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Studio-MLA Selected to Design New Community Park in Dallas

22 Feb, 2021


Studio-MLA, a world-renowned landscape architect firm, has been selected to design the new Community Park that will replace over one thousand parking spaces at Fair Park. The new park is the first project to come out of the Fair Park Master Plan Update, which recently received the Unbuilt Dream/Study Award from the Greater Dallas Planning Council. The decision announced today was made by Fair Park First, Spectra, and Biederman Redevelopment Ventures (BRV)—the management and operations team of Fair Park.

"We're excited about the award-winning team that will be leading the design of this transformational project for Fair Park," said Darren L. James, President of the Fair Park First Board. "Millions of citizens and visitors will benefit every year from the investment we're making to realize this extraordinary project. As an architect, I can't wait to see this transformation."

In June 2020, a nationwide search began for a designer for the 11-acre park proposed in the Master Plan Update. Thirty landscape architects responded with interest to design the park. Studio-MLA's presentation, which gained the overwhelming support of community stakeholders and Fair Park's leadership team alike, showed an innovative approach to transforming the parking lot into an inspiring greenspace for all.

"We feel honored to be selected for what will become a valuable new resource in Fair Park for the neighborhood and broader Dallas region," says Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Studio-MLA. "Our highly collaborative, special design team strives to reflect the community's needs and aspirations. The preceding efforts by so many have set the stage for this opportunity, and we are excited to continue the momentum and their inclusive approach to co-create a beloved new park that both honors the past and looks to the future.

Studio-MLA is a design studio with more than 25 years of experience integrating landscape architecture, urban design, and planning to create places that inspire human connection, unite communities, and restore environmental balance. Studio-MLA, in partnership with renowned Dallas landscape architects Studio Outside, internationally award-winning architect Allison Grace Williams, FAIA, and acclaimed Dallas-based architects and historical narrative storytellers buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, make up the core design team. Studio-MLA's accolades list includes Vista Hermosa Natural Park, Destination Crenshaw, and the Natural History Museum's Nature Gardens in Los Angeles, CA. The expanded team of sub-consultants experts include Fluidity for fountain design; Essential Light; CRTKL for graphics and wayfinding; JQ Engineers for Structural, Civil, and stormwater innovation strategies; Terracon for Environmental Engineering; MEPCE for M/E/P Engineering, Hines irrigation consultants; and Project Resources Group for expert cost consultation.

The planned Community Park design will likely include a large lawn, a children's play area with an interactive water feature, naturalized plantings, remembrance gardens, a small pavilion for gatherings, and movable tables and chairs. The park will also provide free programming for children, adults, and seniors. A typical calendar of events during a week might include fitness classes, small musical performances, art workshops, drum circles, a reading room, and outdoor movies.

"The creation of the Community Park is a step towards reawakening a sleeping giant in South Dallas. Parks and green spaces with community-curated, daily programs and amenities can create catalytic change," said Dan Biederman, President of BRV. "Parks with daily free programming can grow the local economy, drive tourism, connect communities, create a sense of place, improve public health, provide safety and protect the city's most important natural places. The Community Park will be just that - a park for the community."

Studio-MLA—in concert with Fair Park First, Spectra, and BRV—will work alongside neighborhood leaders, residents, local partners, and other grassroots groups on their vision for the new Community Park and will seek community input for the park design. More details will be announced at a later date.

About Fair Park First

Fair Park First's mission is to restore, revitalize, and renew the 277-acre National Historic Landmark known as Fair Park to attract attention from across the region and the country. The Dallas-based, a 501c3 non-profit seeks to create and implement a master plan for Fair Park; increase attendance with new events and world-class entertainment; create marketing campaigns to attract sponsors and awareness; improve tenant relations and secure revenue development; and ultimately improve and sustain the profitability of Dallas Fair Park. Fair Park First's priority is to reestablish Dallas Fair Park as one of Dallas's premier performance venues accessible and enjoyed by all.

About Spectra

Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra's unmatched blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com. Follow Spectra on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About Biederman Redevelopment Ventures

Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Corporation (www.brvcorp.com) creates, redevelops, and operates parks, neighborhood streetscapes, and public spaces in mixed-use developments in 29 states and six countries. BRV was a major consultant in the planning programming and management of Klyde Warren Park in Dallas and will oversee programming at Fair Park. BRV's founder and president, Dan Biederman, gained national prominence for his transformation of New York City's Bryant Park. Biederman transformed a neglected midtown Manhattan space into one of America's grandest urban parks.

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