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Can AT&T’s Discovery District Liven Up Downtown Dallas?

A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.A rendering of the planned AT&T Discovery District in Dallas.

Everything You Need To Know About The New Entertainment Complex That AT&T Will Slowly Start Unveiling In Downtown Dallas Later This Year.

As part of a $100 million investment in its Downtown Dallas campus, AT&T is building a 2.4-acre public space that it hopes to turn into an entertainment, dining and recreational destination within the sometimes-slumbering city center.

Starting later this year and continuing on in phases that’ll run through 2021, the telecom giant’s new Discovery District will slowly open to the public the features it plans to include in its city block stretch between Commerce and Jackson streets near Akard. Those include a 30-foot interactive art installation, a gallery space, a beer garden, high-profile restaurants, a 20,000-square-foot Dallas Cowboys-branded gym, a 104-foot-tall media wall on which it’ll screen movies and sporting events, and 5,600 square feet of green space. Notably, the complex additionally aims to be a “zero waste” facility that will place an emphasis on recycling and minimizing its carbon footprint.

Considering it’s an AT&T joint, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Discovery District will also be placing a heavy emphasis on tech.

For starters, in addition to an Apple store-like AT&T-branded retail location on the premises, the company plans to bring “5G experiences” and “state-of-the-art Wi-Fi” to its grounds.

Meanwhile, there’s the massive media wall, which D Magazine notes is almost double the size of the video board at Globe Life Park and nearly as big as AT&T Stadium’s massive screen. Given AT&T’s recent merger with Time Warner, it stands to reason that the 6K-resolution screen will have a wide variety of entertainment properties to choose from for its broadcasts — including, but by no means limited to, everything that falls under the HBO, Turner Sports and DC Comics banners.

Then there’s the 30-foot art installation called “The Globe” that will serve as the district’s centerpiece. The sculpture promises a mirrored exterior to go with a fully interactive interior where sound and lighting cues will be triggered by the physical movements of those who enter it.

Though plans for the Discovery District have been known for some time now, a video released last month by AT&T offers the most concrete visual representation yet of the planned amenities.

In addition to a fly-through of the district’s renderings, the clip also features former Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings touting the impending attraction as “a new way to experience our city.” In the same promotional video, Downtown Dallas Inc. president and CEO Kourtny Garrett says the Discovery District will “complete the [Downtown Dallas] picture.”

Alas, until its facilities start opening to the public at the tail end of the calendar year, you’ll have to rely on the video and the AT&T-provided renderings embedded in the slideshow at the top of this post to get a sense of what Garrett’s envisioning.

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