IdeaBoard

By Amanda Popken
Special Contributor

It’s been 4 years since the Downtown360 plan was created, and so much has changed! It’s time for an update. This week, Downtown Dallas Inc. held the kickoff meeting to begin soliciting input. The input phase will last through October, then the technical studies, microplans, and implementation plans phase will continue through May of 2016. We should have an updated plan by next summer.

If you’d like to give your two cents, keep checking the calendar (be patient – the project website just launched so it’s not fully updated and bug-free yet), or just join DDI’s email newsletter list.

You might already know that Downtown Dallas Inc. manages the Public Improvement District for downtown Dallas. That gives them funding to support the district with things like marketing, security, events, and even bigger substantial changes (like purchasing city rights-of-way.) But they really see their role as more than just a leader in downtown, but the connecting force between all the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. These nine neighborhoods, plus the seven in downtown proper, make up the 16 ‘hoods in the 360 plan. So if you live in, work in, or care about any of these places, you’re invited to participate.
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Monte Anderson

On Tuesday night, the Greater Dallas Planning Council honored North Texas developer Monte Anderson with its inaugural Urban Pioneer Award at the Urban Design Awards.

Anderson is the president of Options Real Estate, a multi-service real estate company that concentrates its work in southern Dallas and Ellis counties, specializing in creating sustainable neighborhoods that invite “gentlefication,” as opposed to gentrification.

Here’s a great working definition of “gentlefication”:

Moving into a neighborhood in an effort to reduce crime, create harmony, and build community. As opposed to “gentrification,” which changes neighborhoods by forcing out low-income residents with high-income folks seeking the next hip thing. Gentlefication helps long-term residents take back their neighborhoods, stabilize property values, and build safe spaces for their children and grandchildren.

“The award means a lot because it means people are staring to recognize that incremental development, or ‘microsurgery’, not big silver bullet deals, works in our southern Dallas neighborhoods,” he said. “My approach is to come in and get other small developers and entrepreneurs to come in very early and be a part of the change. These are the people who make it cool, like artists and restaurateurs, and they [usually] end up not owning anything and getting pushed out in the end.” (more…)

Buzz Unit 409 Buzz Lofts

Is the Cedars — a neighborhood of once-industrial properties just south of downtown — the next big thing in Dallas?

If you’re to answer that question with the number of new and upcoming projects in the neighborhood, which include a new Alamo Drafthouse and a redeveloped Plaza Hotel using TIF funds, as well as the number of businesses attracted to the area, then yes, it’s the “next big thing.” But for those who live in any of the myriad cool loft developments in the area, it’s always been a great place to be.

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