News Article | 1/20/2022

Dallas’ Field Street is the new ‘center of gravity’ downtown

Is Field Street the new main street in Dallas?

Billions of dollars in high-rise building projects are in the works along the thoroughfare connecting downtown with Uptown.

Scattered along seven blocks of Field Street between Ross Avenue and Harry Hines Boulevard are the sites for some of the biggest new developments on the way in North Texas.

A half dozen skyscraper projects planned along Field Street will connect downtown’s towers with the growing high-rise neighborhood just north of Woodall Rodgers Freeway.

“We think Field Street is the most exciting street in Dallas in the next decade,” said Jonas Woods with Dallas-based real estate investor Woods Capital. “You have probably the strongest collection of owners that are super-high-quality developers that has ever existed on a single street.

“It has the potential to be a redefining street in much the way Klyde Warren Park redefined the area between Uptown and downtown,” Woods said. “It can stitch together Uptown and downtown, and we are going to do our part of make sure it’s developed appropriately.”

Woods and his partners plan to start construction later this year on the first of two towers in their $1 billion Field Street District mixed-use project at the southwest corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway. The 6-acre project will start with an office and residential high-rises.

The Field Street District is just one of the big developments on a street that came from meager beginnings.

Parts of what is now Field Street were originally called Magnolia and connected Dallas’ commercial district with historic Jewish then Hispanic neighborhoods just north of what is now downtown.

The street was later named for pioneering Dallas real estate developer Thomas William Field, who in the late 1800s built the city’s first opera house and the grand Oriental Hotel.

Later, the area along Field Street was built up with warehouses, manufacturing plants and train yards.

But over the last few decades, the northbound boulevard became the dividing line between the towers in booming Uptown and in Victory Park.

Hunt Realty Investments is expected to begin construction within the next year on its 11-acre North End redevelopment at Field and Cedar Springs Road. The designs call for buildings as tall as 80 stories surrounding a 1.5-acre urban park.

New York financial giant Goldman Sachs is reportedly looking to put thousands of workers in new offices in the Hunt Realty project. But so far there has been no conformation of that plan.

Colin Fitzgibbons, president of Hunt Realty Investments, said Field Street’s location is a natural extension of the growth in Uptown.

“There are things that have pulled demand that way,” Fitzgibbons said. “The dream of Victory Park has finally been realized.

“The center of gravity of Dallas’ core may be at Field and Woodall Rodgers now.”

Fitzgibbons said the next 10 years should bring big changes to the area on the northwest side of downtown. “If we have anything to say about it, there will be a lot more development,” he said.

Across from Hunt Realty, real estate investor Stonelake Capital Partners is working with the owner of the landmark El Fenix restaurant property to build a high-rise mixed-use project on two blocks of parking lots.

Architects Gensler and Duda Paine are designing towers for the almost 4-acre site.

The El Fenix site is next to the two-tower Union Dallas development, which sold for an estimated price of more than $370 million in 2020.

“Absolutely I see Field Street and Woodall Rodgers as the primary connecting point from downtown to Uptown,” said Mike Karns, whose firm owns the El Fenix restaurant site. “This is the future nucleus of our amazing city.”

Two large office towers have been designed on other Field Street blocks.

Developer Harwood International has plans for a 42-story, 1 million-square-foot skyscraper at Field and Caroline streets just east of Victory Park.

And at the southeast corner of Field and Woodall Rodgers, developer Hillwood Urban is seeking tenants for a 38-story office high-rise that would sit at the entrance to downtown. Hillwood is calling the planned tower designed by architect Pickard Chilton the “new gateway to Dallas, the new centerpiece of the skyline.”

“Between our site, the Hunt Realty’s North End, El Fenix and Jonas Woods’ site, where is there a bigger concentration of readily developable land in Dallas?” said Hillwood Urban executive vice president Ken Reese.

And that’s not all. Dallas oilman and property investor Tim Headington has bought parts of about five blocks at Field Street and Ross Avenue.

Headington has pitched the property to prospective companies as a skyscraper headquarters location.