Developers unveil plans for new 20-acre urban campus in downtown Dallas

The proposed Dallas Smart District could attract a big company to Dallas. Rendering: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects via Dallas Business Journal

Dallas-based development group Hoque Global has partnered up with Dallas-based KDC to unveil plans for an urban-style neighborhood totaling more than 20 acres, which could have the ability to attract a Silicon Valley-type corporate user to downtown Dallas.

The development plan, which is being marketed as the “Dallas Smart District,” includes building Class A office, residential, retail, hospitality and open spaces on several contiguous blocks from Canton Street to the Dallas Convention Center to the Farmers Market to adjacency next to Dallas City Hall in downtown Dallas.

“Since the 1980s, this part of Dallas south of city hall has been neglected,” Hoque Global CEO Mike Hoque told the Dallas Business Journal.

PHOTOS: Renderings of the proposed Dallas Smart District

“In the 36 months we bought the property, every multifamily developer has reached out to us, but instead of selling it, I wanted to focus on one area — which is downtown — and do the best we can with it,” Hoque added. “We looked all over the country and we think this is probably a great opportunity to attract someone from Silicon Valley.”

The neighborhood would include a corporate campus — meant for a high-tech company seeking young Millennial talent — with much-needed amenities for young professionals, he said.

“We have the opportunity to create something that would be known internationally as a next generation smart district,” Hoque said.

The Dallas restaurateur-investor decided to partner with longtime Dallas development firm KDC on the project based on the firm’s successful projects, which include Toyota North America’s new campus, JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s regional hub and State Farm Insurance’s regional hub.

He also brought in Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, which is currently working on the new corporate campus for American Airlines in Fort Worth. The architecture firm also designed the McKinney & Olive mixed-use complex in Uptown.

MORE: See other top DFW construction projects in your neighborhood

Mayor Mike Rawlings said he’s “especially proud,” that the proposed project falls within the GrowSouth boundary, which could make it a downtown gateway to southern Dallas.

Ultimately, the development vision is expected to include more than 8 million square feet of office space, with the major focal point being a 78-story tower — what could be Dallas’ tallest — in the district. The neighborhood would include greenways, bike paths, and retail venues.

“It is rare for a first-tier American metropolitan area to have this amount of contiguous developable land and building rights, all located in the heart of the City adjacent from the City Hall and Convention Center,” said Gregg Jones, principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and lead architect for Dallas Smart District, in a statement.

“The site is significant in its ability to assemble a critical mass necessary to link the surrounding city districts through the creation of an innovative, smart technology hub,” he added.

The initial phase includes 600,000 square feet to 1 million square feet of office space, a major grocer, a food hall, boutique hotel with residences and green space.

KDC will oversee the office development. Hoque Global will oversee the residential, retail and hospitality development, with announcements expected to be made in the near future.

Courtesy of WFAA

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