DALLAS -- The creation of a public improvement district in Dallas on this day in 1993 probably did not steal many headlines but 25 years later, the district known as Uptown has transformed the city. The non-profit Uptown Dallas Inc. is having a breakfast event on Tuesday morning to celebrate the anniversary with a panel discussion about the district’s growth, past and present.

“It was always a place people wanted to live in the downtown corridor,” said Interim Executive Director Noelle LeVeaux. “Uptown was the only place urban-wise where people could live because people were not living downtown.”

Uptown in 1988 (Courtesy: Uptown Dallas Inc)
Present day Uptown (Courtesy: Uptown Dallas Inc.)

Today, there are approximately 20,000 people living in Uptown and a recent demographic study by Uptown Dallas Inc. found more and more families are calling it home and that trend is expected to continue. Millennials make up about half of the current population in Uptown and LeVeaux believes more will stay once they start building families. That means more family friendly businesses and services could be on the horizon.

“We want to make sure we are building those kinds of assets and services. We do not have as many now as we would like because it is driven by population.”

The expected increase in families will likely lead to an increase in places to live. And with little space left to build, expect the demand for housing to continue altering the Dallas skyline.

“Uptown is now about 99-percent developed. There are only about 10 acres left for actual development so that means we will have to build up,” LeVeaux said.

Ironically, the 25th anniversary will also mark the final day of the Idle Rich Pub. The longtime staple bar along McKinney Avenue will close down and make way for a new apartment building. A recent bond package will also convert a stretch of McKinney Avenue from a one-way street into a two-way street, another move towards a more residential, family-friendly environment.

“I think there will be a balance as we change some of our streets back into neighborhood streets,” LeVeaux said. “There will be growth and room for those who have been here for a while as well as new businesses opening up.”