A LITTLE LESS ELBOW ROOM
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|The resident population of the Dallas CBD is up to 7,000, and downtown, as a whole, has 35,000 residents. Both stats we picked up at the Downtown Dallas annual meeting and luncheon at the Fairmont Dallas last week. DDI CEO John Crawford says downtown is thriving in ways unimaginable even 10 years ago, with the largest employee population in the Metroplex (at 135,000) and some 60 new businesses relocated downtown in the past several years. Construction still abounds around downtown, as the Arts District master plan is nearing completion, the Woodall Rodgers deck park is underway as well as the cantilever bridge, and the Omni Convention Center hotel is less than a year from opening. There's the Perot Museum under construction as well as Dallas First Baptist Church?s$130M renovation, the largest protestant church renovation project in the US. More bragging rights: the Nasher Museum had its one millionth visitor and DART opened the green line.|
|We snapped (seated) Matthews Southwest?s Pat Anderson, Hyatt?sCarrie Moore, and Omni?s Bruce Johnston with (standing) Omni?sQ Quiesser, Mike Szymanski, Nils Stolzechner, and Kimy Pilandwith Hyatt?s Katie Marion. While it appeared there wasfraternization among enemy camps, Q tells us that the Hyatt andOmni folks collaborate routinely, especially if there are citywide opportunities. They'll even make joint sales calls. ?We're aware of each others? strengths,? he tells us, ?and, we're committed as a community to drive business downtown.? We like the teamwork; the Bisnow judge awards you a 10 for top form.|
|We shared a table with Rich Goza, Lauren Upchurch, and Tom Melesky from The Press Box Grill, which was named the "Best Sports Bar to Watch the Super Bowl" this year by Yahoo. The restaurant (in the Wilson Building on the corner of Elm and Ervay) opened six years ago. Tom tells us he bought it almost a year ago and has updated it with a new sound system and a 112-inch HD TV. The neighborhood bar and grill has 36 beers on tap, plus another 40 varieties in the cooler. And, just like in Cheers, Tom says the bartender knows your name (after a couple visits). On the menu:continued moderate growth in downtown as more companies hire, and he's anticipating more convention business and additional residents.|