$4.9 Million Boost for McKinney Avenue Trolley

Building on previously funded work set to begin later this year, this addition will allow the trolleys to carry passengers from far north Uptown down McKinney to Olive Street and then across the new Woodall Rodgers Deck Park. It will loop around the downtown Dallas Arts District, then travel up St. Paul Street back toward McKinney Avenue.

Officials say it could be finished by 2014.

McKinney Avenue trolley gets $4.9 million boost | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Dallas-Fort Worth Transportation News | Dallas-Fort Worth News
Source: dallasnews.com


New Neighborhood within the Design District?

Is it true?  Yes, it is.  On June 29th a group of business owners within the ‘new neighborhood’ came together to discuss ways to promote their businesses and give definition to their eclectic neighborhood.  Are you thinking what I am… what neighborhood?  Well, the neighborhood doesn’t have a name quite yet, but it will within the next month or so. 

In the meeting the group agreed that their neighborhood would consist of the businesses within the boundaries of Riverfront/Irving Blvd. to Levee and Parkhouse to Manufacturing (although, this is not set in stone quite yet and may be adjusted at a later date).  These bounds would include Dallas’ Newest Design Center, International on Turtle Creek.  A few of the names that have been suggested so far include:  East Bank in the Design District or East Levee in the Design District.

A follow up meeting is scheduled to take place on July 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm at Art Ability (163 Oak Lawn Avenue).  This will be a brainstorming session for a name for the neighborhood.  Everyone within the bounds are welcome to attend and submit a name for voting.  Voting will take place via email beginning July 15th – July 20th.  

To find out the results of the name for the New Neighborhood stay tuned… or attend their meeting on July 27, 2010 at LuminArte (1727 Levee).

– R


North Texas’ Largest Independence Day Event

The weekend is here, and the 4th of July is likely on the forefront of every American’s mind.  I’ll tell you where I am going to be.

I’m going to be somewhere fun and free, but it will not actually be on the 4th, it will be on the 5th. Many Americans will have this Monday as a holiday, so it is your duty as an American and as a citizen of Dallas to take full advantage.

This Monday at Fair Park, ‘where one fun thing leads to another,’ I will be painted head to toe in red white and blue just because I am an American.

If I get sticky due to all the paint, I can wash off at the Dancing Water Shows in Fair Park’s Esplanade, which begins at 6:00 p.m., and the Dallas Wind Symphony concert starts at 8:30 p.m.

There will be a dazzling firework display by Grucci that begins at 9:30 p.m., and will be synchronized with music. Did you expect anything less from the likes of Grucci?

There will also be hot dogs, funnel cakes, admission to the Texas Discovery Gardens, the American Railroad Museum is open and the Hell Cats from the United States Military Academy will perform.

And…this is all free. So, come be apart of the city to which you belong and celebrate what we have today.  Hot dogs and freedom.

Wait, I forgot to add fireworks. That’s important too.


Dallas: Nation’s Fastest Growing City

How could this be? Dallas is not a port city. There are no beautiful beaches. It gets hot during the summer. What on earth makes it so desirable?


According to Mayor Tom Leppert, Dallas has a very favorable business climate. There is no corporate income tax and regulations are nominal. That must be appealing to some of the higher-tax states that are being bamboozled by our federal government.

Let us use LeBron James’ current contract and free agency as an example. His current contract pays him $15 million. Now, if he were to take that contract to Dallas instead of New York, he would save himself $2 million. That’s a good deal of cheddar.

Leppert has honed his efforts in on economic development, and he has produced plenty of evidence since becoming mayor in 2007, as reflected by the revitalization of downtown. According to CNN, today Dallas is officially the fastest growing U.S. city.

The fact that one of our nation’s top ten cities is growing faster than any other, amidst our current economic state, goes to show just how resilient Dallas is. Not that Dallas is immune to an economic downturn, but right now the potential for development is there and people are not standing around with their hands in their pockets.

Thousands of jobs have been created because of the city’s Trinity River Project. The project will do much more than enhance the skyline and provide jobs to people in need. It will give Dallas the second largest urban park in the nation, ball fields, lakes and trails that are all in the heart of downtown.

