(Woodall Rodgers Deck Park)
(Source: Office of James Burnett, Architect)
Up in Dallas, the Klyde Warren Park, which opened in October of 2012, has created an urban green space over the existing Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul streets.
Connectivity was an important consideration when Klyde Warren Park was built. Easily accessible by foot, trolley and bicycle from Uptown, Downtown and the city’s flourishing Arts District, the park contributes to a more walkable city center. It brings cultural offerings together and serves as a central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors to enjoy.
According to an economic impact report prepared by Insight Research Corporation, “development and operation of Woodall Rodgers Park itself will create $312.7 million in economic benefits including 182 new jobs and $12.7 million in tax revenue benefits. Another $91.1 million in increased tax revenues for the city, county, school and hospital districts will be generated by increases in land values and two real estate projects expected to be built solely as a result of the park’s creation. The report also projects an increase in new office space construction and absorption within one-half mile of the park, further enhancing Dallas’ tax base.”
The Klyde Warren Park is privately operated and managed by the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation.
Breakdown of Construction Costs
City of Dallas (bonds): $20 million; TxDOT (via state/feds): $20 million; Private Donations: $50 million; Stimulus Funds: $16.7 million
Total cost of construction: $106.7 million.
Acreage: 5.2; Length: 1,045 ft.; Width: 210 ft.
Total square footage: 226,512
Cost per Square Foot
“Really? A park built almost literally out of thin air? Is this for real?
It really is. The ambitious, $92.7 million project will deck over what is now Woodall Rodgers Freeway, all the way from Pearl Street to St. Paul Street. This deck will create the foundation for a lush, 5.2-acre urban green space. The hope is that Woodall Rodgers Park will integrate the Arts District, Uptown, the Farmers Market, the primary CBD, Victory Park, and the West End, forming a more cohesive and integrated downtown than has ever existed in Dallas. They say the plan is to turn Woodall Rodgers Park into a destination and a commons—downtown’s version of Central Park, complete with public and private security, entertainment, three separate plazas, and gardens.
(Source: D Magazine)
“Who is the ‘they’?
The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, a 501(c)3 established in 2005, is the umbrella entity running the show. The primary movers behind this foundation are the Real Estate Council Foundation, the City of Dallas, the Dallas Parks Foundation, Texas Department of Transportation, the Uptown Public Improvement District, Downtown Dallas, The Real Estate Council, and a host of private entities.
(Source: D Magazine)
“Why is it so important?
Depends on whom you ask:
- “You can’t understate what Woodall Rodgers Park will do as far as energizing all of these parts we’ve put together,” says Councilmember Angela Hunt, in whose district Woodall Rodgers Park will reside.
- “This will become our Central Park—a destination as well as a connection of all the thriving growth in and around downtown,” says Keith Bjerke, program manager for the Woodall Rodgers Park project.
- “This is such a unique attraction that it won’t just serve as a neighborhood park but a regional park. You’ll have people coming in from well beyond Northwest Highway. The events alone will be big draws,” says Tracy Curts of the Uptown Public Improvement District. “And then you have such a complementary mix between the Arts District and what it has to offer with what we have in Uptown.”
“But flowery language and salesmanship aside, the fact is backers have raised almost three-fourths of the money necessary to get this park built and opened by 2010. This thing is happening. And there’s really no denying the park will enliven the entire area. The Arts District has for too long been isolated, with Woodall Rodgers Freeway acting as a concrete moat between it and Uptown.” (via Trey Garrison, “Woodall Rodgers Park Explained,” D Magazine, October 18, 2007)
(Source: C. Troy Mathis)
“With the design complete, it was time for TxDOT to award the contract to build the structure. But the project hit a snag because much of the funding raised at that point was designated for the actual park—not the deck. Even though TxDOT kicked in $20 million for the $51 million project, there was still a $16.7 million gap, as construction costs were rising.
“After President Obama took office, his first initiative was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, established to provide federal funding to transportation projects to get people back to work. Carter Burgess engineer Tom Shelton prepared the application and worked closely with elected officials. By March 2009, the $16.7 million check was in hand.
- “It was quite amazing. All of the stars came into alignment,” says Shelton, now a senior project manager at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “This is one of those projects that was clearly meant to be. If you go over the history, it was really magical the things that happened.”
(Source: The Office of James Burnett, Architect)
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who visited the park site last fall, added: “Klyde Warren Park is a great example of what we can achieve when the federal government, local communities, and private companies work together toward a sustainable future. … The project will provide long-term benefits for the residents of Dallas.” (via Karen Nielsen, “How Klyde Warren Park Was Built,” D Magazine, October 24, 2012)