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R.I.P., Lower Oak Lawn (aka Dallas Design District)

Do you remember where you were the first time someone told you he was going to a restaurant in Lower Oak Lawn?  Did you scratch your heard, wondering in what mysterious corner of the city this new Meddlesome Moth was located? Then someone else mentioned that it’s in the Design District and you thought, “well, then, why didn’t he just say that in the first place?”

No, of course none of that ever actually happened, because you’ve never heard anyone say “Lower Oak Lawn.” And as of today, you likely never will. LOL is no more.

“Lower Oak Lawn” was a branding term devised by real estate company Pegasus Ablon, which manages about a third of the properties in the Design District, according to Kendall Shiffler, who handles social media marketing for the company, until today at LowerOakLawn.com.

They dreamed up the sub-neighborhood in 2009 to differentiate their multifamily and restaurant projects from the rest of what sits just west of where Interstate 35 and Oak Lawn Avenue meet – namely the shops and showrooms that gave the Design District its name.  For that reason, and because they felt that including “Oak Lawn” (a well-known neighborhood) in the area’s brand gave prospective patrons a better clue as to their location than did “Design District” (which they didn’t believe was as widely known).  Also contributing to their strategy was the fact that someone else owned the domain name dallasdesigndistrict.com, and they were unable to purchase it.

But…the term never really caught on. It turns out that “Dallas Design District” gets way more searches online than does “Lower Oak Lawn.” When the previous owner let that long-coveted domain expire not long ago, they snapped it up. They’re changing all their branding and marketing efforts to reference the Design District.  They’re giving up hope that Lower Oak Lawn becomes a thing.

Wait, excuse me, Shiffler says that’s not quite correct:

“It was not really giving up on it. It was a strategic switch.”

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11 comments on “R.I.P., Lower Oak Lawn (aka Dallas Design District)

  1. Calling the Trammell Crow warehouse/design district “Lower Oak Lawn” was always bull….. It’s not in Oak Lawn. Oak Lawn (PD 193) ends well on the other side of the freeway. Us Oak Lawners never bought it nor claimed it.

  2. I only refer to Lower Oaklawn when I am trying to indicate what part of the Dallas Design District I’m in.

  3. I never liked “Lower Oak Lawn” or its cheesy acronym. “Design District” is catchier, has real brand value and buzz, and should be marketed as the funky, gritty bookend to the other named downtown “District” (the hoity-toity Arts District).

    RIP LOL

  4. “Lower” anything sounds bad to me and we already have lot’s of others while trying to copy NYC, (i.e. Lower Greenville, Lower Highland Park – aka: University Park). The name ‘Design District’ says what it is and it’s brilliant.

    signed,

    lower case dave

  5. I thought Lower Oak Lawn was where the Z-list gays were. You know, the ones who got too old for the Hidden Door and Pub Pegasus. It certainly seemed Lower to me the last time I wandered over there (by mistake, of course).

  6. Brenda, in fact Oak Lawn, the street, does extend beyond Stemmons Freeway, so it was not crazy to use the term Lower Oak Lawn.

  7. If they had ever thought to embrace what the owners of all those established businesses were already doing, instead of just coming in and slapping their own idea down, they would be much further along in their branding, and would have actually garnered the support of said businesses! That was a run on sentence I’m sure.

  8. what happenned to LoLa (for LOwer oak LAwn)? Still fun stuff going on their. Oak, MM, OSK, etc. all great stuff.

  9. DMBurrows, wouldn’t UP be “Upper Highland Park”?

    Since we’re so keen on copying other cities, I vote we copy SF and use “Outer” and “Inner” in confusing and contradictory ways. I mean, WWAWCCD?