Envisioning a Future Dallas Market Center

Real Estate

Dallas Market Center | Image by Corgan/Website

The iconic Dallas Market Center located north of downtown could see major renovations in the future.

At 4.8 million square feet, the 65-year-old complex was once the world’s largest wholesale merchandise mart.

The center, started in 1957 by local developer Trammell Crow, spans over 40 acres on Stemmons Freeway at Wycliff Avenue. Now, owners of the complex, which attracts millions of visitors each year, are looking at potential expansion options.

If the proposals eventually come to fruition, the center could become a major employment hub in the city. Plans developed by Dallas architecture firm Corgan would include millions of square feet of construction to produce the mixed-use vision.

According to Corgan’s website, the refreshed site would “provide a walkable and inviting pedestrian-oriented environment,” while adding “much-needed density to a neglected region of downtown Dallas.”

“Composed of hotel, office, data center, housing, and laboratory space, the master plan is unified through the addition of interstitial parks, gardens, plazas, and sidewalks to enhance the pedestrian experience,” according to Corgan.

The expansion would be far from a minor renovation. The master plan includes new towers along Stemmons Freeway and numerous low- and mid-rise buildings.

Sadly, the original Market Hall would be replaced as part of the plan. The former location of the Dallas Apparel Mart, demolished in 2006, would also be utilized for a portion of the new build. Fortunately, the largest building in the Dallas Market Center, the World Trade Center, built in 1974, would remain.

The ambitious plans are a long way from reality at present. Officials for the Dallas Market Center said no start date has been targeted. For now, the plans are only conceptual.

Additionally, the City of Dallas’ backlogged Development Services Department, which has hindered businesses in recent years, makes it difficult to obtain the necessary building permits to accomplish such an undertaking.

Dallas Market Center CEO Cindy Morris says studies into the viability of the expansion “are handled by our owners, Crow Holdings.” Morris says Crow Holdings has assessed redevelopment options for land adjacent to Dallas Market Center for years.

For his part, Crow Holdings CEO Michael Levy quelled excitement, saying Corgan’s plans simply show the potential for the property.

“I think our people over the years have done various things looking at that land,” Levy says. At this time, however, they do not have concrete plans “to do anything with it, although one day that will change.”

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