One of the questions raised in yesterday's article, Eat This Building (http://www.dallasobserver.com/2009-10-02/news/are-the-plans-to-build-a-green-sustainable-building-of-tomorrow-smack-in-the-heart-of-downtown-dallas-some-pipedream-or-a-realty/1) in the Dallas Observer was why almost nobody has heard of the Re:Vision Dallas project. I suggested that it's because of the process we went through, and are still going through, to arrive at the design for the project, which includes actually talking to people and working with the community on the design:
"There are imaginary projects that get front-page spreads at least in the business section in The Dallas Morning News," Greenan says. "If we had come in December with a set of conceptual plans and lots of pretty pictures and said, 'Look at this wonderful thing we are going to build,' everyone would have said, "Look at what they are going to build.' But instead, when you say, 'We don't know what we are going to build yet, we've got to do research, run the competition, run designs and figure out the economic support,' gee, that's boring. That's like studying health-care options."
Right on cue this morning (Friday, October 02,2009), The Dallas Morning News thoughtfully placed this article (I've only put excerpts below, the full article is here: (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/storesi/100209dnbusartsdistrict.372d6ee.html, but you'll have to buy the paper edition of the article to see the pretty pictures) on (guess where) the front page of the business section:
Dallas Arts Districts projects wait in the wings
08.31 AM CDT on Friday, October 2, 2009
By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News
As Dallas' new performing arts center prepares to open, the downtown Art District is a hot property.
Completion of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the start of construction on the desk park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway have given the Arts District plenty of location, location, location. What it doesn't have for commercial development is timing, timing, timing.
The recession and financial sector meltdown have put big private-sector projects planned for the district on hold.
"If not for the current economic tsunami, we would be starting our Arts District development....by now," said developer Craig Hall, who plans a high-rise office and condo project on Flora Street between the Meyerson Symphony Center and the new Wyly Theater. "I think about that site all the time and how to adjust to the current market and push forward on at least a portion of the project....
A couple of blocks away at Flora and Routh Street, developer Billingsley Co. had hoped to be started on the second phase of its successful Arts Plaza complex.
The Two Arts Plaza building is designed to include offices, loft-style condos and retail space overlooking a small park.
But until the developer comes up with a lead business tenant and a lender to finance the deal, the project won't make it off the drawing board.
Developer John Sughrue sounds a bit melancholy when he talks about his firm's Museum Tower, planned for Pearl Street across from the Meyerson.
"We were supposed to break ground last October," he said. "If we had started, we would probably be up to the 30th floor right now."
But the condo groundbreaking was put off by the credit crunch and recession...
Now not all of these projects may turn out to be imaginary -- it's especially likely in my opinion that Lucy Billingsley will build Two Arts not too far down the road -- but as a whole they aren't any more likely to get built than Re:Vision Dallas. This is also not the first time that any of these projects have appeared in The Dallas Morning News. Craig Hall has owned his property at least ten years, and the Museum Tower, which is admittedly a very handsome design, has been under discussion for at least six years:
So if you're worried that we don't plan to start to build Re:Vision Dallas until the beginning of 2011, then don't worry that will still be years faster than either of these projects have gotten underway.
And if The Dallas Morning News doesn't want to do a story about Re:Vision Dallas until we've actually completed the project, that's fine as well. We don't plan to finance Re:Vision by appealing to people that are unduly impressed by pretty pictures.