Last year I had a pretty contentious conversation with Michael Ablon about his renaming the district . Basically, he told me I didn’t know what I was talking about, and I told him the same. Last Friday I had a much different meeting, I have to admit I’m very impressed. Instead of telling me what they were going to do, he showed me the progress they’ve made. They have thrown some serious money at this project – check out site plans at Pegasus Ablon. Michael is a serious arm waver regarding this project and it’s hard not to be entusiastic – it’s a wonderful collection of old and new. All those red brick showrooms will remain the same – the undulating I beams will carry flags that spell out Design District to sort of define the space. The big pile of dirt at the corner of Hi Line and Oak Lawn will be the Amphitheatre surrounded by 3 restaurants. Smart guy – opening 3 at the same time instead of 1 which would probably die. Don’t look for a Starbucks – only non-commodified (realtor-speak for no franchises) names need apply. And, check out the cool Philippe Starck-ish pool at the Alexan.