DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Sitting at the entry to Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood, Uber’s planned 23-story high rise would serve as a sign of changing times for a community filled with artists and musicians.
“Some people are scared. ‘Oh, well, Uber’s here. There goes the neighborhood,'” said Preston Pannek, an artist who’s created many of the neighborhood’s murals.
“We’re known for our street art. And we’re known for our music and our clubs and our nightlife,” he said.
Like many of his neighbors, he wants to protect the area’s unique character.
As a business owner, though, he’s also intrigued by the 3,000 employees Uber would employ here and the economic development it could bring.
“I own businesses here and it could help out the businesses,” he said.
Construction is set to begin by the end of this year on the new building, overlooking Interstate 345 where the North Central Expressway and I-45 meet east of downtown.
It’ll be part of The Epic, a multi-use development which will include offices, apartments, retail, restaurant and a renovation of the historic Pittman hotel.
Uber will move into the neighborhood in stages with plans to occupy seven floors of an office building already completed within the development starting next summer. It’ll have 700 employees working there until its new building is completed in 2022.
In three years, the company expects to have 3,000 employees working in its new office space, second only in size to its headquarters in San Francisco.
“We know they have a lot to bring to the area and we look forward to it,” said Stephanie Keller Hudiburg, the executive director for the Deep Ellum Foundation.
She sees potential to leverage Uber’s innovation and expertise to spur further improvements in an area that’s already seen substantial development in recent years.
Hudiburg sees added residential and office space could expand Deep Ellum’s allure beyond its bustling night life, making it a place that’s buzzing around the clock.
“It’s definitely growing into a 24-7 destination. People want to live here, they want to work here, they want to play here,” she said.