The Dallas City Council votes Wednesday on incentives connected with two big additions to the skyline.
An 80-story building on North Field Street would become the city’s tallest building, taller than the Bank of America Plaza. The other project would occupy normally vacant surface parking lots south of Dallas City Hall.
The Newpark development on Canton at Akard streets was a competitor for Amazon’s second headquarters competition four years ago. Now it is moving forward without Amazon.
It will be a 38-story mixed-use high-rise with office, apartment, hotel and retail space.
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“Dallas is booming right now, especially downtown. If we don’t build up downtown, especially our core, you’re not going to grow the city of Dallas. You’ve got to build downtown, the core,” said Tennell Atkins, chairman of the Dallas City Council Economic Development Committee.
Developer Hoque Global seeks approval Wednesday for $96.1 million in subsidies over future years for the $379.3 million Newpark development.
That is more than five times greater than the $18 million in public-private partnership grants and future tax abatement sought for financial services company Goldman Sachs, the lead tenant in the Field Street project by developer Hunt Realty. Goldman Sachs will use a separate portion of that project which will also include the 80-story high rise.
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In return, the city requires a minimum capital investment of $390 million which is also required to retain or create 5,000 jobs at the site.
The Field Street development will replace the North End Apartments where residents said they enjoyed living.
“It's a great place. I like the area, restaurants, and being so close to the AAC,” said resident Craig Powell. “I never thought they were going to tear down these apartments. I feel like they should have told us when we first moved in.”
That neighborhood already has a Tom Thumb grocery store across the street and other Uptown amenities nearby.
“The walkability, everything,” said resident Jill Smith. “Anything you want to eat or do, it's all right there.”
The south side location has few amenities and it needs new streets and sidewalks to support development.
Atkins said that explains the larger city investment in the project which will also help extend downtown toward the south.
“Look at City Hall. Look in the last decade. Nothing around City Hall. Vacant concrete. In order to get something, you’ve got to give something to get back. Look at the long term,” he said. “We're building for the future. We're building for your grandkids, the next generation. So, we've got to invest a little bit more in downtown.”
Resident Charles Holmes said he’s lived at the North End apartment for seven years and did not want to move.
He walks to the grocery store and to work. But he says some workers have not resumed old office attendance habits.
“Dallas is booming. Oh my God, yes it is. But, is it booming to the point of building skyscrapers for businesses? Most of the stuff you see around here is residential,” Holmes said.
Atkins points to the AT&T Discovery District, Klyde Warren Park, The Perot Museum and other recent downtown improvements to explain why other projects are moving forward now as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down.
“It goes to show you the City of Dallas is doing something right,” Atkins said. “Companies want to come to the City of Dallas.”
Resident Jill Smith said she recently persuaded her sister to move downtown from Richardson because of the improvements.
“It's definitely been a big effort and it's paying off,” Smith said.
The new skyline additions are due to meet project milestones within the next two years.
North End tenants said they have been told they must move out much sooner than that.
Also on Wednesday’s agenda is a 200-acre development by Hoque Global adjacent to the University of North Texas at Dallas. That project includes single-family homes, apartments, offices, stores and restaurants which have been sought for years in southern Dallas.