What We’re Looking Forward to in 2018 in and Around Downtown Dallas

2017 may be on its way out, but 2018 is almost here, bringing with it many exciting new developments. From breathtaking public spaces to groundbreaking openings and renovations, 2018 provides proof that, for Dallas, the best is yet to come.

Over a decade in the making, construction on Pacific Plaza will officially get underway in 2018. Funded entirely by Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy, this innovative green space will transform 3.4 acres of surface parking lots near the Harwood Street pedestrian corridor into an urban oasis. As planned by renowned landscape architecture and urban design firm SWA, the park will feature a large lawn, play area, fountain and shade trees lining the park perimeter.

A pillar of Dallas’ iconic skyline, Fountain Place is set to complete over $70 million in improvements and enhancements next year. This landmark skyscraper will now feature a 10-story parking garage, a completely redesigned lobby, plus new retail and restaurants — including 84 Point Coffee, a 1,500-square-foot café that only brews from beans that score over 84 on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 100-point scale.

Just west of Downtown (via Commerce St.), in the Dallas Design District, Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels plans to open its fourth location in the world on Hi Line Drive. Developed at a cost of over $108 million, this state-of-the-art hospitality property will feature more than 200 rooms, a rooftop terrace with gym, pool and spa, and a striking, diamond-patterned exterior.

Dallas’ housing boom shows no signs of slowing down in 2018 either. A number of high-dollar rental complexes will open their doors in the new year, including Uptown’s tallest apartment tower, Trammell Crow’s Residences at Park District, which will house 228 luxury units. Meanwhile, the Cityplace apartment and hotel tower, a 23-story high-rise in the West Village area, will begin welcoming tenants in 2018 as well. Victory Park will see major growth, too, as new restaurants, retail and even a movie theater will all soon be serving Downtown Dallas’ northwesternmost neighborhood — not to mention anyone walking the city’s popular Katy Trail.

Large-scale change is also coming to the city after residents voted in favor of a $1.05 billion bond package in November. Expect improvements to streets and transportation, such as upgraded traffic signals, additional sidewalks in pedestrian-heavy areas and 664 resurfacing projects. The bond measure also allows the city to make significant investments in its libraries, cultural centers and parks system, providing $35 million in funding that will guarantee the completion of three more Downtown parks: Carpenter Park, Harwood Park and West End Plaza.

And, as always, Dallas will be no stranger to innovation next year. As whispers loom about the highly sought after Amazon headquarters (the company will announce its decision in 2018), Uber recently selected DFW as a test city for its futuristic flying vehicle network, Uber Elevate.

For Dallas, the future is now. As you reflect on all the great things that happened in our great city this past year — from April’s Dallas Festival of Ideas to the last-minute, Thanksgiving reprieve Toyota granted the Dallas Holiday Parade — let us know what you see on the horizon for 2018. The conversation is happening on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there. And, from all of us at Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy, we hope you have a very Happy New Year!