Six Developments to See While You’re in Dallas for the ULI Fall Meeting

Welcome to Dallas, ULI! As you settle into my hometown, I thought you might enjoy seeing some key developments that make the DFW metroplex the dynamic urban environment it is today. As sponsors of the conference, HKS is participating in a host of ULI-led tours. But if, like me, you enjoy exploring cities on your own, then here are six places that I recommend visiting—with tips on nearby spots to grab something to eat or drink, too.

1. Klyde Warren Park

Klyde Warren Park, the 2014 ULI Urban Open Space Award winner, is a must-see for any urbanist. The park that was built atop an interstate highway—and reconnected downtown Dallas to adjacent Uptown and Victory Park neighborhoods for pedestrians—transformed Big D. HKS-designed projects, including the Park District, KPMG Plaza, WELL-Gold certified Hall Arts and 2000 Ross (arguably one of the most elegant parking structures you’ll ever see) line the perimeter, and prove that urban open space coupled with great design amplifies real estate investment and transforms cities.

Hungry or thirsty? I’m partial to the modern take on southern cuisine at Ellie’s Restaurant inside the elegant new Hall Arts Hotel.

2. Victory Park

Victory Park is another development featured at the ULI Fall Meeting many times through the years, and for good reason: the once-desolate downtown neighborhood is booming today. HKS-designed projects, including the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, W Hotel & Residences and mixed-use development The Union make the walk from Klyde Warren to Victory Park pedestrian-friendly.

Where to stop for a drink or food nearby:  Billy Can Can is a sophisticated take on Texas cuisine and one of the development’s many great places to eat and drink. If you’re more interested in people-watching, try The Henry in The Union.

3. Pacific Park

I’ll argue that the architectural epicenter of Dallas can be found at One Dallas Center, the IM Pei-designed, HKS-repositioned tower home to HKS Global Headquarters. Our 650 local team members help make the adjacent Pacific Park and Pacific Park Pavilion one of Dallas’ most successful new urban spaces. (Just two years ago, it was a pothole-riddled parking lot!) We hope you visit our office during the Fall Meeting, and after you do, be sure to walk around the corner to see the late, great Philip Johnson’s Thanks-Giving Square Chapel.

Where to stop for a drink or food nearby: the Park is a five minute drive to Deep Ellum, where you can try some Texas barbeque at Terry Black’s or the Pecan Lodge. In Deep Ellum, bars, music & nightlife abound.

4. South Dallas

What’s next in Big D’s renaissance? Be sure to see what’s happening in South Dallas and take a look at what’s to come. My personal favorites are the Park for Floral Farms, Forest Theater, and future Southern Gateway Park, which is the South Dallas bookend to Klyde Warren. And for folks looking for historic Dallas neighborhoods with great food, well… South Dallas is the place to be.

Where to stop for a drink or food nearby: swing by Bishop Arts and enjoy the people-watching, food and drink at Written by the Seasons or longtime neighborhood favorite The Boulevardier.

5. Arlington

I know there are a few of y’all who will argue that SoFi Stadium or U.S. Bank are the most beautiful NFL Stadiums of them all, and I get that. But let’s be clear: it all started with the HKS-designed home to America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys: AT&T Stadium.

It’s hard to imagine today, but when we first built the stadium more than a decade ago, there wasn’t much else to do in Arlington, from an entertainment perspective. Today, it’s a whole different ball game, as it were. The newly-opened Globe Life Field, home to the Texas Rangers, and resort-like hotel with killer views of AT&T Stadium at Texas Live by Loews make Arlington DFW’s hottest new entertainment district.

It’s not all football, either. Did you know that more visitors see the world-class modern art collection annually at AT&T Stadium than they do at the Art Institute of Chicago? Or that half of AT&T Stadium’s revenues happen when the NFL isn’t in town? It’s true. And for local residents: the Arlington ISD Center for Performing Arts offers neighborhood students professional-caliber performance venues to prepare for careers in the arts (be sure to check out the Fall Meeting session for a deep-dive into what makes it unique).

What’s next in Arlington? The soon-to-open Loews Arlington Hotel (that pool!), and newly-repositioned Choctaw Stadium, former home of the Rangers, that’s now an eSports venue.

6. The Stockyards

When in DFW, it’s imperative to visit Fort Worth. There are many fantastic places to see here, but in the interest of your short stay, let’s focus on the place Where the West Begins: The Stockyards. It’s here that you can enjoy the Fort Worth Herd Cattle Drive, or watch a rodeo at nearby Dickies Arena. If you do, be sure to check out the 2021 CoreNet Global award-winning adaptive reuse for Simpli.Fi, and then perhaps wind down at the newly-opened, HKS-designed Hotel Drover.

Where to stop for food or drinks or new cowboy boots nearby: The Drover’s 97 West Kitchen & Bar is a perfect vantage point to consider whether you should buy Lucchese or Ariat after your visit to the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.  

See the ULI Fall events HKS is hosting, speaking in and sponsoring. 

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