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Thread: DTD: Browder Plaza

  1. #1
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    DTD: Browder Plaza

    http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/a...ng-a-mult.html
    By Robert Wilonsky
    Apr. 2, 2012

    ^thanks for the scribd link:

    http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/87660408

    ...The City of Dallas has recently allocated $500,000 for park and pedestrian improvements to the public space within the plaza.

    ...The plaza is adjacent to AT&Tís corporate headquarters and within a couple of blocks of the Joule Hotel, the Adolphus Hotel, the Magnolia Hotel, Main Street, Neiman Marcus, Dallas City Hall, the main Dallas Public Library, and several large office buildings. The portion of the AT&T building that faces Browder is home to Einsteinís Bagels. The space is envisioned to be an active retail and restaurant plaza, with multiple vendors activating the space from early morning to late evening,seven days a week, most days of the year.

    ...the goal of completing reconstruction of Browder Plaza by fall 2013 ... Prospective vendors are encouraged to include plans for temporary use of the space prior to construction....
    Turning most/all of the pedestrian cut-throughs between the busy streets into plaza-form retail and restaurants corridors is a really good course of action. Pretty much left as pedestrian alleys between big office buildings, these spaces are all over downtown and many will provide the perfect daylight location for the niche tunnel businesses to retain their core customers, office workers, while opening opportunities to extend hours into the evening.

    Until the major downtown vehicular thoroughfares (especially between Pacific and Young) are reoriented to handle extremely high volume of pedestrian activity, the plaza-alleys can provide the environment.

  2. #2
    Skyscraper Member ChampionDallas's Avatar
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    It's about time. There are far too few eateries in that area.

  3. #3
    Mid-Rise Member mdg109's Avatar
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    And retail. How about a pop-up Topshop/man, Zara or even H&M.

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    Skyscraper Member ChampionDallas's Avatar
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    I'm feeling a Corner Bakery/Panera for food. Perhaps a small Target for retail. Just some ideas.

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    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    One problem is that the streets on either end of the plaza are terrible for pedestrians. Commerce Street in this location has poor connections, and Jackson Street serves as a high-speed alley. Currently there are a few empty large retail spaces, Urban Market, and Einstein Bagels (with no external door) facing the mall. Redesigning/improving the entire mall from Commerce to the library would help make it a more important pedestrian connection. Plus... add wayfinding! Few people even know where the these pedestrian malls lead and how to navigate downtown using them. Lots of potential here.


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    THERE IS AN EINSTEINS BAGELS OVER THERE AND I NEVER KNEW? dang now I know what's for breakfast.

  7. #7
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhops View Post
    THERE IS AN EINSTEINS BAGELS OVER THERE AND I NEVER KNEW? dang now I know what's for breakfast.
    Yes, added within the past few years. But you have to access it through AT&T's lobby.

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    Here's a rendering from the scribd doc


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    Skyscraper Member ChampionDallas's Avatar
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    If maintenance can keep the vegetation alive and healthy, looks good to me. Let's get some quality eateries too.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator cowboyeagle05's Avatar
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    News on this, apparently so far the city hasn't found any biters but that's not surprising it will probably have to be tied into some larger project like maybe if the city can find someone to buy the Urban Market and develop this space as one big retail project.

    http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2...o-att-hq.html/

    Maybe you remember: On March 29 the city put out the call for someone to develop the plaza, with the city offering to kick in $500,000 in bond money “for park and pedestrian improvements to the public space within the plaza.” Bids were initially due May 9.

    But time and time and time again that deadline’s been extended — all the way out to July 11, per yesterday’s latest addendum. No one’s biting.

    The reason, according to a planner with whom I was taking this weekday walk, is because the plaza as it exists now is a road to nowhere. It’s like Rudy wrote in mid-April: “The Whitacre Tower to its west is largely closed to the plaza. And the ground floor of the redeveloped Dallas Power & Light Building hasn’t attracted much business.” Or any.

    I’ve left messages for Karl Stundins, area redevelopment manager for the city’s economic development department, but did talk to the head of the Office of Economic Development this morning. And Karl Zavitkovsky says the city is “not frustrated” that it’s taking this long to find an interested developer, and that it’s “not surprised.”

