Behind the paywall this morning is The News's exclusive concerning "stealth billionaire" (Band Name Alert™) Kelcy Warren's purchase of the naming rights for the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park, which henceforth shall be known as Klyde Warren Park -- so named for the Energy Transfer Equity CEO and chair's 9-year-old son. The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Board followed up shortly after that trumpet blast with The Official Announcement, which follows. Says Jody Grant, chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Board: "A father naming the park after his son sends a strong message that this park will be a green oasis for all children to play, dream and learn."
Warren, recently ranked as No. 655 on Forbes's list of the world's billionaires, is also owner of Music Road Records down in Austin, a partnership with none other than musician Jimmy LaFave and engineer Fred Remmert; and the man behind the Cherokee Creek Music Festival, an annual all-star kids-charity fundraiser held at the Los Valles Ranch in Cherokee. Oh -- and he's the guy who owns the sprawling $30-million estate on Park Lane, between Inwood and the Dallas North Tollway, profiled in The Wall Street Journal in the fall of 2010; our old pal Allison V. Smith took the slide show.
The News's story says Warren donated untold millions ('round $10 mil, most folks guess) to ensure there'd be good music in the deck park; Warren tells Chery Hall, "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if there was a classy place where people could listen to music and where music could influence children's lives?'" The piece also says Klyde can and will intern in the park till he's 21; kid's gonna have to work for his dad's donation.
"This park is going to have such a positive impact on our city as a major center of activity," Warren says in the morning's release. "As a father, my hope is that families from throughout the Metroplex and beyond will enjoy the park. As a native Texan, and someone who has lived and worked in Dallas for many years, I am so pleased that my son and I are able to play a role in bringing this incredible asset to our city."
Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Announces Park Name: Klyde Warren Park
DALLAS (Feb. 19, 2012) - The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Board announced today that the 5.2-acre public green space in downtown Dallas will officially become Klyde Warren Park, named after the nine-year-old son of Kelcy Warren, a Dallas-based energy executive.
Naming donor, Kelcy Warren is CEO of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. Warren is also a music-lover and supports singer-songwriters through his Austin-based studio Music Road Records. His personal love of music will translate into future programming in the park, including plans for free music festivals, student performances, jam sessions as well as concerts from Arts District neighbors like the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
"Kelcy Warren has given the citizens of Dallas and its visitors a tremendous gift where people can come together to enjoy our city and create traditions," said Jody Grant, chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Board. "A father naming the park after his son sends a strong message that this park will be a green oasis for all children to play, dream and learn. We are honored to enter into this partnership with Kelcy and his family."
"This park is going to have such a positive impact on our city as a major center of activity," said Warren. "As a father, my hope is that families from throughout the Metroplex and beyond will enjoy the park. As a native Texan, and someone who has lived and worked in Dallas for many years, I am so pleased that my son and I are able to play a role in bringing this incredible asset to our city."
The Foundation has raised more than $100 million and is nearing its pre-opening capital campaign goal of $110 million in combined public and private funding. The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation will continue to privately fund, operate and program Klyde Warren Park when it is open in fall 2012.
"We're incredibly grateful for the generosity of families like the Warrens who want to create something truly unique and special for our city," said Grant.
About Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park will serve as a central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors to enjoy in the heart of the city. The 5.2-acre park will create an urban green space over the existing Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul Streets in downtown Dallas. Plans include a performance stage, restaurant, shaded walking paths, a dog park, a children's park, great lawn, water features, an area for games and much more.
Connectivity is central to the park's purpose. Klyde Warren Park will promote increased pedestrian, trolley and bicycle use between Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District, contributing to a more walkable city center.
Klyde Warren Park will create a front lawn for the surrounding cultural offerings including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Morton Meyerson Symphony Hall, Nasher Sculpture Center, Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual &Performing Arts and the future Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
Construction on the deck plaza began in October 2009. The park is expected to be complete in fall 2012. The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation is in the final phase of the campaign to secure private funding for amenities construction, operations, programming and endowment.
Design is led by The Office of James Burnett, Thomas Phifer and Partners, and Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. The Texas Department of Transportation selected Archer Western as the contractor for construction of the deck plaza. McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is currently building the park amenities. Bjerke Management Services provides project management services to the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation.
Jody Grant serves as Chairman of the Board of the Woodall Rodgers Foundation and is joined by President and C.E.O., Linda Owen, and board members Elaine Agather, Nancy Best, Garrett Boone, Leo Corrigan, Ed Fjordbak, Sheila Grant, Linda Hart, Mitch Hart, Jeff Jackson, Tom Leppert, John Muse, Bob Shapard, Rob Walters, Kelcy Warren and John Zogg.