The Uptown area as we know it has existed for less than 20 years, incorporating new high rises with elegant Victorian homes, like those on State and Thomas streets. The State-Thomas area was revived by architects, interior designers and antique dealers in the 1970s.
Uptown is one of the most pedestrian-friendly areas in Dallas. It is largely “new urbanist” in scope; the majority of facilities considered “Uptown institutions” are relatively new and were created in line with the more recent urbanist urban planning movement. The district is one of the most dense in the city and features a wide variety of establishments, including office buildings, residential towers, apartment complexes, retail centers, nightlife strips and hotels. This mixed-use development practice lends itself to a very urban lifestyle, which makes Uptown very popular with younger professionals.
Along with the historic State-Thomas neighborhood, Uptown is also home to winding, yet very walkable McKinney Avenue. The McKinney Avenue Transit Authority’s historic streetcars travel along the street in line with traffic. You’ll find West Village along McKinney as you’re traveling north toward the Knox/Henderson area. A walkable shopping and design district, it opened in 2001 and is now an established pet and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.
The Knox/Henderson area, which straddles Central Expressway, is famous for its long list of restaurants, bars and shops, some of which remain in their original structures. On the west side (Knox), which borders Highland Park, bigger names such as Crate & Barrel, Apple and Weir’s are mixed in with smaller, upscale boutique stores. The always-popular Katy Trail crosses directly across Knox street. Running east, Henderson features a more eclectic mix of attractions, from antique and resale shops to smaller, obscure eateries. The area as a whole is very popular with young professionals and families.
With construction of the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the 68-acre Arts District of Downtown, Dallas became the only city in the world that has four buildings within one contiguous block designed by four separate and distinguished Pritzker Architecture Prize winners. Also known as the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, it includes four venues (Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, City Performance Hall, Annette Strauss Square) and an urban park (Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park) that unifies each facility. Other notable and popular facilities nearby include the Dallas Museum of Art, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Nasher Sculpture Center, One Arts Plaza and the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Art.
Recently, the city of Dallas invested $160 million of public funds in downtown Dallas for residential development, which attracted an additional $650 million of private investment. Redeveloped Main Street, with its influx of restaurants, hotels and converted residential space, has helped attract customers that Deep Ellum and the West End had since lost. The newer Main Street Garden offers nice-sized green space residents have come to demand in recent years. Fall 2012 will also see the completion of a new $110 million urban deck park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway to create a physically seamless Uptown/Downtown district. The new 5.2 acre urban park, simply called “The Park”, will further strengthen the existing synergy between the Uptown real estate market and the booming development occurring in the Downtown Dallas Arts District which together help further the continuing growth and redevelopment of Downtown Dallas.
Downtown is also home to the massive Dallas Convention Center and recently constructed Omni Dallas Convention Center hotel, which is a new, somewhat controversial member to the Dallas skyline. The nearby JFK memorial still attracts many visitors every year.
Victory Park, considered the “Times Square” of Dallas, is a 75-acre master-planned development and is most notably home to the American Airlines Center and the W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences. This area also features some of the most luxurious and contemporary high-rise residences in Dallas. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is scheduled to open in early 2013. Other notable tenants include the House of Blues, as well as local television and radio stations. Victory Park also serves as corporate headquarters for several international firms.