Economic Vibrancy


Economic Vibrancy

The city defines economic vibrancy as a vibrant, sustainable economy offering diverse business opportunities, thriving neighborhoods, premier attractions, reliable city services, and quality infrastructure.
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Economic Development

The vision of the Office of Economic Development (OED) is for Dallas to become a diverse and vibrant city that works and builds on its core strengths. It will be a business-friendly city strategically engaged, enjoying a dynamic and expanded economy, balanced growth and development and great neighborhoods.

The OED works toward this vision by stimulating economic development and leading the City’s business and real estate development efforts. Our staff facilitates access to City programs and services that assist business expansion and/or relocation. Our economic development program focuses on Corporate Site Selection, Business Expansion and Retention, Retail Recruitment and Development, Redevelopment Initiatives, International Business Development, SourceLinkDallas and Small and Minority Business Assistance.

  • Qualified Requests for Information completed: 45
  • Private investment leveraged:  $290,080,000
  • New developments and projects: 14
  • New jobs created or retained: 3,338

L’Oreal Distribution Facility Groundbreaking

March 14, 2013
    Ridge Logistics Center – International Inland Port of Dallas

  • 513,000 square-foot distribution facility
  • Over $27.5 million in infrastructure improvements are planned with $14 million of the improvements directly serving this site
  • The L’Oreal distribution facility will create 90 fulltime jobs

Reel FX Headquarters - Deep Ellum

  • Retain company headquarters in Dallas
  • $7 million investment
  • Retain 250 employees and add 125 jobs
  • Company’s first full length animated feature film “Free Birds” in theaters Nov. 1, 2014
  • Dallas Business Journal Best Real Estate Deals of the Year award winner for Urban Office Deal of the Year

Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. - Customer Contact Center
North Dallas – Waterview Parkway

  • 230,000 square feet in two Class A office buildings
  • A minimum investment of $15 million
  • Creation of 1,000 jobs
  • Received an $864,000 grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund

Area Redevelopment (TIF/PID)
  • Total private investment committed in TIF Districts: $605,763,747
  • Total public funds committed to development projects in TIF districts: $83,467,301
  • New TIF projects for Council consideration: 12
  • Residential units added downtown: 328 (highlight these figures with graphic)

Joule Dallas Hotel- Central Business District Expansion

  • 32 new hotel rooms including eight suites and two penthouses.
  • 11,000-square-feet of Banquet, Catering and Meeting space.
  • 20,700-square-feet of retail space
  • Removes over 80,000 square-feet of vacant office space and adds 34,000 square-feet of occupied commercial space along Main and Commerce Streets.
  • Includes a temporary sculpture garden on Main Street

Dallas Farmers Market - Central Business District
  • The Dallas Farmers Market privatized in June 2013
  • A $64.3 million makeover to include apartments, restaurants, retail outlets and a single shed filled with locally farmed produce will begin in January 2014
  • A 240 unit apartment complex will to replace Sheds 3 and 4 at the Dallas Farmers Market.

Texas Center for Proton Therapy- Design District TIF
  • UT Southwestern will operate the new $88 Million Proton Therapy Center
  • 115,000-square-foot cancer treatment center
  • The Dallas Proton Treatment Center will accommodate and treat over 2,000 patients annually
  • 75% of patients will be visiting the DFW area and are expected to stay an average of 37 days. The cancer center will be incorporating hotels, making approximately 56,000 hotel room nights possible every year of operation.

City of Dallas Regional Center
The City of Dallas Regional Center is the official EB-5 regional center of the City of Dallas. In a unique public-private partnership, the City collaborates with Civitas Capital Group to provide the highest quality EB-5 investment opportunities to investors around the world. The CDRC takes full advantage of the City of Dallas’ pro-business culture, steady growth and job creation, all of which have made the City and the surrounding region a magnet for corporate headquarters, business expansion and foreign trade.

Forest City-Cityplace West Village
The Forest City-Cityplace West Village development began construction in 2013. Located in the heart of Uptown, the 20-story residential tower also features a four-story wood framed building and will bring a new urban living experience to Dallas, complete with retail and restaurants.

The CDRC raised the capital from over 100 international investors through the EB-5 investor visa program. The project is slated to create over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in the area. Secured $64 million in EB-5 funding. The project was a finalist in the Dallas Business Journal’s Best Real Estate Deals awards, Mixed Use category.