What you are about to witness, is a public works project transform a city and unite its citizens. While it can be debated that this project is the reason for the city’s growth, it would be hard to argue that the knowledge of what is to come hasn’t played a significant role.

An integral key in helping to drive growth is the area’s main airport, DFW International, which is now the third busiest in the nation. The airport serves as a modern day ‘port,’ if you will.

What the city has been missing in the past is a vibrant downtown, which is now beginning to develop. Some recent improvements include a new arts center, a light rail system, new downtown housing, trolley restoration and the best shopping in the southwest.

With a more energetic feel and more active nightlife, Dallas has the looks of a city with all the right moves. If you’re living in Dallas, buy into the idea that your stock is going up.


Full Retail—For Suckers

LHO Design & Consign is a top-notch consignment store in the DDD that is a necessary stop if you are interested in decorating your home or apartment.

“Why?” you ask.

I’ll tell you by answering some of my own questions directed towards myself.

Do I want to shop at an upscale store? Maybe.

Do I want new items, fresh from a showroom floor? I thought this was a consignment store (confusion).

What if I told you that your perspective on consignment was outdated and these showroom items would be triple the cost in Highland Park? Now, you have my attention.

Now that I have my own attention, I may continue.

LHO Design offers discounted furniture and various artsy decorative pieces.  Whether you would like to decorate a rugged ranch, a quaint lake house, a modern apartment or a home with a white picket fence, LHO could get the job done.

Plain and simple, there is something for everyone. But after speaking with the owner, I learned that if she couldn’t meet your needs, she would direct you to someone who could.

She believes that there may be other people out there that are doing the same for her. And she also believes in the customer. I could tell when I walked in the store that she thinks more of the customer than she does of herself.

LHO is a customer-oriented store that offers an approximate 50% deduction off of retail price for most items.  Don’t think less of consignment and be educated. It doesn’t have to mean old or used.

In reality, consignment is actually just one party facilitating the sale of another party’s goods. Visit LHO and see the quality and discounts for yourself.

Remember, retail is for suckers.


Finally Finished

This is only the beginning of many good things coming Dallas’ way.

At 2323 Victory Avenue, suite 700, a “topping off” party was held Monday morning that featured many Dallas councilmen, congressmen, congresswomen and local business owners who were celebrating a momentous occasion for their city.

The Calatrava arch is now complete, and now beautiful evidence exists that the Trinity River Project is real right in the heart of downtown. The people of Dallas now have another reason to smile.

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was in a very congratulatory mood during the champagne toast this morning and was thankful for all of the hard work put into making the project a reality.

Senator Hutchison believes that “we are taking a really, really good city and we are going to make it great.” And ex-mayor Laura Miller believes that “the Trinity River Project is the greatest project that Dallas will ever, ever do.” She also suggests that “you will want to be a part of this project because nothing ever built in our city will be as important as this.”

The truth is, this is important.  I believe that it is important for a city to have a unifying force within it, some place that brings us all together. This project can unite the city from all corners and bring together all races and ages. The rich and the poor.

People should soon begin flocking to see what is transpiring and what the project has to offer now that a 400-foot, pearly-white arch sits on top of the Trinity.

More news and updates will follow @ www.dallasdesigndistrict.net as soon as we learn of them. Stay tuned and let us be your first source for Trinity River Project developments.


It's Trolley Time!

On February 16th, 2010, the city of Dallas was blessed with a $43 million grant from the federal government for roads and streetcars. The announcement landed on the year anniversary of Obama’s signing of the stimulus package. Hey, something good happened!

However, this was the only grant out of 51 given out on Wednesday that went to Texas. $23 million of the grant from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds is reserved for the downtown streetcar project that will connect North Oak Cliff to downtown.

Here is a little side note: Ft. Worth applied for the grant but got shut down. However, Ft. Worth was instrumental in helping Dallas to receive the grant, so thank you. Scoreboard reads Dallas 1, Ft. Worth 0.

The project will provide mobility, increase transportation options in Dallas and spur the city to become more connected. It will better the flow of Dallas.

Developers would prefer to build a community where people are gathering in an effort to increase quality of life. The goal is to get those people where they need to be by providing a link between jobs and residents.

The streetcar system is designed to target commuters in multi-purpose districts contiguous to downtown. This will surely link urban areas in Dallas together by providing multiple transportation options.

