Heads Up: Is Saint Michael’s Back to Plant a High-Rise on Frederick Square?

St. Michael’s 2016 plan to develop Frederick Square

Yesterday, Holly Haber of The Dallas Morning News’ Philanthropy page noted that the Perot family had donated $15 million to the Episcopal School of Dallas. The money is to help ESD’s younger students move from Saint Michael and All Angels Church (in Preston Center) to the main ESD campus on Merrell Road.  The $44.3 million in total contributions so far place fundraising over halfway to the $75 million goal.

All well and good, but how is Saint Michael’s going to replace the income lost from the school?

You may recall last year the Church was caught acting in secret while representatives were sitting on the Preston Center Task Force. The Task Force was pretty ticked.  Their goal at the time was to attract a developer to build a high-rise office building on the Frederick Square property that’s sat vacant since 2007 when the church evicted tenants on a since-demolished apartment complex.  They issued an RFP and had even selected a developer, rumored at the time to be Lincoln Property Company.

What I always wondered was why they didn’t build the high-rise at 8100 Lomo Alto at the other end of the block?  The church owns the whole block and that end is already zoned for a high-rise.  I suspected at the time that a high-rise on the Douglas Avenue side would not be approved were there a high-rise at the other end of the block. So the strategy I surmised was to get the variance for Douglas before eventually building on Lomo Alto by right.

Why am I dredging up this history?  Folks are telling us the Douglas property will soon be filing a zoning case.  Is the high-rise plan coming back to life?

Stay tuned, the fun is just beginning …

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com.