8:38 a.m. This post has been updated.
I say it’s about time: the northwest corner of Inwood and Forest, known as “Forest Wood”, is going to get a much-needed facelift. Wait, strike that: try a major gutting from the ground up. Yep, those 1974 rental townhomes are about to go far away, replaced by sturdier, prettier, higher quality homes that will create a walkable living environment and a brand new North Dallas community.
Forestwood Townhomes brings back memories, not all of them pleasant. This was where single dads and moms would go to live after a separation or suddenly being single because it was still close to the private schools their children attended, but more reasonable than a single family home. It was known as a safe, secure place to hunker down in North Dallas if you couldn’t swing a mortgage.
For years now, I wondered why the neat, but clearly aging, townhomes would not be replaced with something more upscale, attractive, especially considering the surrounding neighborhood demographic$$$: sprawling ranches on leafy half-acre lots that start at about half a million dollars, while the newer built McMansion are pulling in more than $1.5.
So why are we stuck with boring beige townhomes that had their prime in the seventies, like Cher?
We may not be, for long. Get ready for what appears to be a mini Uptown, a development along the lines of a Preston Hollow Village. Residential — shiny new apartments and townhomes, a little organic retail, a 6 acre practice field for Jesuit Preparatory, trees and a creek as a natural buffer to the single family ranch homes to the north. The property owners, the Daniels family, who have owned the land since 1849, want to yank down the 208 old townhomes and replace them with (up to) 350 rental units, a mix of town homes and apartments. This would include townhomes with garages and small yards, and a large multi-family unit with elevators that would have a boutique-hotel feel to it. Oh, and also a pool.
“This will be a long-term lease with the developers,” says William Dahlstrom of Jackson Walker LLP, a land-use expert and attorney who is representing the owners. “The same owners will continue to own the 30 acres of land. It’s the same family that has owned this land since 1849!”
Back then, it was likely a farm or ranch, as was most of the surrounding area. In 1972 the land was zoned for townhome type residences, which is exactly what it’s been for the last 40 0dd years.