City to Take Stack of Downtown Dallas Master Plans, Turn 'Em All Into One "Area Plan"

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.

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."

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