Dallas will be having a new convention center after its approval became final and evident from the City Council who gave the green signal for its $4 billion budget according to a Fox 4 News article from February 9 which reports,
“City council members approved a plan to build a new $4 billion convention center in Downtown Dallas.
A recent report showed the existing Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is outdated and not on the same level with other large-city convention centers.
The council met Wednesday to discuss whether to improve it or tear it down and start from scratch.
Councilman Omar Narvaez argued the city needs to move forward with the plan to demolish the convention center and build a new development. He used a colorful description of the current convention center’s disrepair.
“The transformation of Downtown Dallas is what this is about. It’s not just a building,” he said. “A building we are literally holding together with Band-Aids, paperclips and diapers.”
They ultimately voted to in favor of a $2 billion plan to build a new convention center west of Lamar Street. An additional $2.2 billion will be spent on redevelopment projects in and around the convention center.”
Despite its green signal from the City Council, one of the council members thought that the proposal for the convention center should be heavily considered with concrete plans and research since there is still an ongoing pandemic at the moment according to a Dallas Morning News article from February 9. They say,
“The vote was nearly unanimous, but one Dallas City Council member expressed concerns with numbers she viewed as too hypothetical.
Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn argued the city should take a more measured approach until it can get more concrete numbers on cost and demand. She wanted to see more details about the funding plan and proposed location of the new convention center.
“Convention centers before COVID were not growing.”
Then, there’s the historic Pioneer Park Cemetery just outside the convention center. The city does not yet know how that will fit into the new plans, and city staff has indicated a casino could be added on if Texas legalizes gambling.
Regardless, Mendelsohn says the city needs a better plan for maintenance this time around.
“We are the Big D. Big D in debt,” she said. “We need greater clarity on finances.”
Mendelsohn did not get to explain her case for the city to take a more measured approach to the planning process before the vote.”
Nevertheless, the construction of the new convention center is expected to be finished within 6 years with almost $20 million spent on demolition only.