It was your typical teenage hotspot in the 1980s and 1990s. Built in 1973, Valley View Mall was where parents would deposit their AquaNet-lacquered and brace-faced progeny to mill about the then hip and trendy, completely air conditioned homage to American consumerism.
Now, we have internet shopping, and the days of mallrats are slowing to a creep. In fact, Valley View Mall has been all but empty save for a few small-time retailers, an open-source type of art gallery, and a movie theater as anchor. But that’s all coming to an end this year, as developer Scott Beck has finally gotten the go-ahead to start swinging the wrecking balls like Miley Cyrus.
In its place, Beck wants to build a sprawling mixed-use development called Midtown, though a many Dallasites are still iffy on that name. The development, which we previewed three years ago as Beck released the first renderings, will activate longest continuous tract north of 635 that has sat sadly vacant, an eyesore for more than a few years.
As Robert Wilonsky reports at the Dallas Morning News, Beck has to start tearing down Valley View by Dec. 31 in order to receive $36 million in funds from the Mall Area Redevelopment TIF approved by the Dallas City Council Wednesday. The whole campus — save for the Sears building — will be razed, a process that could take six months.
After that, Beck said, they will begin construction on a 311-unit multifamily development with ground-floor retail, along with a 10-screen AMC multiplex to replace the one coming down. It, too, will have ground-floor retail below, with offices above. Beck said phase one also will include a 250-room hotel, as well as a grocery and fitness facility.
He said he expects to name tenants within 30 to 60 days — which is nothing compared to the years of public hearings the project’s been through as city staff created an area master plan, a thoroughfare plan and design reviews.
And it will be a years-in-the-making project: The Becks are hoping to plant a giant park at the center of Midtown, and Dallas ISD is eyeing the location for a school.
Candy has compared this development to San Jose’s Santana Row, but we’re not completely sure the whole walkable concept will work in an area that gets really, really hot for three months out of the year. Perhaps adding more trees and shade from the high-rises will help cool things down. Hey, it’s better than that monstrosity of a parking lot, facing 635, right?
Is “Midtown” a good name? And what kind of tenants do you want to see in this development?