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BREAKING NEWS: Dallas City Council Approves Downtown Park Agreement with DOWNTOWNDALLAS

Posted on October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009.  11:47 a.m.  Today the Dallas City Council approved an agreement between DOWNTOWNDALLAS and the Dallas Park and Recreation Department which gives the organization the management and programming authority over Main Street Garden, a new full-city-block park at 1902 Main Street.  The agreement also applies to six other parks in the Downtown area, including Pegasus Plaza, Carpenter Plaza, Ferris Plaza, Celebration of Life Park, Belo Garden (Future) and Pacific Plaza (future).

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Rendering of Main Street Garden

“The development of greenspace is critical as we continue to build a multi-dimensional urban core for residents, employees and visitors of Downtown,” said John F. Crawford, President & CEO of DOWNTOWNDALLAS.  “It is critical that we not only build these parks, but ensure their activation with programming and management, which is why DOWNTOWNDALLAS has stepped up to the plate with this public-private partnership.”

DOWNTOWNDALLAS has been a part of the development process of Main Street Garden since its inception more than five years ago with the Parks Master Plan.  In addition, in 2007, the organization pledged $1.25 million to the development and renovation of five parks Downtown, including Main Street.  DOWNTOWNDALLAS has since been working hand in hand with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department on fundraising, management plans and creation of the agreement that was approved today.  In addition, DOWNTOWNDALLAS was responsible for securing the park’s café operator, The Lily Pad, by Chef Doug Brown.

Within the terms of the agreement, DOWNTOWNDALLAS will provide supplemental landscaping; enhanced litter removal; increased security through the Downtown Safety Patrol; and installation of four security cameras overlooking the grounds.  DOWNTOWNDALLAS will also be responsible for permitting the park for special events (available for rentals beginning in January 2010) as well as programming events and activities that will keep the park lively.  The City Park and Recreation Department will perform standard park maintenance during its regular operating hours.

To celebrate the opening, DOWNTOWNDALLAS already has three major events in the works:

· Friday, November 13– Opening Ceremonies and Media Event (Private event)
· Friday, November 20 – City Lights holiday spectacular featuring the lighting of Neiman Marcus and the debut of the new DOWNTOWNDALLAS signature 60ft holiday tree at Main Street Garden (FREE Public event, 6:30 – 10:00pm)
· Saturday, November 21 – Music at the Park featuring Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Nights (FREE Public event, 3:00 – 7:00pm)

In an effort to provide additional private support for the ongoing maintenance of Main Street Garden, Mark Noble with Colliers International and Kent Eastman with Capital One Bank (both DOWNTOWNDALLAS members) have worked with DOWNTOWNDALLAS to establish a Founding Committee for Main Street Garden.  Current founding committee members include:  Mark Noble, Co-Chair, Colliers International; Kent Eastman, Co-Chair Capital One Bank; Charlie Morris, David Glasscock and Hunter Blanks of Collier’s International; Don Dowell, Comerica Bank Tower; David Corrigan, Corrigan Investments; Jim Truitt, Forest City Enterprises; Keith Nix, The Nix Company; and Cynthia Hall, University of North Texas System.   All funds raised will be applied to a Main Street Garden sustainability fund within DOWNTOWNDALLAS.

Founding sponsors of Main Street Garden include Capital One Bank, Comerica Bank Tower, Excitement Technologies Group, Mercantile Place, University of North Texas System and Weber Shandwick.

For more information about the park go to www.MainStreetGarden.org.