The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation (WRPF) and VisitDallas today announced an innovative partnership that will complete the original vision of Klyde Warren Park.
The estimated $76 million project will add 1.2 acres over Woodall Rodgers Freeway, just west of St. Paul Street. This land will be used for a 20,000-square-foot pavilion that will house a state-of-the-art VisitDallas Experience Center.
The expansion also will include additional green spaces and public gathering spots, assist with the Park’s long-term financial sustainability, and allow the privately-operated park to expand the more than 1,300 free programs and events it already provides annually.
Design and construction of the project are scheduled to begin in 2019, with completion anticipated as early as 2022.
“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.
The VisitDallas Experience Center will transform seasonally to showcase annual events from the Byron Nelson to the State Fair. It also will serve as a concierge to the city, offering a place to pick up a jersey or VIP tickets to one of the area’s sports teams or great last-minute deals on theater seats.
“Klyde Warren Park has been embraced by our citizens unlike any project in recent memory,” said Phillip Jones, president and CEO of VisitDallas.
“It’s a treasure to those who use it and take part in its free programming, and it’s also an important economic engine for the city. The pavilion and the VisitDallas Experience Center will not only introduce visitors to our city, its history, and traditions but to be an exhilarating experience for those who live here.”
The 5.2-acre, $110 million Klyde Warren Park opened in October 2012 and since then has welcomed over six million visitors, created more than $2 billion in economic development, and increased property value in the area around the Park.
According to Eric Rothman, president of HR&A Advisors, the consulting firm tasked with analyzing the economic impact of the Park’s completion, this new phase of development will provide another $850 million in stimulus to the area.
“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.”
Klyde Warren Park, operated by the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, is a privately-operated nonprofit that relies on private donations, sponsorships, rentals, and funds raised by its annual Park & Palate event to pay for its nearly $5 million annual operating budget.
“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.”