Craig Hall Donates Restaurant Space

Texas Sculpture Walk rendering
July 15, 2014 | News

DALLAS, TX – Craig Hall, chairman and founder of Hall Financial Group, announced today that he has donated two premium restaurant spaces in the mixed-use Hall Arts development to Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT). The two Dallas Arts District restaurants will contain a combined total of 11,500 square feet. Both will face Flora Street from the ground level of KPMG Plaza at Hall Arts, the project’s Phase I office building. The new building and restaurants are located directly across Flora from the Meyerson Symphony Center.

World-renowned chef and entrepreneur Stephan Pyles has already pre-leased one of the two donated spaces for his Flagship restaurant based in part on its location in the middle of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. From these restaurants, guests will be able to enjoy the views of Sammons Park, the Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Winspear Opera House. Also just steps away are the Wyly Theatre, Dallas City Performance Hall, the Cathedral de Guadalupe, the Dallas Museum of Art, and a number of other architecturally significant venues.

The Hall Arts development project and the two Phase I restaurant sites are designed to increase pedestrian traffic and enhance street life along Flora while complementing the beauty and charm of the existing Arts District venues.

As the pioneer of fine dining in the Dallas Arts District, Chef Stephan Pyles says, “I am thrilled to be able to relocate my flagship restaurant even deeper into the heart of the Arts District where the Hall Arts development will be ‘ground zero.’ Hall’s donation of the space we are leasing is philanthropy at a level most of us only dream of. Because of my relationships with Craig and Kathryn Hall and Communities Foundation of Texas, Stephan Pyles Restaurant will be directly contributing to local arts organizations on a daily basis. We hope and expect that the restaurant’s continued success at our new Hall Arts location will make a positive difference in multiple ways to the city, to the Arts District, and to the surrounding communities.

The Hall agreement with Communities Foundation of Texas assures the foundation no out-ofpocket costs associated with the development of the building or the build-out of the spaces. Monies derived as a result of this gift will be placed in a donor-advised fund. The Hall family can make recommendations related to the use of the fund, which will be administered by Communities Foundation of Texas. It is Craig Hall’s hope that this gift will result in contributions to benefit arts groups in Dallas. “This novel and creative gift from Craig Hall capitalizes on CFT’s ability to handle complex charitable assets and put them to good use in the community,” said Brent Christopher, president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas. “ Donor-advised funds are all about the passions of the donors, so we will be proud to help the Halls give back to the arts and make Dallas even more vibrant.”

Craig Hall, his family, and his companies consistently participate with the communities where they live and work through the donation of both time and financial resources. Among other gifts to the Dallas Arts District, the Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation contributed $1 million in early funding to facilitate the development of Klyde Warren Park. This new CFT gift represents Hall’s ongoing commitment to the city of Dallas, the Arts District, and surrounding communities.

Texas laws restrict producers of wine sold in Texas from owning the premises where wine and other alcoholic beverages are sold at retail here. Since the Halls are producers of premium wines from the Napa Valley and elsewhere, this donation to the Communities Foundation complies with the appropriate laws while still providing for the development of needed restaurants in the Dallas Arts District. “I have a great deal of respect for Brent Christopher, president of Communities Foundation of Texas, and the positive results he and his team are producing for a number of important organizations in our state,” said Craig Hall. “With the plan for profits derived from this gift to benefit Dallas arts groups, I think it will be fun when people realize that by dining at Stephan Pyles and the other new restaurant at Hall Arts, they will also be indirectly contributing to the benefit of local arts organizations. I believe businesses should do well and do good, too. As more and more people come to the restaurants at Hall Arts, hopefully local nonprofits will benefit and everyone wins.” Construction began on the two-block, five-acre Hall Arts development site in September 2013 with an initial focus on reinforcing the infrastructure of the existing seven-level underground parking garage. Phase I of the Hall Arts project includes an 18-story, 500,000-square-foot, Class AAA office building and an adjacent half-acre public park with water features, seating areas, and unique installations of owned and newly commissioned contemporary sculpture by some of Texas’ finest artists. The park and sculpture walk span Ross Avenue to Flora Street and will serve to physically connect the Dallas Central Business District with the Arts District. Today, construction on the 18-story office building at 2323 Ross Avenue is 16 levels above ground. The building is 60% pre-leased with key office tenants including KPMG, Jackson Walker, UMB Bank, and Hall Financial Group. Completion on Phase I at Hall Arts is scheduled for April 2015.

About Communities Foundation of Texas
As the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation, Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works with families, companies and nonprofits to strengthen our community through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grant making initiatives. The foundation professionally manages 900 charitable funds like the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation and has awarded $1.4 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.

About Stephan Pyles
Chef Pyles, a fifth generation Texan, has opened 21 restaurants in five cities over the past 30 years including Routh Street Café, Star Canyon, the eponymous Stephan Pyles and Stampede- 66. He has authored four highly successful cookbooks and hosted two seasons of the Emmy Award-Winning PBS series New Tastes from Texas. He is a pioneer of New American Cuisine and the legendary founding father of Modern Texas Cuisine. His Flagship Restaurant, currently located at 1807 Ross, was named “Texas’ Best New Restaurant of 2006” by Texas Monthly and one of America’s 16 Best New Restaurants by Esquire Magazine. Reservations can be made by calling 214‐580‐7000 or by visiting Pyles was the first person in the Southwest to win a James Beard Award for Best Chef and was the first Texan inducted into Who’s Who of Food and Wine in America. Pyles has cooked for dignitaries and celebrities around the world, including five American presidents and HRH Queen Elizabeth II. A tireless philanthropist, Pyles is a founding board member of Share Our Strength, America’s largest hunger relief organization and is a recipient of the organization’s Humanitarian of the Year award. He is a lifetime board member of the North Texas Food Bank and co-founder of The Hunger Link, Dallas’ perishable food program. Pyles has given $250,000 in culinary scholarships in his name over the past 12 years.

About Hall Arts
Hall Arts is Hall Financial Group’s mixed-use real estate project being developed in three phases in the center of the nation’s largest arts district in downtown Dallas. Phases I and II are located on one of the project’s two city blocks bordered by Ross Avenue, Leonard Street, Flora Street, and Crockett Street. The third phase of the project will be built on the block of land directly across Ross Avenue.

About Hall Financial Group
Founded in 1968, Hall Financial Group is owned by Craig Hall and family. Diversified holdings include active operations in commercial real estate development, ownership and management; software application development; structured finance lending for real estate and other areas; vineyards and wineries; and oil and gas.

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