Letter from CEO and Board Chair
Greetings and thank you for your support of Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI), and our first-ever strategic planning process.
This year-long strategic planning work has come at the right time for our organization and city. DDI celebrated our 65th anniversary this year, and clearly the urban core of our thriving region is vastly different than it was two decades ago. What was once a 9-to-5 business center is now a downtown made up of vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods. As recently as the early 2000s, Downtown was home to only a few hundred residents; today we have almost 15,000 residents living across several distinct Downtown neighborhoods.
Furthermore, in partnership with the Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy (formerly Parks for Downtown Dallas), and the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department, Downtown has created five new parks producing more than 20 acres of new green space. These areas provide a welcome respite for office workers, residents, pets, and visitors.
DDI has been in lockstep in support of this recent transformation. Early in our strategic planning work, it became apparent that the tenets of the 360 Plan for Downtown Dallas, unanimously approved by City Council in 2011 and again in 2017, remain good planning goals for us as stewards of Downtown.
DDI focused our strategic planning on assessing our organization and where we can continue to help Downtown grow and develop in continuation of the 360 Plan goals. We appreciate the feedback from many of you in our focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and expert conversations to best ascertain where we can continue to best serve Downtown.
Among the findings:
Field Operations: By benchmarking our core field operations (security team, clean team, homeless outreach, and ambassadors) and better-using data, we believe we can continue to maintain one of the safest and cleanest Downtowns in America.
Parks and Vibrancy: The addition of the Downtown parks will mean that DDI’s role in public space programming and activation will only increase, and building a long-term operating model with our key partners is our next step.
Economic Development: Driving the catalytic developments that will continue to vastly reshape and reinvent Downtown will be part of DDI’s ongoing economic development focus. This includes the redevelopment of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas and surrounding areas, the development of the Field Street District, and continued progress on building conversions from office to hotel and residential use.
The ensuing pages lay out a bold vision for DDI’s future. We believe this plan will guide us as we continue to grow and elevate the urban core of our city, the heartbeat of the fastest-growing region in the country. We cannot do this work without your continued partnership. We look forward to working with you.
Jennifer Scripps, President & CEO, and Katy Murray, Board Chair.