News & Events in Dallas, TX

Here’s an update on the latest news and events taking place in Dallas, Texas:

Expansions/Relocations

UT Southwester Medical Center plans to build a new university hospital to replace the current facility. The new hospital will be on Harry Hines Boulevard north of Record Crossing, and it will be state-of-the-art. The Board of Regents is expected to approve the final hospital programming and design of the hospital in November 2010.

A new $20 million surgical hospital is under construction at Lemmon Avenue and North Central Expressway. BrennerDuke Healthcare Real Estate’s 60,000 square foot hospital will replace the existing Mary Shiels hospital next door. It will be three times as big.

Developments

Investor Tim Headington and his Headington Oil Co.affiliates have purchased more downtown buildingsnear his chic luxury hotel Joule Hotel at 1530 Main Street. The 15-story Praetorian Building at 1607 Main and two smaller adjoining buildings on Elm Street join the investor’s purchases of other smaller buildings on Main and Commerce streets last summer. The new owner is working on plans to redevelop the buildings,which have mostly sat empty for years. The Praetorian Building, built in 1908, is considered to be Dallas’ first skyscraper.

Central Dallas Ministries and its sister organization, Central Dallas Community Development Corporation (CDC), celebrated the grand opening of City-Walk@Akard in March. Central Dallas CDC purchased the 15-story building at 511 N. Akard Street, which had been vacant since the late 1980s, to convert it to much needed downtown affordable housing. The former 1950s era office building now has 200 rental apartment units and six for-sale condos, which have all been sold. One hundred and fifty of the units are slated for affordable workforce housing and another 50 are set aside as permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless persons. The building also has commercial space.

Central Dallas Ministries and Central Dallas CDC have moved their headquarters intothe building. There will also be services offered for the formerly homeless residents, including case management and referrals and medical and legal clinics. The ground floor has about 6,000 square feet of retail space, which will be home to a new 7-Eleven by the end of the summer.

Senior housing operator C.C. Young broke ground on January 14 for a new 108-unit residential building at 4847 Lawther near White Rock Lake. The 232,000-square-foot building, named The Overlook at C.C. Young, will be open in 19 months.

West Dallas may get a new and unique recreational option by summer 2010. The Dallas Watersports Complex will be a park for cable wakeboarding at Fish Trap Lake, which is located at the intersection of Singleton Boulevard and Fish Trap Road. It would be part of the Trinity River Recreation District in West Dallas and could serve as an anchor for redevelopment in the area. It could generate in excess of $1 million annually in revenue and provide 200 seasonal jobs. Cable wakeboarding involves suspending a rider above a lake by an overhead cable that rotates and pulls the rider along. The cable gives riders more lift than boats can. The project sponsor says that there will be development opportunities around the lake, such as a restaurant, pro shop, other retail, and possibly a 40-acre park. The complex will be one of the world’s largest urban cable parks.

Whole Foods opened its new store at Park Lane, just east of North Central Expressway across from NorthPark Center. The store, the company’s largest in North Texas at 64,000 square feet, is meant to be a destination. It has a wine bar, a customized cupcake station, a self-serve frozen yogurt bar and a large body care section. In-store eating includes a raw bar and a coffee bar. An outdoor seating area hasa stage for bands. An escalator for grocery carts helpsshoppers get their purchases to their cars in the underground parking garage. The store created 350 new jobs in Dallas.

Other News

Dallas hosted over 3,000 convention and event planners in January for the Professional Convention Management Association. Unlike most conventions that highlight products and services, in this convention, Dallas itself was the item being showcased. Convention planners who have not been to Dallas in a long time, if ever, were treated to sightseeing tours of Dallas hotels, meeting venues, and other attractions,such as the Arts District and Dallas’ light rail service. Much of the buzz was about the under-construction convention center hotel, which Dallas Convention Bureau CEO Phillip Jones said will bring more and larger conventions in the future, translating to possibly billions of additional dollars in economic impact. Attendance at this year’s convention in Dallas outnumbered last year’s attendance in New Orleans.

To view more of D Economy, the City of Dallas’ monthly economic development newsletter, visit: http://www.dallas-ecodev.org/.data_d_economy.html