    “Stuff takes time,” he said. “We’ve gotten the CityDesign Studio involved in a lot of this, and the prioritoes are pretty clear. This is part of the Downtown Dallas 360 plan, and execution on various components, be it Browder Street or other pedestrian amenities like taking down the wall by the Magnola Hotel, there are a lot of different parties involved.”
    I have been wondering why they have blocked off the pass through to Pegasus Plaza from Commerce. People are always walking through there eliminating that wall would be a nice upgrade to the overall flow allowing people and crowds to spill out towards Browder street plaza.

  11. #11
    Just kidding (80%) art_suckz's Avatar
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    Of course, patrons will have to wade through dog pee to get into the restaurant. Especially once the green space is gone... it's the only grass nearby and the entire block is covered with doggie urine as it is.

    Sorry... couldn't resist.
    "I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction."

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    Supertall Skyscraper Member NThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyeagle05 View Post
    News on this, apparently so far the city hasn't found any biters but that's not surprising it will probably have to be tied into some larger project like maybe if the city can find someone to buy the Urban Market and develop this space as one big retail project.

    http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2...o-att-hq.html/



    I have been wondering why they have blocked off the pass through to Pegasus Plaza from Commerce. People are always walking through there eliminating that wall would be a nice upgrade to the overall flow allowing people and crowds to spill out towards Browder street plaza.
    It's a motor court for the hotel. I can't imagine they'd enjoy guests having to weave through pedestrians which is why that driveway exists in the first place: to remove the cars from the curb and pedestrians along Commerce.

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    Super Moderator lakewoodhobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NThomas View Post
    It's a motor court for the hotel. I can't imagine they'd enjoy guests having to weave through pedestrians which is why that driveway exists in the first place: to remove the cars from the curb and pedestrians along Commerce.
    I think you can have both the pedestrian path and the porte-cochere (they are planning the same thing for the LTV Tower). If people can see Browder from Main Street, they will be more inclined to check it out.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator cowboyeagle05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NThomas

    It's a motor court for the hotel. I can't imagine they'd enjoy guests having to weave through pedestrians which is why that driveway exists in the first place: to remove the cars from the curb and pedestrians along Commerce.
    That's why the city recently reclassified the lanes on Commerce to turn the north lane along the hotels into a valet lane permanently. I imagine the city design studio has a plan to deal with cars and pedestrians in this case.

  15. #15
    Supertall Skyscraper Member NThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyeagle05 View Post
    That's why the city recently reclassified the lanes on Commerce to turn the north lane along the hotels into a valet lane permanently. I imagine the city design studio has a plan to deal with cars and pedestrians in this case.
    That's disappointing. I know I won't enjoy that block being reduced to a curbside drop off.

  16. #16
    Super Moderator lakewoodhobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NThomas View Post
    That's disappointing. I know I won't enjoy that block being reduced to a curbside drop off.
    Glad to know someone enjoys it as it's currently configured (a high-speed thoroughfare).

  17. #17
    Supertall Skyscraper Member NThomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakewoodhobo View Post
    Glad to know someone enjoys it as it's currently configured (a high-speed thoroughfare).
    Yes, because that's exactly what I said.

    More valet parking will only encourage Elm and Commerce Streets to continue as they are in their current one-way forms and prolong both street's much needed "road diets." The frequency of "in-and-out" traffic on the block will increase unlike traditional metered parking. Instead of a barrier between moving traffic and pedestrians with parallel parked vehicles, valet "parking" isn't any better than the other 4 lanes of active traffic.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator cowboyeagle05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NThomas
    Yes, because that's exactly what I said.

    More valet parking will only encourage Elm and Commerce Streets to continue as they are in their current one-way forms and prolong both street's much needed "road diets." The frequency of "in-and-out" traffic on the block will increase unlike traditional metered parking. Instead of a barrier between moving traffic and pedestrians with parallel parked vehicles, valet "parking" isn't any better than the other 4 lanes of active traffic.
    I wouldn't be too worried about it this is progress. Before now that lane was a traveling lane which means cars were supposed to be able to speed down Commerce right next to the sidewalk with pedestrians and no obstructions to protect them if one was to jump the curb. Now we have the city declaring a travel lane as space for valet and some public parking where there is not valet. Parked cars including the valet along the sidewalk as you suggest function well to protect pedestrians and naturally cause a slowing of traffic. As the road slowly reduces the number of lanes as the city shifts priorities things are progressing.

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