Contact: Sarah Galaro
Dallas Arts District Selects Urban Design Firm for Community Development Plan
(DALLAS) The Executive Committee for the Dallas Arts District today announced it has selected global architecture, planning and design firm NBBJ to create a new Community Development Plan for the dynamic downtown neighborhood. The Sasaki Plan (1983) is the current planning guide for the District, but is more than 30 years old. In the last decade, the Arts District has seen dramatic investment, growth and changes and has become a diverse magnet for businesses, development, residents and tourists.
“The Dallas Arts District has become a vibrant cultural and economic engine for our city and region, and we want that momentum to continue,” said Arts District Board Chair Kevin Moriarty. “The Community Development Plan will be our guidepost, helping us imagine what our neighborhood can become over the next 10 to 15 years.”
With NBBJ, the Dallas Arts District – a nonprofit neighborhood advocacy organization – will restructure the Sasaki Plan, determining where modifications are necessary and recommending specific new design standards for future development.
“We had responses from some tremendous firms. But in the end their proposal’s content, their understanding of what we need in the district, and the team they assembled really put NBBJ at the top of our list,” said Doug Curtis, chair of the Arts District’s Infrastructure Committee. “We felt NBBJ was best suited to position this visionary city asset, the Dallas Arts District, for future growth and success.”
NBBJ has worked on projects in more than two dozen American cities, including its home Boston, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Detroit, Charleston, New York, Seattle and San Francisco. In Dallas, NBBJ has created plans for the Trinity River, Fair Park and downtown parks. Most recently, NBBJ participated in a series of charrettes on the continuing development of the Trinity River Park and to reimagine the design for the parkway.
In addition to an evaluation of the Sasaki Plan, the scope of work for the Community Development Plan will include identifying and developing strategies to:
- Enhance accessibility to the existing cultural assets
- Achieve an optimal mix of uses for the District
- Review current trends in building better blocks in other cities that would serve as examples for this project
- Connect to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, mass transit, other existing/adjacent park land, and future hike and bike trail networks
- Update Urban Development Guidelines for the future development of the District similar to those contained in the Sasaki / Fregonese Plan(s)
- Create conceptual plans for key areas within the District where current urban infrastructure is deficient in serving the District’s goals now and in the future
- Become a minimum of LEED ND Gold Rated
In May 2015, the Arts District issued a Request for Qualifications for the Community Development Plan. The District’s Infrastructure & Planning Committee reviewed a dozen RFQ responses, then the selected the top firms to receive the Request for Proposals. After the top proposals were selected, the Dallas Arts District created a Selection Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from the District’s cultural and commercial stakeholders, DART, City of Dallas, residents, local artists, etc. Throughout this process, NBBJ emerged as the preferred firm.
Planning for the Community Development Plan will occur in collaboration with Downtown Dallas Inc. and its Downtown Dallas 360 Plan. The Dallas Arts District looks forward to working with NBBJ to continue to engage cultural, commercial, and governmental partners in this effort.
ABOUT THE DALLAS ARTS DISTRICT:
The Dallas Arts District is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation, spanning 68 acres and 19 contiguous blocks. Our mission is to enhance the value of the city’s creative and economic life by engaging artistic, educational and commercial neighbors through excellent design, practices and programs. We aspire to transform the Dallas Arts District into a dynamic destination for Dallasites and tourists, powered by the imagination of regional and international artists, with integrated and exemplary artistic, residential, cultural and commercial life. The Dallas Arts District is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and is funded by grants, voluntary membership dues, sponsorships and donations.
NBBJ is founded on 70+ years of ideas that share one driving inspiration: to plan and design communities, institutions, environments, and experiences that enrich people’s lives. We believe that the well being of American society is much dependent on the wise stewardship of its cities – cities precisely such as Dallas – and so consider serving cities as our highest professional calling. We are excited about contributing to the heritage, culture, and continuing flowering of the Dallas Arts District, and its host downtown districts.
NBBJ’s 600-person design staff directs offices in Beijing, Boston, Columbus, London, Los Angeles, New York, Pune, San Francisco, Seattle and Shanghai. The best attributes of a large and small firm merge at NBBJ, where specialized studios within an international network ensure holistic services customized for clients. The firm has been named one of the most innovative architecture and planning firms in the world by Fast Company and the architect of choice for tech companies by Wired.
NBBJ’s prior experience in Dallas includes producing the Balanced Vision Plan for the Trinity River, an endeavor that continues to advance the design of the Trinity Parkway and overall river park environment; the Downtown Parks Master Plan, and planning for Fair Park. We also undertook a mobility plan for the Highland Park community.