Dallas developer proposes 'smart district' with city's tallest building
- Commercial real estate developer KDC and property owner Hoque Global have proposed a 20-acre downtown Dallas mixed-use development that would feature the city's tallest building, according to The Dallas Morning News.
- The project, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and dubbed the Dallas Smart District, would include office buildings, as well as retail and hotel components, in addition to the 78-story skyscraper. The first phase would see the construction of 600,000 to 1 million square feet of office space, in addition to a grocery store, food hall, hotel and park area.
- Developers have offered up the Dallas Smart District as a candidate for Amazon's new second headquarters, as it could accommodate the estimated 50,000 workers anticipated by the company and provide easy access to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Since Amazon's announcement of the hunt for its new North American headquarters, cities have been vying for the chance to be the company's top choice. Amazon said it is planning to invest $5 billion into the construction of the new development, which officials expect to be a "full equal" to its current offices in Seattle. Amazon hasn't said how a new headquarters will further its business goals, but the prospect of becoming part of the internet e-commerce giant's growth dynamic has kicked cities around the country into competition mode.
Research firm Anderson Economic Group weighed in earlier this month with some potential picks. Out of the 35 cities AEG said are able to match Amazon's expectations, New York City scored highest, though the group said its high cost of doing business could be a deterrant. Other major U.S. cities cracked AEG's list, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, DC. Dallas also made the top 10.
Dallas has been expanding steadily in recent years as the city's development boom has spurred a rapid influx of people. Dallas–Fort Worth reports some of the strongest activity in the country's office construction segment, while that metro area alone is seeing population gains of more than 1,500 people each week.
Though Dallas could be a good fit for Amazon's second home, some in Seattle are warning cities that a massive development like HQ2 comes with its own set of problems. Since it planted roots there more than 20 years ago, Amazon's aggressive growth strategy has spurred a building boom in Seattle, generating tens of thousands of jobs. Those benefits, however, have helped push along skyrocketing home prices, an increase in the homeless population and stress on the city's transportation systems.
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter