20th annual Dallas Stars Casino Night shatters record

The big night at Park Place Lexus Plano raised more than $400,000 for the Dallas Stars Foundation

Originally featured on NHL.com on January 25, 2019

More than 750 Dallas Stars fans filled the showrooms at Park Place Lexus Plano for the 20th Annual Dallas Stars Casino Night. The event raised $403,711 for the Dallas Stars Foundation, shattering last year’s record for the most money ever raised in a single night for the charity. 

The Star-studded event featured the entire Stars hockey team serving as casino dealers, including players, coaches, play-by-play announcers, and front office staff.

“Our signature fundraising event was another smashing success,” said Marty Turco, Dallas Stars Foundation President, former Stars goaltender and NHL All-Star. “Being at many of these great nights over the years, we experienced our best yet! Nothing beats our fans, sponsors, donors mingling with our players and staff. Always the best night of the year, we continue the tradition of having fun and making an enormous difference in the community. Our relationship with Park Place continues to be inspirational, we cannot thank them enough for their friendship and gratuitousness. The Dallas Stars Foundation and our community thanks and applauds everyone for their attendance and support this year.” 

DJ S.O.U.L Jah entertained the crowd as fans bid on a selection of autographed memorabilia, including jerseys from current and former Dallas Stars players, as well as unique experience packages such as the opportunity to travel with the Stars team on a two game road trip. Guests enjoyed a delicious buffet from III Forks Steakhouse, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Tastings and a diamond bar provided by J. Patrick Diamonds, Inc. 

“We’re very excited to be part of this outstanding achievement,” said Jordan Case, Park Place Dealerships President. “Over the years, this event has grown into one of the highlights of our philanthropic program. I love walking through the dealership and hearing everyone laughing and having a good time. The Stars players, coaches and executives were all fully engaged with the fans. And the players seem to be having as much fun as our guests. We are very proud to be associated with the Dallas Stars Foundation. They have done so much over the past two decades to help kids throughout North Texas.”

The Dallas Stars Foundation focuses its efforts on providing support to the children in the community through youth hockey programs, youth engagement, and health and education. More at DallasStars.com/Foundation.

Ken Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Today, Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,000 people and operates 16 full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Lotus, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, and Maserati. For more info, visit parkplace.com.

Sundance Square lights 56-foot Christmas tree

Originally featured on ntxe-news.com on November 20, 2018

Just in time to treat your family and guests to unforgettable memories, Sundance Square kicked off the holiday season last weekend with the lighting of the 56-foot Blue Spruce Christmas tree at the heart of the plaza in downtown Fort Worth last weekend. The local musical theatre group Kids Who Care entertained a happy crowd that spilled out of the plaza onto surrounding sidewalks and streets.

Santa Claus brought his magical sleigh to the Sundance Square Plaza stage, and he’s ready for kids of all ages to tell him exactly what they want to see under their tree Christmas morning. There’s no waiting in long lines while the kids fidget and whine. Upon arriving in Sundance Square, simply send a text to check in at Santa’s Sleigh, then shop, eat, and have fun until it is time to see Santa.

Every year, proceeds from photos with Santa benefit the Fort Worth Sister Cities’ Youth Program. Visits with Santa are $20 (cash only), which includes a photo with Santa, who will be in Sundance Square thru December 23. Check www.sundancesquare.com for specific times.

The Sundance Square Plaza has been transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland with all new décor, including a dazzling, silver backdrop for Santa’s sleigh with wintry trees and crystal snowflakes. In addition to the beautiful Christmas tree, there are numerous backdrops in the plaza for photo opportunities.

Treasures await you around every corner in Sundance Square. On Friday, November 23, also known as “Black Friday,” national retailers such as H&M, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Loft, Overland Sheepskin Co., White House Black Market will be offering holiday deals.

November 24 is Small Business Saturday. Find the perfect gift for your “hard to shop for” person with unique offerings from the many boutiques and local specialty stores in Sundance Square like Earth Bones, Haltom’s Jewelers, Houston Street Toy Company, the Virgin Olive Oiler, Parts Unknown, Willow House and Yours Truly, among others.

Parking is always free in Sundance Square after 5 p.m. on weekdays. Before 5 p.m. parking is free with validation from a Sundance Square restaurant or retailer. Validation is good for 2.5 hours of dining or shopping, or four hours for weekday movies. Weekends are free all day and evening.

Guests can also valet park for free with a purchase from any Sundance Square merchant. Just look for the red umbrellas in 10 locations across Sundance Square. You can even drop your car off at one valet stand, then shop, eat, stroll and pick your car up at a different valet stand on the other side of Sundance Square. Just text the valet when you’re ready for your car and let them know where you want to pick it up.


Bass Hall will host a number of events, including the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” throughout the month of December, and a Mannheim Steamroller concert December 28.

Jubilee Theatre presents “The First Noel,” a musical that flashes back to Harlem in 1985. The play follows the story of Noel as a child and her desire for Christmas joy in a house where it has been unwelcome for years. This family-friendly production runs November 23 – December 23. More information and tickets at jubileetheatre.org.

Circle Theatre will present “Holiday Punch,” a holiday party with a twist, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 8. Details at circletheatre.com.

If you’re looking for something a bit funkier, Scat Jazz Lounge will kick off the holiday weekend with Johnny Reno on Thanksgiving night. Then, songstress Tatiana LadyMay Mayfield performs Friday, Nov. 23; Red Young & His Hot Horns light up the night Saturday, Nov. 24; and you can wrap up the weekend with the long running Black Dog Jam on Sunday night. More info at http://scatjazzlounge.com.

Sundance Square is a vibrant, award-winning entertainment district spanning 36 blocks in downtown Fort Worth. The multi-use development attracts more than 10 million visitors each year for dining, shopping, events, and performances. For more information visit sundancesquare.com or follow the business and entertainment development on Facebook.com/sundancesquare or Twitter @sundancesquare

Dallas Dealer Parties for Charity

While the event features cars sold by Park Place, it’s also meant to represent the good life.

Featured in Automotive News on Oct 20, 2019 written by Sarah Kominek

Charitable donations can make you feel good. Sometimes, they can even produce outsize returns.

As part of its third annual Luxury and Supercar Showcase — a high-end celebration of sheet metal and other fine things — Park Place Dealerships of Dallas donated a 2020 Lexus UX compact crossover for raffle. The contribution — a model that starts at $33,325 — delivered a big return: It raised $141,000 for the Baylor Scott & White foundation to support the medical center in Irving, Texas.

That’s almost five times the amount raised at the first showcase, said Liz Shafton, marketing manager for Park Place and director of the event since its inception.

“It was really exciting we were able to grow so much,” she said.

The showcase, held last month at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Dallas, began in 2017 as Park Place’s 30th anniversary celebration, said founder and CEO Ken Schnitzer.

Since then, Park Place has displayed more exotic vehicles — and more of them — each year for “people to associate the Park Place brand with the finest vehicles in the world,” he said.

“In our industry, sometimes there’s a sales event in honor of your anniversary,” Schnitzer said. “We didn’t want to do what the norm was.”

The company has long celebrated its esteemed brands at public events and was highlighted in a Best Practices article months before the first showcase in 2017.

“It turned out to be a wonderful success, so we built on it and made it an annual event.”

About 4,500 people attended this year’s showcase, Schnitzer said, up from 2,500 at the first one.

Lifestyle event

Schnitzer founded Park Place starting with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership in 1987. Park Place also sells Lexus, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Bentley, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, McLaren and Karma vehicles at 16 dealerships across the state. Two more are set to open in Austin in 2020.

While the event features the vehicles sold by Park Place, with more than $100 million worth on display, it’s also meant to represent the good life.

“It’s not just about cars,” Schnitzer said. “It’s a lifestyle luxury event. It’s about enjoying the beauty of the cars with fashion, food and live music. Just people creating memorable experiences that we hope translate into brand loyalty.”

One of the highlights of the six-hour event, Shafton said, is a fashion show sponsored for the last two years by Highland Park Village shopping center in Dallas.

Attendees are encouraged to wear “sensible” shoes with “what they would wear to the Kentucky Derby, or for a stroll in beautiful gardens on a Sunday afternoon,” Shafton said.

There’s even a hat contest, with awards for winners. “It’s a little more elevated than what you would typically see at your average car show.”

Food, fun and more

A VIP lounge includes offerings from 20 Dallas-area restaurants and bars, Shafton said. “We have crafted cocktails from Tito’s, Aviation American Gin, Maker’s Mark and Don Julio Tequila.”

Food and beverages are included for general attendees, including food trucks with ice cream as well as Brazilian, Asian and other cuisines.

“We also work really hard to do some great interactive things for the kiddos of all ages,” Shafton said.

Kids can race Hot Wheels on a 60-foot track to try to win the toy car of their choice.

The showcase this year had two stages, indoors and outside, that featured various types of music to “fit the mood” throughout the day, Shafton said. The Dallas String Quartet performed earlier in the day, followed by local bands and DJs.

“There’s a lot happening on both stages,” Shafton said. “It’s really meant to have a local and regional flair and build a musical crescendo throughout the day.”

The group is really proud of how the showcase has grown, Shafton said.

“We’ve been able to celebrate in a really powerful and impactful way,” she said. “There’s so many enthusiasts in our region who have decided to come out and support [this effort].

We’re just super excited to see where this could potentially take us 10 or 15 years from now.”

Park Place Porsche unveils new 911

Park Place Porsche recently unveiled the new 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S in the Pavilion at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. It’s the eighth generation of an iconic sports car that has enchanted for more than a half-century—and the 2020 Porsche 911 shows no signs of letting off the accelerator.

Guests were revved up at the chance to meet and talk with the Park Place Motorsports Team, including Porsche drivers Patrick Long, Patrick Lindsey, Nick Boulle and Trent Hindman.

Artist Stephen Selzler painted a live rendition of a Porsche 911 while guests savored retro bites and high-octane cocktails. To celebrate the limitless opportunities of Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur’s customization and personalization, guests could request bespoke martinis as well as craft their own chocolate boxes with sweet temptations by Make Your Life Sweeter.

Porsche lovers may tell you there’s no reason to change anything — the 911 is already nearly perfect. And the changes to the new 992 generation Porsche 911 Carrera S and Carrera 4S are subtle. From a glance, you probably wouldn’t notice the body is now almost entirely aluminum. And the fenders are slightly more flared to allow for a barely perceptible wider stance. The retractable rear spoiler is larger and wider, extending just above the taillights. It is fully integrated into the body when not deployed.

Starting at $94,400 ($104,700 for the all-wheel drive Carrera 4S) the new 911 features a twin-turbocharged and intercooled 3.0-liter flat-6 cylinder engine with aluminum block and heads. With an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic with manual shifting mode, it’s the first direct fuel injection 911. 

The base model 911 Carrera delivers 379 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque to go from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds with a top speed of 190 mph. When equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, the benchmark drops to 3.8 seconds… and at 443 hp at 390 lb-ft torque, it’ll rocket from 0-to-60 in just 3.3 seconds.

Located at 6107 Lemmon Avenue near Love Field, Park Place Porsche Dallas is the only Porsche Exclusive dealer in Texas. Along with offering the largest Porsche inventory in the US, the dealership has been honored as a Porsche Premier dealer 19 times. Park Place’s newest Porsche dealership is located near DFW Airport, off Highway 114 at 1280 Texan Trail in Grapevine. 

Ken Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Today, Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,100 people and operates 17 full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, Karma, and Maserati. For more info, visit parkplace.com.

Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase raises $141k for Baylor Scott & White Irving Foundation

Cindy Schamp, President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Irving; Janet Jensen, raffle winner of the 2020 Lexus UX; John Drake, President, Baylor Scott & White Irving Foundation; and Ken Schnitzer, founder and chairman of Park Place Dealerships.

Featured on Irving Weekly on Oct 10, 2019

On September 28, more than 4,500 people attended the 3rd annual Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas to experience rare cars, live music, trendy fashion, and refreshing food and beverages. The luxury lifestyle event raised $141,000 for Baylor Scott & White Irving Foundation.  

It was a fabulous day with great community support for a wonderful cause,” said Park Place Dealerships chairman Ken Schnitzer. “The proceeds from the raffle of a 2020 Lexus UX will go towards purchasing new imaging equipment for patients undergoing radiation therapy at Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center – Irving.”

Janet Jensen of Irving won the new 2020 Lexus UX in the raffle drawing.

With more than $100 million worth of cars on display, the Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase featured the Park Place New Car Concours with the latest models from Rolls-Royce, Maserati, McLaren, Bentley, Karma, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover. The Club Car Expodisplayed on the 18th fairway, represented some of the best car clubs in North Texas.  The Collectors’ Concours, a juried showcase of rare classic, luxury, and supercars from private collectors, was featured on the 1st Fairway of the TPC Golf Course.

Renowned sculptor Brad Oldham, well known for the Traveling Man installation in Deep Ellum, and his partner Christy Coltrin designed and handcrafted the Spirit of Park Place awards for Best of Show, Chairman’s Award and Salesmanship Club Award winners.

Craig and Laura Hopkins of Dallas took “Best of Show” in the Collectors Concours for their 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500 K Special Roadster. 

“The supercharged Mercedes-Benz 500 K was delivered new to The Netherlands,” explained Craig Hopkins. “But the car’s body was completely destroyed during World War II. An American soldier sent the wreckage home, where it sat unrepaired for many years. It made its way back to Europe decades later where a Danish baron performed the first restoration in the late 1980s. The car was the pride of his automobile museum for 20 years. In 2012 his collection was liquidated and the car came to Texas. The baron’s work was replaced with coachwork by master fabricator Cass Nawrocki. It took seven years for marque expert Jim Friswold to fully restore the car. The rarity of the “long-tail” special roadster cannot be overstated. Of perhaps 25 to 30 created, only eight received the elegant covered-spare bodywork appearing on this car.”

Raymond Larson and his 1964 Aston Martin DB5 took home the Chairman’s Award, and the Salesmanship Club Award went to Greg Brendel for his 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso.

Awards from Bachendorf’s were presented to Best in Class winners, as well as second place winners in each category, including: 

– American Classic 1st in Class: Ricardo Cabral, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

– American Classic 2nd in Class: Joseph Valenti, 1969 Mercury Cougar XR 7 Convertible

– American Vintage 1st in Class: Thomas Wilcox, 1934 Packard 1104 Coupe Roadster

– American Vintage 2nd in Class: Ray Kinney, 1937 Lincoln K Bachelor Coupe

– British Classic 1st in Class: Fred Cornwall, 1963 Rolls-Royce, Silver Cloud III

– British Classic 2nd in Class: Mike Harling, 1958 AC ACE

– British Modern 1st in Class: Aamer Agha, 2018 McLaren 720s

– British Modern 2nd in Class: Justin Keller, 2016 McLaren 675 LT

– Italian Classic 1st in Class: Randy Johnson, 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT

– Italian Classic 2nd in Class: Mark Wyant, 1993 Ferrari 512 TR

– Italian Modern 1st in Class: David Arbelaez, 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Spyder

– Italian Modern 2nd in Class: Dean Somes, 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

– German Classic 1st in Class: Richard Morrow, 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

– German Classic 2nd in Class: Whitney Stark, 1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

– German Modern 1st in Class: John Kobell, 1980 BMW M1

– German Modern 2nd in Class: Barry Fromberg, 1989 Porsche 930 Turbo

– Supercar 1st in Class: Barry Fromberg, 1991 Jaguar XJR-15

– Supercar 2nd in Class: Chris Bogard, 2019 Ford GT Supercar

– International 1st in Class: Josh Toby, 2006 Spyder C8

– International 2nd in Class: Jared Snow, 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo

In addition to the fabulous cars on display, guests enjoyed shopping and special experiences at several retail pop up stops in the Celebrity Cruises Captains Lounge inside the Porsche Pavilion, including Bachendorf’s, Jack Black, Cuvee Coffee, Alice + Olivia, St. John, Trina Turk, Theory, Perks & Provisions, Renegade Cigars and the City of Irving. 

Highland Park Village presented a runway fashion show produced by Jan Strimple Productions on the Million Air Stage.  Dallas’ Mad Hatter Shane Walker judged a Haute Hat Contest which featured some very creative automobile-inspired hats.

Some of DFW’s best restaurants were featured in the Allie Beth Allman – URBAN VIP Lounge, including The French Room, LAW, III Forks, Cool River, Dallas Chop House, Dallas Fish Market, Wild Salsa, Oven and Cellar, Wicked Butcher, Outlaw Tap Room, Kai, Toulouse, Whiskey Cake, Texas de Brazil, Princi Italia, CRU Wine and Food Bar, Pacific Table, Cork & Pig Tavern, Make Your Life Sweeter, and Carlton Provisions. 

There was something for everyone with the Mercedes-Benz Beer Garden, live music on the Lexus Live Stage, and a Kids Zone featuring drivable battery-powered mini cars, the North Texas Diecast Collectors Club’s 60-foot downhill Hot Wheels track, and a meet and greet with Mansfield Legacy Cheer Captain and teen racecar driver Kinzie Wilson.

Plans are already under discussion for a fourth annual Luxury & Supercar Showcase next fall. Details will be posted at luxurysupercarshowcase.com as they are available.

Ken Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Today, Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,100 people and operates 17 full-service dealerships. For more info, visit parkplace.com.

Reata Restaurant Executive Chef James Gaines stops by Good Day Dallas

Originally featured on FOX 4 Good Day Dallas on September 23


1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs) 6 chicken wings 6 chicken legs or thighs 6 cloves garlic 4 shallots 1 TBS whole black peppercorns 1 carrot 3-4 quarts water Kosher salt to taste  Freshly ground pepper to taste 2 avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced lengthwise into eighths 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced 1/4 cups oil 6 fresh corn tortillas, cut into thin strips 2 cups (about 8 oz) grated Monterey jack cheese 1 lime, cut into sixths 1/2 bunch cilantro, stemmed for garnish

In a large, heavy, deep pan place the washed chicken and chicken pieces. Add the garlic, shallots, peppercorns, carrot and water.  The water should barely cover the chicken. Adjust the amount of water, if necessary.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. As the water begins to heat, skim any foam that rises to the surface and discard. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to a constant simmer. Continue skimming as necessary.

Place the cover of the pan slightly ajar and continue cooking for 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the heat off and let the chicken sit in the broth for 1/2 hour to cool.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones, discarding the skin and bones. There should be about 3 cups of meat. Set the meat aside in a covered container that can be heated at serving time.

Strain the broth and return it to a clean saucepan. 

Skim off any fat that has accumulated on the surface. There should be about 2 quarts of broth.

Season with salt and pepper.

At serving time, reheat the chicken.

Heat the broth to boiling and keep hot.

In a large skillet, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tortilla strips and saute until crisp, turning them once or twice. Remove the strips and drain them on paper towels. (repeat if necessary)

Have all of the soup ingredients ready to assemble at serving time, as you will “build” each soup bowl individually.

In the bottom of the bowl, place 3/4 cup chicken meat. Arrange avocado slices around the meat. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese, diced jalapeno and top with a wedge of lime. Ladle hot broth over all and place a handful of crispy tortilla strips in the center. Top with a garnish of cilantro leaves.

Serve at once.

How Rising Temperatures In Urban Heat Islands Are Challenging And Inspiring Developers

Originally Featured on BISNOW on Sept, 8 2019

For two centuries scientists have known urban cities filled with growing populations, asphalt and dense buildings retain and emit more heat compared to rural areas.  

But in the past 10 years, scientists, developers and architects have more hurriedly chased mitigation strategies to curb this so-called heat island effect. 

“We’ve known about the heat island effect since back in 1818,” said Ladd Keith, an assistant professor of planning and the chair of Sustainable Built Environments at the University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.

“The urban heat island effect is the impact the built environment has on temperature. We have known for quite awhile that urban areas with more buildings and urban surfaces and mechanical processes have a much higher temperature than the surrounding countryside, so that is something you can map out and you can see the higher temperatures [on the map] and it looks like an island.”

Ladd said the average temperature differentiation between urban and rural areas is 10 degrees Fahrenheit, with some of the hottest days of the year producing differentials of 22 degrees Fahrenheit between cities and rural areas. 

If this phenomenon has been around for two centuries, why should the urban real estate community pay attention to it now? The U.S. has been getting hotter since 1970, with the densely populated, asphalt-covered cities getting even hotter, Climate Central.org notes. In the summer of 2018, the World Meterological Organization issued a warning of extreme weather conditions, saying July 2018’s heat had “widespread impacts on human health, agriculture, ecosystems and infrastructure.” It added that “cities are particularly vulnerable to such risks due to their high density of population and economic activities.”

GLHN Architects & Engineers mechanical engineer Henry Johnstone said he has been studying National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather data for the past four years and going over temperatures for the last three decades. 

“We can easily demonstrate that [the temperature] has been rising in the order of one-and-a-half degrees Fahrenheit every 10 years,” Johnstone said. 

Growing cities have made the issue even more pressing. 

“I think one of the big things is cities have gotten much larger as the population has grown in the United States and coupled with that is climate change,” Ladd said. “It you add a couple degrees of temperature from the hottest days of the year because of climate change, then it becomes something that health officials and urban planners are really starting to take note of because … it has so many impacts on the economy, public health, urban plans and landscapes.” 

It has only gotten worse since then. July 2019 set a new record for hottest month ever globally, according to the NOAA.

The issue raised enough concern for the Urban Land Institute to compile a report this summer called Scorched: Extreme Heat and Real Estate, in which researchers discuss heat island effect mitigation strategies for architects, urban planners and developers building in cities. 

“The real focus of the report is looking at the solutions that are being developed alongside recognizing the problem and the challenges of heat,” ULI Vice President of Urban Resilience Katharine Burgess said.

From the planting of trees and vegetation to the use of light-colored surfaces, building envelopes and canopies, the report highlights strategies that have already achieved effective heat mitigation in cities. 

The surprise fringe benefit? Many of these tools are considered good design and are being implemented anyway.

“We saw developers incorporating heat mitigation measures … through a sort of holistic placemaking approach, which can drive retail traffic,” Burgess said. “I think ultimately the designers and developers we interviewed use a range of best practices to deal with extreme heat.”

Several developments in the Southwest were highlighted in ULI’s study as poster children of heat mitigation.

In the middle of the desert, the University of Arizona campus raised the bar for constructing buildings capable of self-cooling with the campus’ Environment and Natural Resources 2 building. 

The facility has no lobby and is instead situated around a courtyard where outdoor balconies covered in fin-like materials hang off each floor, providing shade to the courtyard and the pedestrian areas.

Architects and engineers frequently tour the building to look at heat-mitigation strategies and cooling concepts. The building’s exterior alone reduced summer energy consumption by at least 40%, according to ULI. 

With the building centered around a courtyard, designers also eliminated excessive interior space that spurs redundant energy needs.   

“Probably the most sustainable thing we did with that building was make it a third smaller than it should have been, and the way we did that was we used outdoor space so the courtyard and the outdoor circulation balconies that are in the courtyard are the way people circulate through the building,” said Peter Dourlein, University of Arizona assistant vice president for planning, design and construction and campus architect.

A smaller building “means less space to maintain, so if you’re a developer … that is less materials to paint, less flooring to replace, less ceilings, less conditioning of the air,” Dourlein said. 

The building also incorporates vacancy sensors in its offices and low velocity underfloor air systems to promote cooling and energy consumption, Dourlein said. Plants strategically situated on each of the courtyard balconies also promote transpiration — a natural process that promotes cooling within the courtyard. 

But Dourlein admits not all of the cooling amenities inside ENR2 are cost-effective for developers.

“We are not going to flip our building. We are going to own it for its life, and so we do look at life-cycle costs where that may not be as [cost-effective] in a commercial setting outside of an institution where there is probably quite a bit more emphasis on upfront costs,” he said. 

“The building on the university campus we did a fair amount of work to analyze the cost-benefit analysis and over a 30-year life of the building it was a prudent investment, so it certainly demonstrates in the academic class of buildings that this was a worthwhile endeavor,” engineer Johnstone said.

“It was something in the order of $300/SF, [whereas] developers tend to be in the $200 to $250/SF range.”

While it may be harder to incorporate some of the higher-priced amenities on commercial buildings, experts see significant progress being made with the utilization of vegetation and trees.

“A real doable solutions is to plant more trees,” Dourlein said. “Trees sequester carbon and they provide shade.”

Trees are a major feature at Fort Worth’s Sundance Square Plaza, a former 2-acre parking lot transformed into an outdoor venue that serves as Fort Worth’s living room and a gathering place for residents and pedestrians Downtown.

ULI highlights the plaza’s implementation of tree-lined walkways and 32-foot mechanically operated shade umbrellas that offer nearly 6K SF of natural shade. These simple elements create a natural cooling effect in what was once a wide-open space, but any of the design elements’ positive impact on the heat-island effect wasn’t intentional. 

“When I first got the call from ULI, they used a lot of words that we really didn’t use,” Sundance Square CEO Johnny Campbell said. “We didn’t talk about the heat island effect, and the trapped and retained heat, as much in our development. It just happens that what we were trying to do was very congruent in terms of all of the things ULI was studying.”