The trolley would run along Main to Houston Street, where it would connect with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority and Trinity Railway Express lines at Union Station.

Stops would be made at the Dallas Convention Center, the Trinity River Park, the Methodist Dallas Medical Center and also in many residential areas. By the way, the Trinity River Park is planned to be one of the largest in the nation. It is projected to be about 10X the size of Central Park.

Dallas is a very young city that is on the verge of becoming great. It is about turn into a place that is not to be seen, but a place to be seen in. It will become more vivacious that anyone imagined. So, stay tuned and be in the know at The DDD.


A Greater Dallas: The New Continental Bridge

One day the Continental Bridge may be referred to as a boardwalk. Sound crazy? Well, hear me out.

The bridge that crosses over the Trinity and connects downtown to West Dallas will become an elaborate pedestrian boulevard with sidewalks, play areas and a highly vegetated landscape zone upon the completion of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

As soon as the new bridge is finished, the old bridge will cease to carry motor vehicles on its back and will transform into a pedestrian attraction. With a dazzling view of downtown, a meandering river, downtown lakes, an island, wetlands and riding paths, the bridge should be attractive to people of all ages.

Just trying to imagine what the face of downtown will look like from the new Continental Bridge is both stunning and incomprehensible.

Ignacio Brunster, a member of the City Council’s Trinity committee provided some valuable insight to the project.

“First you’ll see on the west side, a series of pavilions and trellises for shade. These are places where vendors could come and set up carts and offer amenities for people to purchase on their way in. The bridge will include games like hopscotch, table chess, bocce ball and even a fountain.”

That’s right, there will likely be street vendors in the city of Dallas. The “boardwalk” will be a place for markets and fairs, and potentially a future place for a trolley line across the Trinity River.

You may ask, “How much is all this going to cost and who the heck is going to pay for all of it?” Well, the cost for design and construction of the Continental project has already been paid for an anonymous donation of $10 million.

Construction on the project will begin as soon as the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge opens. Interested citizen, are you as enthused as I?


Riverside Grill

I usually never give out tens, but today I was tempted. Notice how I said tempted. I’m not ready to do it yet.

But I really want to just cut through all the bull and eloquent speech to tell you that this place is good. I mean, it was really good.

Two of my old high school buddies and I walked in the door and received a kind greeting the moment my foot touched their floor’s surface. We were sat down by a waitress and brought drinks immediately.

Our food came out pretty quickly after we had ordered, and as you may already know, we were blown away. When our waitress gave us our food, what was once flowing conversation turned into complete silence. The only sounds my friends and I could muster were mumbled yumms.

It was a wham, bam, thank you Riverfront Grill kind of feeling we had as we walked out the door. But we were all very sure that we would be back on another day.

I want to be clear, THIS IS A BURGER JOINT. You come here for the burgers.

9.1 out of 10

Located @ 940 N Inustrial (now Riverfront) Blvd.


Trinity Strand Trail

Dallas, get excited because your city is about to get a lot better. Let me explain why.

Construction has begun on a 7.8 mile hike and bike trail along the old Trinity River watercourse, adjacent to downtown Dallas. The Trinity Strand Trail will improve air quality, provide recreational opportunities and promote ecotourism for our citizens and visitors to the city.

Not only will it make downtown more aesthetically pleasing, but it will make the city more connected. Part of the plan is that the Trinity Strand Trail will connect to the Katy Trail, which starts in Highland Park and comes all the way down to the American Airlines Center.

Essentially, what the trail will do is make the city more accessible by connecting area hotels, DART, medical facilities, businesses, and residential dwellings. It will likely bring numerous new developments to the Riverfront neighborhood.

With the Trinity Strand Trail, there will be a lot more parks downtown, and before you know it, you may find yourself living in a walking city like New York or Boston. Hey, anything is possible.

What really gets me excited is the environmental restoration we should see from various Trinity developments. More plants, flowers, trees, parks and lakes even. Yes, I said lakes. Don’t believe me?

Do a little homework and take some interest in your city. Check out http://trinityrivercorridor.com/ and get involved, because concerned citizens in the community are the only reason projects like these ever get done.

Sponsored by Jim Lake Companies