Hall Arts Complex– Central Business District
An 18-story, 500,000-square-foot high-rise is being built by Hall Financial Group. KPMG Plaza is the first phase of the three-building Hall Arts complex at Ross Avenue and Leonard Street. A 30-story condo tower and another large office high-rise are also planned. The CDRC raised the capital from over 130 international investors through the EB-5 investor visa program. The project is slated to create over 1,300 direct and indirect jobs in the area. Secured $65 million in EB-5 funding.

The Alexan
The Alexan is a 10-story apartment community situated on Goat Hill, northwest of downtown Dallas. The Alexan will offer 365 apartment homes with unit sizes ranging from 436 to 1,865 square feet. The CDRC raised the capital from over 100 international investors to support the joint venture partners of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I, Inc., the Crow family, and Trammell Crow Residential (“TCR”) in the development of the construction project, which began work in mid-August.

Tradition Senior Living Community
The Tradition-Lovers Lane, a rental senior living community, broke ground on Feb. 7 Lovers Lane at Matilda. The 7.5-acre community will include a 202-unit independent living building at the corner of Matilda and Milton and a 109-unit assisted living/memory care property next door fronting Milton. The CDRC raised the capital from over 50 international investors through the EB-5 investor visa program. The project is slated to create over 500 direct and indirect jobs in the area. Secured $26.5 million in EB-5 funding.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
In FY 2012-2013, the renamed Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center hosted the AHR Expo, which brought over 30,000 attendees to Dallas. Other major events included the Keller Williams convocation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Sales Conference, the World Telugu Convention and the 50th annual Mary Kay Seminar. The convention center also hosted the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship and the USA Volleyball National Collegiate Championship. Mecum Auctions, a nationally televised auto auction, also chose the convention center for the second year.

The convention center has been nominated for a Prime Site Award by Facilities and Destination magazine. Based on a 6 percent booking increase in 2013, the convention center’s economic impact was $494,018,943 and direct dollars to the convention center was $164,672,981. Attendance was impressive, hosting a record number of more than a million people at 105 meetings and conventions. The Convention Center is approximately halfway through its Capital Improvement Campaign. Improvements completed to date include a new 16,000 square foot ballroom, new roofing, life safety system upgrades and various waterproofing projects. All remaining capital improvement projects are expected to be completed by April 2015.

Dallas Film Commission
The Dallas Film Commission coordinated 522 film, television and related media projects. Included were 55 television shows, 21 feature films, 291 commercials and five video games. Direct spending from these projects is estimated at $140,222,505 with an economic impact of $322.5 million.

The Dallas television series’ second season was one of cable’s Top 10 original dramas, averaging 3.8 million viewers per episode in the U.S. The show continues to be very popular in international markets. Season two completed shooting in the first half of the year with the City’s continued assistance, and Turner Network Television has renewed the show for a third season.

Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud reality series is averaging 2.69 million viewers. The series beat multiple broadcast programs on all four broadcast networks among men 25-54. Reel FX Creative Studios completed their animated feature film Free Birds starring the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler.

Trinity Corridor Project

The Trinity River

Trinity Watershed Management worked closely with the Trinity Trust and Trinity Commons Foundation to promote stewardship and restoration of the Trinity River corridor.

Southwest Airlines Grant

Southwest Airlines donated $150,000 over three years to adopt the Santa Fe Trestle Trail and support cleanups and restoration programs along the Trinity River corridor. Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly joined Southwest Airlines volunteers, Trinity Trust Foundation CEO and Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm to announce the grant. Volunteers planted 500 native plant species at the Cedar Creek Overlook.

Keep Dallas Beautiful

Ocean Conservancy selected Dallas as the second waterway cleanup in a series of five events conducted in 2013 with CVS Caremark. The inland ponds at the Elm Fork were the featured location and 180 CVS Caremark volunteers picked up 15,000 pounds of trash and debris in just three hours.

Trail development continued with completion of the Northaven and Santa Fe Trestle Trails, and the first section of the Trinity River Trail. Just over two miles long, the Northaven Trail follows an Oncor transmission corridor from just west of US75 to Preston Road in north Dallas.

The Santa Fe Trestle Trail restored an historic trestle bridge over the Trinity River, south of downtown, providing a bicycle and pedestrian pathway across the river.

