By  on June 22, 2005

DALLAS — Fashion Industry Gallery is revved up for a big expansion this fall, according to J. Gavin Smith, executive director at the boutique-style mart located in downtown Dallas.

FIG, which opened in January 2004, accents contemporary, premium denim, accessories, bridge and young designer collections that appeal to higher-end stores.

In October, FIG plans to open an initial 10,000-square-foot expansion of new show space devoted to guest designers and contemporary lines, with the ability to expand to 30,000 square feet. Construction is planned to start later this month. A new on-site restaurant is also being developed in the FIG building by chef Stephan Pyles and is planned to open around the same time as the FIG expansion.

FIG's original 50,000 square feet and 41 show spaces, including those for multiline sales representatives, corporate showrooms and five guest designers, are fully leased, added Smith.

The expansion overlooks the Henry S. Beck Jr. Park that opened in fall 2004 on the grounds surrounding FIG, located at 1807 Ross Avenue in the Arts District. The 20,000-square-foot park cost nearly $1 million to build and is a collaboration between Brooks Partners, parent of FIG, and the Beck family.

"Preleasing has been excellent on the new space. Everyone has been extremely supportive and we're anxious to get the second floor built to open by October," said Smith, who declined to name prospective tenants for the expansion.

"We are struggling to house guest designers now, because with each show you can plot how many guest designers want to be part of our show," said John Sugrue, head of Brooks Partners. "It started as seven or eight, and now it's 70-plus and we just don't have the space. We have taken some permanent showrooms to house guest designers but we want to have 150 guest designers.

"We will respond to industry demand, and hopefully there is a FIG phase three or even four," Sugrue continued. "We want to be specialized and focused and respond to industry needs and don't want this to be just a real estate deal."

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