city-wide infrastructure, housing and transportation improvements.”
According to an economic impact report prepared by Insight Research Corporation, development and operation of Woodall Rodgers Park itself will create $312.7 million in economic benefit including 182 new jobs and $12.7 million in tax revenue benefits. Another $91.1 million in increased tax revenues for the city, county, school and hospital districts will be generated by increases in land values and two real estate projects expected to be built solely as a result of the park’s creation. The report also projects an increase in new office space construction and absorption within one half mile of the park, further enhancing Dallas’ tax base.

The Foundation is also very pleased to announce more than $10 million has been raised during the quiet phase of the fundraising campaign including the following gifts:

  • Anonymous - $500,000*
  • Anonymous - $3 million**
  • Corrigan Properties, Inc. - $1 million
  • Crescent Real Estate Equities - $500,000
  • Hunt Consolidated, Inc. - $1 million
  • Jody and Sheila Grant - $1 million
  • JPI Companies and The Schubert Family - $250,000
  • Museum Tower, L.P. (A co-development of Brook Partners, Inc. and Turtle Creek Holdings, Inc.) - $500,000
  • The Real Estate Council - $1.5 million
  • Texas Capital Bank - $1 million

* Represents one donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
** Represents multiple donors who have not yet approved public release of their gifts.

“We are extremely grateful to those people and organizations that were early donors to this catalytic project,” said Jody Grant, Chairman of Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. “In honor of their vision and commitment, we are pleased to dedicate Olive Plaza to them and name it Founders’ Plaza.”

In addition to the private donations, $10 million was approved as part of the 79th Texas Legislature, to be allocated through the Texas Department of Transportation, and $450,000 was awarded in regional sustainable development funds through the North Central Texas Council of Governments. In addition, $20 million has been allocated to the project as part of the City’s 2006 Capital Bond Program, which will be voted on in November 2006.

Cost estimates for Woodall Rodgers Park are approximately $70 million.

A new Web site, donated and designed by architectural firm BOKA Powell, was also announced and may be found at www.woodallrodgerspark.com.

About The Park
 

Established in 2005, Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds and building an innovative deck park over the freeway, which will unify downtown, the Arts District and Uptown. Organizers include a collaboration of public, private, governmental and nonprofit entities that share a vision for a downtown park. Organizers plan to break ground in 2007, with a completion date scheduled for 2010. More information can be found at www.woodallrodgerspark.com.

About The Office of James Burnett

The Office of James Burnett is world renown for creating fresh and innovative designs that transform. The firm crafts landscapes that change perspectives and evoke emotional responses, creating unique and unforgettable experiences. The firm's portfolio includes urban park and resort projects, educational and corporate campuses, and health and wellness centers. For 17 years the firm, based in Houston, Texas, and San Diego, California, has designed awe-inspiring landscapes for clients around the world. For more information visit www.ojb.com.

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