Connected to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail is the first phase of the Trinity River Trail. Located within the Trinity River levees, the trail will ultimately extend over four miles to the new Sylvan Avenue Bridge.

Outreach and Cleanup

In FY 2012-13, Trinity Watershed Management conducted 11 events bringing 2,000 people to the Trinity River. Between volunteer cleanup efforts, litter abatement efforts by City staff and land restoration projects, over 810 tons of litter was taken to the McCommas Bluff Landfill. The City also pulled over 3,000 tires and 66 tons of scrap metal from the Trinity in the last year.

Natural Resource Stewardship

The City continued to promote education and stewardship of the Trinity River, the 6,000 acre Great Trinity Forest, and the Dallas Floodway in FY 2012-13 by implementing annual events such as the Trinity River Photo Contest; the Trinity River Wind Festival; the Trinity River Wind Festival; the Trinity River Levee Run and Glenn Carter Safety Challenge; the Great Trinity Forest Adventure Hike; and the Carpe Diem Fishing Tournament and Paddle.

The City continued to participate in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Texas Stream Team program that recruits volunteers to conduct monthly sampling to augment the City’s water quality monitoring program. Volunteers monitor over 50 locations in addition to the 136 City water quality monitoring stations. City staff provides volunteers with sampling kits and equipment, and works with groups such as the Aquatic Alliance to conduct basic training in water quality sampling and stream observation.

Protecting the Urban Forest

The Urban Forest Advisory Committee continued to advise officials, advocate for urban forest related issues, and educate the public about the importance of trees. The Committee helped establish a City Forester position to manage Dallas’ urban forest, created a Citizen Forester program for residents, implemented the City’s first fall foliage tree planting and promoted the use of the Mowmentum program to plant trees in street medians. The Committee will promote changes to the Dallas tree ordinance that encourage tree preservation and promote sustainable construction practices.

At golf courses and parks, the City continued planting trees which create shade and lower ambient temperatures. The Dallas Reforestation Fund purchased and delivered trees to neighborhoods and park projects across the city through the Reforestation Program. In the 2012-2013 planting season, nearly 1,400 trees were planted by citizens and volunteers. The program also provided trees for the 2013 Dallas Mavericks’ Trees For Threes tree planting projects on three Dallas ISD school campuses.

Trinity River Photo Contest

More than 700 photographs were submitted for the 2013 Trinity River Photo Contest, in the categories of architecture/structures, forest/prairies, river/ponds, and wildlife.

During a three week exhibit at NorthPark Center, the winning images from the 2012 Trinity River Photo Contest, “The Trinity, Images of a Texas Treasure” was seen by an estimated 600,000 people. 2012 Trinity River Photo Contest – 400 participants and 650 submissions

2013 Trinity River Levee Run and Meet me at the Bridge

The Ninth Annual MWH Trinity River Levee Run was held March 2 and 6,000 runners got an up close and personal look at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Mayor Mike Rawlings hosted the event in the festival area near 340 Singleton Boulevard and Gulden Street. The 5K and 10K courses again moved onto the streets of Dallas, crossing the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and winding down Riverfront Boulevard, through the Design District, and on to Turtle Creek.

2013 Trinity River Wind Festival

For the third year, Dallas hosted its one-of-a-kind event to celebrate the power of wind. The Trinity River Wind Festival presented by NRG was held Saturday, May 18 at the Trinity River floodway at Riverfront Blvd. and Commerce St. More than 4,500 participants enjoyed the many free family-friendly events and wind driven recreational activities.

Urban Design

Dallas CityDesign Studio

The Dallas CityDesign Studio is the City’s in-house Urban Design department. The Studio was created through a public/private partnership between the City of Dallas and the Trinity Trust Foundation that leverages a $2 million gift from Deedie and Rusty Rose.  The Studio’s primary objectives include:

  • Advisory services through peer review and urban design policy development
  • Direct design services on City projects
  • Developing urban design programs
  • Capacity building. Placing a studio that is dedicated to urban design initiatives inside City Hall augments the City’s efforts to balance the social, economic, and environmental needs of all residents in an ongoing commitment to sustainability.

This past year the Studio implemented operations of an Urban Design Peer Review Panel comprised of well-regarded leaders within the design community. The panel augments staff review of key development projects, including those requesting TIF funds. This type of panel is an important milestone toward reshaping our city to be more in line with good urban design practices.

