Just got a call from a Friend of Unfair Park's who offices near Mockingbird Lane and North Central Expressway. He sends word of what we can see from over here at Maple and Oak Lawn: Something's burning at the intersection of Mockingbird and Central. No word of it on any of the local TV stations or The Dallas Morning News Web site, but our friend reports that there are "many, many" fire trucks and helicopters in the area of Hotel Palomar, which just had its red-ribbon-cutting...yesterday. Whoops. --Robert Wilonsky
Update: WFAA-Channel 8 has video of the fire at the Hotel Palomar available here.
Not really an update, more of a funny side note: About 15 minutes ago, when I called the publicist handling Palomar's opening to ask her if her hotel was indeed on fire, she had no idea. Was gonna call me back. Guess she got kinda, I dunno, busy.
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Kind of an update: One hundred people were evacuated from the Hotel Palomar. Dallas Fire & Rescue says the blaze was a three-alarm shindig.
Very much an update: Ariana Hajibashi, the Hotel Palomar publicist, just called from outside the joint with this: The fire "is not at Hotel Palomar. It's the residential tower, which is still under construction. It was an equipment malfunction on the roof, and we got it under control." By "we," I assume she means Dallas Fire & Rescue. Nonetheless, she adds that the 100 folks evacuated from the site were construction workers.
So not an update, but a really funny exchange between Andrea Grimes and Ariana Hajibashi about precisely where the hotel is located. Or not located, as the case may be. Incidentally, Andrea's not the nicest person to publicists (or blog editors, to be honest). That's just the way she is. Not making a judgment call. Really, that's just her thing, and it's after the jump.
>>> "Ariana Hajibashi"
9/18/2006 2:34 PM >>> Hi Andrea,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend. Wanted to inform you that Kimpton Hotels announced today the opening of Hotel Palomar Dallas, it's first property in Texas. Below please find the details but let me know if you have any questions or would like to speak to a Hotel Palomar Dallas representative.
Kimpton Hotels Announces the Opening of Hotel Palomar Dallas Opening Marks Kimpton's First Foray into the Texas Market
DALLAS (September 18, 2006) - Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group, LLC, the leader in the boutique/lifestyle hotel segment, announced today the opening of Hotel Palomar Dallas, a nine-story hotel situated in the heart of Dallas' thriving Park Cities neighborhood. Owned by Realty America Group and Behringer Harvard, Kimpton Hotels was selected to manage and operate the hotel and restaurant and implement its signature style, services and amenities to embody the elements of the Kimpton brand - care, comfort, style, flavor and fun. Opening today, this $100 million transformation of the Hotel Palomar & Residences marks the first property in the Kimpton portfolio to be redeveloped as a mixed-use complex...
From: Andrea Grimes [mailto:Andrea.Grimes@dallasobserver.com] Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 4:11 PM To: Ariana Hajibashi Subject: Re: Hotel Palomar Dallas Opens its Doors
Thanks for the press release, but on first glance, I've got a question.
Says it's "situated in the heart of Dallas' thriving Park Cities neighborhood." Hotel Palomar's on Mockingbird, if I recall, on the Dallas side of 75. So it's not in the Park Cities, which are, in fact, cities, and not a "neighborhood" at all. The heart of the Park Cities would be something like Snider Plaza, not Mockingbird Station, which is, more or less, where Hotel Palomar is. Am I wrong? Maybe I'm being picky, but if I'm gonna throw something like this up on our blog, I like to know the reasoning behind the press releases.
>>> "Ariana Hajibashi"
9/18/2006 4:22 PM >>> Well, technically it's not part of the Park Cities but it's directly across from it so we do consider ourselves part of it and an extension of Park Cities.
>>> Andrea Grimes 9/18/2006 4:24 PM >>> So you concede that it is not, as you say, in the "heart" of the Park Cities?
I'm just asking because tourists coming through might want to stay in the "heart" of the Park Cities - let's say, near Chanel, Escada, etc - and find that they're in Dallas, across from Urban Outfitters. Know what I mean?
[Andrea notes she "never got a response to the latest line of questions. i'm sure she was busy putting out smaller fires."]