In December 2007, the Dallas City Council was briefed on the Office of Economic Development's long-term wish list for the central business district: Revitalizing Downtown: Creating Anchors to Build the Core, the Roadmap 2008-2015. The doc set specific benchmarks to be reached by 2015: create 10,000 residential units, fill 250,000 square feet of retail, reduce vacancy by 1.75 million square feet, complete the first phase of the Trinity River Project completed, have a convention center hotel up and running by the first quarter of 2012, end homelessness by 2014. You know -- the small stuff.
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Which is why the council's Economic Development Committee is dusting off the road map at 9:30 this morning: Yet again, it's time to hire a downtown consultant to come up with a downtown Dallas master plan, which will cost $515,000 and come out of the Downtown Connection TIF District Project Budget. Right now, the leading contender for the gig is Berkeley-based Moore Iacofano Goltsman, Inc., which has done similar work for the likes of Los Angeles, Denver, Boston, Sacramento, Anchorage and Spokane. (Note to self: See how many of those master plans have actually been utilized by those cities.) Among MIG's duties is using the mountainous stack of old downtown master plans -- including 2004's Downtown Parks and Open Space Master Plan by Hargreaves Associates -- to create a more cohesive "area plan" or "implementation plan." The council's scheduled to vote on this April 22, after which MIG -- or some other lucky recipient -- will spend a year on awesome conceptual renderings involving the words "walkability," "green space" and "workforce housing."