The Studio continued Leveraging & Improving Neighborhood Connection Dallas (LINC), a community-based planning initiative that covers 1,755 acres north and south of the Trinity River. Within the focus area, six distinct areas offer different opportunities and challenges. In April 2013 the Studio launched The Connected City Design Challenge, a call for urban strategies to connect downtown to the Trinity River. The Challenge builds awareness about urban design solutions capable of connecting Dallas through a symposium, public lecture series and a traveling exhibition.

Urban Design Projects

  • “The Horseshoe” Highway and Bridges Redevelopment Project involves reworking of TxDOT highways and bridges crossing the Trinity and downtown.
  • Love Field “Good Neighbor Plan” – An initiative to create a buffer of typical urban commercial uses between residential neighborhoods and more intense aviation uses on and around Love Field.

Complete Streets

In September, 2013 the Complete Street Design Manual was released as a guide to improve the way Dallas designs and builds streets to be safe and comfortable for everyone: young or old, wheelchair or walker users, motorists, bicyclists, bus, and train riders alike. While the traditional focus has been on vehicles and travel lanes between curbs, the Complete Streets Design Manual considers the entire space between buildings on either side of the street. The goal is a phased transformation of Dallas streets through a combination of improvements and private developments.

This fiscal year, two pilot Complete Street projects were completed; Lower Greenville Avenue and Bishop Avenue. These streets are the first among a series of anticipated Complete Street improvement projects.

Dallas Midtown Plan
The Dallas Midtown Plan, was adopted by Dallas City Council in June 2013. This plan re-imagines 450 acres of strategic real estate at the northeast quadrant of the Dallas North Tollway and LBJ Freeway interchange. It envisions a vibrant, walkable, mixed use neighborhood organized around an 18-acre “Midtown Commons” park that offers an attractive quality of life for residents and visitors. The Dallas Midtown Plan was awarded the 2013 Current Planning Award by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Concurrent with the Dallas Midtown Plan, existing zoning was replaced by a special purpose zoning district to manage the transition from the automobile-oriented development in the area. The new zoning encourages residential and commercial land uses and a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. In addition, it provides a new network of streets to break up super-blocks as redevelopment occurs and supports future pedestrian, bicycle and transit paths.

Bike Plan Dallas Bikeway System
Work continues on developing the Dallas Bikeway System, a network of interconnected on-street routes and multi-use trails spanning over 1,000 miles across the City. The Streets Department recently installed over eleven miles of on-street bicycle routes in Central Dallas, including shared lane markings, dedicated bicycle lanes and a cycle track across the Jefferson Viaduct. Forty additional miles of on-street routes are currently in development and will be installed over the coming months and years.

trailsmapTrail development continues with completion of the Northaven Trail, Santa Fe Trestle Trail, and the first section of the Trinity River Trail. Just over two miles long, the Northaven Trail follows an Oncor transmission corridor from west of US75 to Preston Road in north Dallas. Future expansions will extend the trail east over US75 and west to the Walnut Hill-Denton DART Station. The Santa Fe Trestle Trail restored a historic trestle bridge over the Trinity River, south of downtown, providing a bicycle and pedestrian pathway across the river. Connected to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail is the first phase of the Trinity Skyline Trail. Located within the Trinity River levees, the trail will ultimately extend four miles to the new Sylvan Avenue Bridge. The initial one-mile section provides a connection to Eloise Lundy Park. Currently, 130 miles of multi-use trails are open for 40 additional miles of trails are funded or under construction. These trails include the AT&T Trail, Trinity Strand Trail, SOPAC Trail and Ridgewood Trail. The City of Dallas and Trinity Trust developed a master plan for a nearly 18-mile trail from White Rock Lake to I-20. The Trinity Forest Spine Trail, will provide access to the Great Trinity Forest, scenic overlooks of the Trinity River and the Trinity River Audubon Center. The first section, funded by AT&T, is now under construction and should be complete by spring 2014.

With the Dallas Bikeway System expanding rapidly and linking different parts of the City, a comprehensive wayfinding system is needed. In partnership with DART, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments signs were installed in the Victory and Downtown areas to guide cyclists and pedestrians. The Friends of the Santa Fe Trail installed similar signs along the Santa Fe Trail in East Dallas. This represents the first steps in developing a city-wide system for people using the City’s bikeway system.