Oct 19, 2022 - News

How Downtown Dallas has made its journey upward

Downtown Dallas is finally experiencing its breakout moment. Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Downtown Dallas, once a place people only went to for work, has rebranded itself as a place where people can also spend leisure time.

Why it matters: Dallas is constantly competing with other major U.S. cities — and smaller cities in North Texas — for new development, businesses and people.

  • Projects like Klyde Warren Park and the AT&T Discovery District have enabled Downtown to become a place where people can live, work and socialize — which Dallas leaders say help the city stand out over its competitors.

Driving the news: Downtown Dallas Inc., which promotes business and residential growth in the central business district, hosted a State of Downtown yesterday to share the results of a survey of 1,600 neighborhood residents and workers.

  • The presentation was followed by a fireside chat between the publisher of the Dallas Business Journal and Mayor Eric Johnson, who lived in Downtown when he was younger.

Flashback: Downtown had only a couple hundred residents in the late 1990s.

  • Johnson said that if someone had referred to Downtown as a neighborhood when he was growing up, he would call them crazy.
  • "It was a central business district. It was big, tall buildings and people with suits … It was kind of scary," he said.

What's changed: Downtown now has 15,000 residents and Insta-famous restaurants like the Nusr-Et Steakhouse and Monarch.

  • People ages 25 to 34 make up Downtown's biggest demographic, and almost half of them have lived there for less than two years, Downtown Dallas Inc. president Jennifer Scripps said.
  • Downtown households are also three times more likely to have a "fur baby" than a human kid, she said.

Between the lines: Downtown appears to be a little safer than last year. Around 9,000 violent crimes have been reported in 2022, in contrast to 9,436 violent crimes around the same time last year.

Yes, but: Homelessness, parking and the need for a major grocery store are top of mind for residents, per the survey.

The bottom line: "Downtown is full of new energy. Coming out of the pandemic we have more new residents than ever before, we have new parks, lots of new amenities and attractions — and we need to keep this momentum going," Scripps said.

What's next: The neighborhood has undergone nearly $8 billion of development in the last 25 years and expects another $4 billion worth in upcoming projects.

Fun fact: Scooters are making a comeback, too.


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