And what Sundance Square Plaza was trying to do was keep pedestrians cool during scorching summer days, making it a more pleasant place to be. The tools they used — trees lining sidewalks and canopies — had a positive impact on the broader heat island effect in Fort Worth. 

“I was really excited that ULI found us and looked at this as an example. I thought it was a happy coincidence the developer’s [initiative of] looking for a way to make a great place for people to do business lined up so neatly with the aims of ULI’s study about mitigating the heat island effect.”

Park Place Dealerships: A Taste of the Showcase

Originally featured on The Flash List on Sept. 6 2019

The 3rd annual Park Place Luxury & Supercar Showcase, Dallas Fort Worth’s premier luxury lifestyle and automotive event, will return this fall to the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 28, 2019.

“The community has come out in force to support this event the last two years”, said Ken Schnitzer, Park Place Dealerships founder and chairman. “The third annual event will again showcase some of the most exotic and exciting vehicles that will please enthusiasts of all ages. What began three years ago as an engaging opportunity to celebrate our 30th anniversary has quickly turned into the foremost luxury lifestyle and automotive event in this region.”

Park Place Dealerships represents some of the most coveted brands in the world including Rolls-Royce, Maserati, McLaren, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Volvo, Land Rover, and Jaguar which will all be featured at the event.

In keeping with a true lifestyle event, Park Place will expand its fashion, food, and retail offerings within the Porsche Pavilion. There will be music performances on the Lexus Live Stage and beverages at The Mercedes-Benz Beer Garden on the lush Four Seasons TPC Championship golf course.

Within the event will be a juried Collectors’ Concours featuring a diverse selection of rare supercars, luxury, sports, vintage, and classic cars from private collectors. The motoring festival also will include a Car Club Expo powered by Park Up Front as well as the beloved Kid’s Zone.

Iconic luxury shopping and dining destination Highland Park Village will present a runway show produced by Jan Strimple Productions for the second year. The fashion show will feature looks from prestigious brands presented exclusively in the climate-controlled pavilion on the resort grounds, with retail pop-ups for guests to shop the day of the event.

Dallas’ Mad Hatter Shane Walker will return to judge the 2019 Haute Hat Contest on The Million Air Stage with categories for stylish men and women. Guests are encouraged to pair a hat with their favorite resort-inspired ensemble.

Ranging from $25 – $50 for general admission and $100 for VIP All Access which includes the VIP Lounge with complimentary food and beverages from dozens of the area’s finest restaurants, tickets are on sale at LuxurySupercarShowcase.com. VIP Tickets are limited and have sold out the previous two years.

In 2018, the top Collectors’ Concours award winners were presented with the Spirit of Park Place hand-crafted sculpture by Dallas artist Brad Oldham:

  • Best of Show – 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB 6C
  • Chairman’s Choice Award – 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II
  • Salesmanship Club Award – 1980 BMW M1

Returning partners include the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, VIP Lounge Sponsors Allie Beth Allman & Associates – A Berkshire Hathaway Affiliate|URBAN, Captain’s Lounge Sponsor Celebrity Cruises, The City of Irving, Hill & Wilkinson, Hagerty, Event Architecture, AT&T Business, AVSD Productions, Digital 3 Printing, Fauxcades D´cor, Brad Oldham Sculpture, D Magazine and NBC 5.

Restaurants featured in the VIP Lounge include The French Room, LAW, III Forks, Cool River, Chop House Burger, Dallas Fish Market, Wild Salsa, Oven and Cellar, Outlaw Tap Room, Kai, Toulouse, Whiskey Cake, Texas de Brazil, Princi Italia, CRU Wine and Food Bar, Pacific Table, Cork & Pig Tavern, Make Your Life Sweeter, and Carlton Provisions.

Additional sponsors include Lilium Florals, Perks & Provisions, Promo Resources, Sunnyland Furniture, RideCentric, iDesignMeetings, Marquee Event Rentals, Bachendorf’s, Jack Black, Maui Jim, Renegade Cigars, Tito’s Vodka, Peroni Beer, Waste Management, GL Seamen, Ratcliff Financial Services, Garages of Texas, Thermal Printing, and MarineMax Yachts.

Ken Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Today, Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,000 people and operates 16 full-service dealerships in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.