Downtown Dallas: A Turnaround Built on Parks, Arts, and People

BY Ralph Bivins | Realty News Report | –

Dallas residents called it Stonehenge. This Texas version of the English landmark, like a monument to unfulfilled dreams and lingering failures, was an arrangement of heavy concrete pillars constructed in the 1980s to support an ambitious pair of 50-story office towers in downtown Dallas.

Companies left downtown Dallas in droves in the 1980s, and it went on to have the emptiest office market in the nation in the early 1990s. Stonehenge stood as a negative symbol for years.

But that era is over. Today, downtown Dallas is a different place. Stonehenge has been replaced by Hall Group’s new 18-story Hall Arts office tower—the first office project built in the central business district in years. In downtown’s Arts District, new performance halls and museums have been erected. The new Klyde Warren Park, a transformative downtown recreational haven built over a below-grade freeway, attracts scads of people every day of the week. And perhaps most important, dozens of older office buildings have been converted to residential use, giving rise to a more active street life.

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