We might be bidding farewell to another great year in Dallas, but it looks like 2019 will bring with it many exciting developments that testify to the incredible vitality of our city. New public parks, big construction booms and even a new type of futuristic train that would be the nation’s first — you can expect all this and more in the upcoming year.
At Parks for Downtown Dallas, a new year always means taking further steps toward making our goal of four Downtown parks a reality. In 2019, we’re looking forward to crossing some major milestones off our list. First up is Pacific Plaza, a large neighborhood green space near the Harwood Street pedestrian corridor, that will be completed in the fall of 2019. Funded entirely by Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy, this 3.4 acre-space was once nothing more than surface parking lots. Once open to the public, it will include plenty of shaded walking paths, areas to sit, a child’s play area and beautiful landscaping that brings nature into our cityscape.
And as one public park comes to a close, another will begin construction in Downtown Dallas, as West End Square will break ground in 2019. West End Square, which will be located in the heart of the West End Historic District, is just shy of an acre and will include an outdoor work area, porch swings, prairie gardens and lawn. The park is being designed by James Corner Field Operations, which has worked on iconic projects like The High Line in New York City and Navy Pier in Chicago.
Dallas might also be home to a new futuristic amenity in 2019. There’s long been talk of constructing a high-speed bullet train that would connect the cities of Houston and Dallas, and the latest news is that construction could begin as early as late 2019 if all goes according to plan. The travel time between Houston and Dallas — typically 3 and a half hours by car — would be reduced to only 90 minutes on this fast train, with one stop in the Brazos Valley. The train would be modeled after Japan’s high-speed “Shinkansen” train, which travels at speeds as high as 177 miles-per-hour.
Last year, Victory Park saw a massive expansion, complete with high-rise rental towers, new restaurants and bars, plus a new luxury movie theatre. Now, the Dallas Design District is expected to boom in 2019. Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels will be the driving force, as it plans to open its much-anticipated new location on Hi Line Drive in fall of 2019. This luxury, state-of-the-art property will feature 200 rooms, a rooftop terrace with a gym, pool and spa, plus a striking, diamond-patterned exterior. A new Hilton hotel will also be constructed just across the street, turning a former 89,000-square-foot office building into a brand-new 147-room hotel. Apartment builders have also purchased the site just next to the Hilton hotel for a large rental project, rounding out an impressive growth spurt for this trendy part of the city.