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Bellevue Leaders Return from BDA Study Tour with Valuable Takeaways

October 22, 2019 - by Matt Jack, BDA Policy Manager

Category What's Happening

Bellevue Leaders Return from BDA Study Tour with Valuable Takeaways

The 2019 Study Tour trip to Dallas was a marathon of activities and lessons learned. For three days in early October, a group of 60 stakeholders explored Dallas’s urban environment and met with local leaders. Thematic takeaways included Dallas’s development success through public-private partnerships and how investing in programmable space can yield tremendous economic activity.

See a picture play-by-play. Visit to scroll through the 2019 gallery with descriptions. 

Over the past two decades, Downtown Dallas’s focused revitalization effort has sparked an impressive population jump from 600 to over 12,000 residents. Vacancy rates have significantly dropped and major employers are investing heavily into the experience. AT&T plans to open a $100m state-of-the-art public plaza next February in the heart of a once rarely-visited place. 

A major draw for this trip was Klyde Warren Park, a lid park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway that separates the Dallas's Downtown and Uptown neighborhoods. Since its opening in 2012, billions of dolars in economic activity have sprung up in-and-around the park. New towers line the park and the adjacent Dallas Arts District has grown into the Country’s largest contiguous arts district. Bellevue stakeholders often site the Kylde Warren Park when discussing the Grand Connection vision for a lid park over I-405, connecting Downtown Bellevue to the future rezone Wilburton Commercial Area. Visiting Klyde Warren Park proved to be an invaluable experience as Downtown Bellevue stakeholders gear up for future design discussions.

In addition to Klyde Warren Park, Study Tour delegates visited the Dallas Arts District, Commerce Street, newly revitalized Downtown Farmers Market, and the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center. 

The trip balanced learning with some fun. Social hours at local venues and a group dinner provided delegates time to unwind and reflect on takeaways.   

The BDA Study Tour is an annual trip to another urban destination. It’s a finely-tuned itinerary of walking tours, presentations, and experiences. The objective is for Bellevue business and civic leaders to return home with fresh perspectives and stronger relationships. Details regarding the next BDA Study Tour will be posted Q2 2020.