Dallas' well-known deck park is about to expand in a major way with a pavilion, parking garage and more green space.
The Klyde Warren Park expansion will also include a new Dallas visitors center called the VisitDallas Experience Center.
The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation and VisitDallas announced plans Friday to complete the original vision of Dallas' Klyde Warren Park. The expansion is a $76 million project that will add 1.2 acres of space over Woodall Rodgers Freeway west of St. Paul Street.
Money is lined up for more than half the cost. Private contributions are being sought for the rest. Completion could take 4 years.
“This project fulfills the vision we outlined when we began talking about decking over Woodall Rodgers a decade ago, and it is the next step in improving the connectivity of the Park and the Arts District with the West End, Victory Park, and the Perot Museum,” said Jody Grant, chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. “This vision wouldn’t be coming to life without Phillip Jones and VisitDallas, who shared our vision. The VisitDallas Experience Center will add to the allure of downtown, and the pavilion will be a multi-use facility that allows the Park to offer an indoor venue for special event rentals and point of purchase opportunities.”
On the new land will be a 20,000-square-foot pavilion that will house the state-of-the-art VisitDallas Experience Center, "a Visitor Center unlike any other in the U.S."
"The VisitDallas Experience Center will serve as concierge to the city, offering a place to pick up a jersey or VIP tickets to one the area’s sports teams or great last-minute deals on theater seats. The space will transform seasonally to showcase annual events from the Byron Nelson to the State Fair, and major events like the Women’s Final Four. It will also highlight the many festivals and events happening each weekend," organizers said.
The expansion will also include additional green spaces and public gathering spots.
“The opening of Klyde Warren Park has been one of the most welcome developments during my tenure as mayor,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “I love that the chasm that Woodall Rodgers Freeway created between downtown and uptown is now in our rearview mirror. The Park spanned these segments of the city, spawning billions in development in the process and representing one of the most successful infrastructure investments in the City’s history. More importantly, the Park created a town square where all Dallasites could participate in the life of the City and its Arts District.”
“Great urban parks have multi-use buildings associated with them, and this pavilion and center will put our Park in that category,” said Kit Sawers, president of Klyde Warren Park. “These structures will allow families in our community to gather for significant moments, and the special events we can now host will provide a new revenue stream for the Park that ensures our financial health.”
The 5.2-acre Klyde Warren Park opened in October 2012 and has since welcomed over six million visitors. The Park has created nearly $2 billion in economic development and increased property value in the Park District.
Design and construction of the project are scheduled to begin in 2019, with completion anticipated as early as 2022.
The Klyde Warren Park expansion comes as Dallas plans several other park improvements including three new downtown parks, improved activities at Fair Park and a giant Trinity River Park.
Voters approved bond money last year for some of those other plans. A $50 million contribution was announced two years ago for a Trinity River Park but as much as $200 million more could be required to build the park and US Army Corp of Engineers approval is also needed.
NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.