AT&T Discovery District Just Three Months Away From Grand Opening

If you’re a pedestrian on the sidewalk, you’ll already see crews already testing a seven-story high definition screen wrapped around a building

NBCUniversal, Inc.

An iconic project is taking shape in downtown Dallas.

The AT&T Discovery District is just three months away from its grand opening in May. City leaders say the development will transform the downtown area.

"We’re thrilled to see the AT&T Discovery District begin to come to life,” Michelle Brockwell, assistant vice president overseeing the district, said in a statement to NBC 5. “It will be a destination unlike any other in Dallas that will be open to all and offer a range of attractions."

If you’re a pedestrian on the sidewalk at the intersection of Akard and Commerce streets, you’ll already see that crews have been testing one of the most visible parts of this project — a huge media wall overlooking this entire plaza.

The seven-story, 104-foot-tall high definition screen wraps around a building and the plan is to do anything from movie nights to light shows and even Cowboys watch parties with it.

Crews also just finished working on The Globe, a 30-foot interactive sculpture that can act as a rotating stage. The globe pays homage to the classic AT&T design.

These features are part of AT&T's plan to totally revamp the plaza area in front of its headquarter towers.

The $100 million project will also feature 65,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space.

"We worked alongside the city and AT&T to really work on how to integrate what they wanted into the neighborhood -- how to bring the whole campus together," said Kourtny Garrett, president and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. "We could not be more excited about what you see today and what you’re going to see in May when it opens up to the entire community."

Garrett said the goal is for this district to transform an area that has otherwise stayed somewhat stagnant over the years. Many have said this part of downtown quiets down after hours and on the weekends.

Garrett said that won't be the case anymore once the district opens.

"One of the things that we worked really closely with AT&T to do is create a connector between several districts. The south parts of downtown have been some of the last to come online and this is a huge catalyst," she said. "It's connecting the Main Street district with the farmers market and with a lot of catalyst development that's happening by city hall. So when you see this area light up, it will be walkable, it will be bikable. This is going to be a place not just for their employees but for every resident.”

There are more than 5,500 employees at AT&T's headquarters, but Garrett said the growing population of downtown residents will have a new hotspot to hang out.

"We started in 1996 with 200 people living downtown. Now, we’re up to 12,000 and will add another 3,000 over the next two to three years, and that’s continuing to grow," she said. "So to deliver something to the downtown that is not only a benefit to the 135,000 people who work here but those who live here, is absolutely remarkable. It will be really important as we move forward and continue to build downtown."

AT&T shared some concept photos of the final product for the project.

As far as that new retail, some of it is already starting to come online ahead of the grand opening. Cowboys Fit Downtown -- a state-of-the-art Dallas Cowboys-themed gym -- just opened up and is now taking memberships.

"Leading up to our grand opening in May, we’ll be opening a first-of-its-kind AT&T Experience Store that will offer new ways for people to watch and access the content they love," said AT&T's Brockwell. "And we’ll be adding new restaurant options to add to downtown’s dining scene. We can’t wait for everyone to experience all that the District has to offer when it fully opens in May.”

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