Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Deep Ellum as an Entertainment District

Please read this blog about the Pitfalls of "Entertainment Districts".  Deep Ellum would certainly fall into the "naturally occurring" entertainment district category, as any historical reference to the neighborhood will mention it being Dallas' home of jazz and the blues in the 1920s.  Long story short, Deep Ellum has been Dallas' watering hole for the better part of a century.

Luckily, Deep Ellum has not become the "overnight" example of entertainment districts, despite talk in the past of building a West Village style development in the heart of the neighborhood.  I remember there being a lot of opposition to this project, and rightly so, as single entity ownership limits diversity and flexibility of commercial and residential space.

But opposition to this project empowered another group, which can be called the Circa 92, or the Keep Deep Ellum Empty faction.  The general belief is that if it worked in 1992 as an active collection of bars, it'll work today.  What is the definition of insanity again?

Deep Ellum will never be a relevant neighborhood in Dallas if it's only seen as an entertainment district.  Is the goal of the neighborhood is to be the receptacle of Dallas' debauchery?  Entertainment districts are notions rooted in suburban development, which necessitates great distances between drink and home.

To revitalize a neighborhood, or to make it like any other thriving community in any city around the world, commerce needs to take place at all hours of the day.  Attract people during the day, and Deep Ellum will be a completely different place.