Letter to the Editor

Envisioning Preston Center

People Newspapers covered the Preston Center garage saga for months, and months have passed without progress toward a three-level garage for 1,200 cars below grade with a community park at grade level.

I’m disappointed the city of Dallas hasn’t issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to attract developers, architects, engineers, and general contractors.

Blame it on the pandemic if you must, but the city should be leading in “building for a better future.”

I “envision Preston Center” in a dream world where it has become a destination for shopping and dining:

The two-way traffic around the square welcomes strangers, as does the east garage entrance off Kate Street. I don’t know of a more unique entrance to a garage than this one with ramps in a light well and a glass weather shelter that allows daylight to the lower level. LED lighting duplicates that surprise at night. The technology at the garage entrance identifies where open parking is available and specific locations for accessible parking and for charging our cars.

Learning there is 24hr/7day/week security watch via monitored cameras in the garage, stairs, and elevators, as well as seeing roaming maintenance personnel keeping the garage and park “Disney World clean,” will prompt you to plan a return visit.

Blame it on the city if you must, but the city should be leading in ‘building for a better future’.

Howard C. Parker

The high rise is 90% leased/60% occupied and the restaurants and shops on the park are open and busy. Where else in Dallas do you find a pedestrian street a block long that attracts dining and shopping choice in a park environment? Where else in Dallas do you see shopping carts beside someone having lunch in a park environment with “man’s best friend” comfortable at their feet? Where else in Dallas is there this much shade when you shop? Where else is there a performance venue “on the green” where you shop? The Preston Center experience is unique.

I know the wait was long (time is money) but the rainbow is that all of Dallas will benefit because Preston Center has become a destination. The attractions will put money in the bank for the city, the property owners, and the businesses; and “building for a better future” will influence development in all directions.

The city, which owns the garage block, and the Preston Center property owners must work together to support redevelopment. As friends of Preston Center, you, the reader, can cause that to happen by sharing your vision with People Newspapers.

Howard C. Parker, FAIA.E, Dallas

Dreaming Big?

Share your ideas for redeveloping Preston Center and replacing the ugly parking garage by emailing [email protected].

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