Deck park provides new attraction to those considering downtown living

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by JAN ARRANT and ERIC VALADEZ

WFAA

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 25 at 10:46 PM

Klyde Warren Park

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DALLAS - Ask the president of Downtown Dallas Inc. what people said when the idea of a deck park came about.

"People said, 'Yeah right, when pigs fly' probably," John Crawford said.

But Crawford said now we have it, and it's great.

What was once a vision, has taken shape as an oasis in the heart of the city. It's the newest edition to Downtown, blending commercial, residential and cultural. Crawford called it an "important ingredient," as it related to residents and quality of life.

"It creates more fun and vibrancy for downtown," he said.

Downtown after dark may make some uneasy, but developers want you to know the park will have a 24-hour public safety presence, including security cameras and park marshals.

They want everyone to feel welcome, but you'll be expected to behave. Klyde Warren Park President Mark Banta said part of the mantra is "clean, safe and active."

"We also have another mantra: fair, but firm," he added. "Everyone is welcome, but everyone must follow the rules."

Dallas has installed 92 security cameras downtown in the last five years. Crawford said crime has gone down 45 percent.

"I would challenge anyone to match those stats in terms of a safe, clean environment because that's our primary mission," he said.

Downtown also now has 21 different green spaces, parks, and plazas.

As the Dallas Arts District expands, there are more restaurants and bars. However to satisfy the growing downtown population, there's one thing missing.

"Probably in the next three-to-five years, we're going to have 50,000-to-60,000 people down here," Crawford said. "That will make it easier to have a full-service grocery store for example, which is not here right now."

E-mail evaladez@wfaa.com

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