This month’s Oak Lawn Committee meeting highlights the size of PD-193, as the projects presented include two in the usual Uptown orbit but one all the way into the Love Field / Medical District area. ‘Tis the holiday season, so let’s begin with the surprise.
The project at 2913 Fairmount is a 13-story office building with a little ground-floor retail at the intersection with Cedar Springs Road. Yawn, right? How about building on only 63 percent of the lot to create some good green space? No? What if I told you it had 100 percent underground parking on six levels? Still no? What if I threw in a 13th-floor penthouse entertainment space with fab indoor/outdoor skyline views?
OK, OK. How about if one floor from the top was the owner’s personal residence. That’s a pretty trick, right? Especially when the owner’s personal office will be there, too. We’re talking live, work and play all in the same building. The only downside is you’d never get a snow day.
Live, Work, Play on Cedar Springs
In the (lifeless) rendering above, you can see the full-wrap of penthouse terrace and the corner patios for the owner’s residence. I can imagine a well-lit pair of upper floors calling attention here. The ground level reveals the green space with parking and driveway space off of Cedar Springs Road. While that appears to take some heat off Cedar Springs, it really doesn’t as the Fairmount intersection is more “X” than “+”. This places the entrance at an odd angle to Cedar Springs. But this stretch is a series of oddly angled intersections due to a curvaceous section of Cedar Springs.
And the immediate area is HOT with development. Across Cedar Springs are the pair of Quadrangle projects containing four high-rises (here, here). Two blocks towards downtown are the 400-foot Granite high-rise, and even Crescent is remodeling their office building into multi-use a block away. So while the plot is zoned for 120 feet in height, the developer is asking for 210 feet.
In exchange for the added height and FAR, they’re giving underground parking, less lot coverage, and wider sidewalks. It’s too bad with all this development that there wasn’t a subway stop nearby to alleviate some traffic. Oh, that’s right, Dallas doesn’t have one. Thankfully, this over-parked building offers 53 surplus spaces to house the cars Dallas should be working to reduce, not increase.
Hilton Spark and Motto: Oak Grove Avenue and Hall Street
Last month, a double-branded Hilton property was proposed in West Village. The OLC didn’t like the building’s entrance orientation on Oak Grove Avenue so they rotated the podium to face Hall Street. I get that Oak Grove is a small street that might be overburdened by the hotel’s entrances, but by the same token, Hall is a nightmare at rush hours. I guess there’s no great option but relief that hotel patrons are predicted to prefer Uber over Hertz.
Speaking of parking, they’ve also increased the number of spaces from 95 to 120 to reduce the (rare?) need to park cars offsite (across Hall in a neighboring office building) at the same time they reduced the overall room count to 217 from 292.
But zoning calls for one parking space per room, so they’re getting a nice savings that they’re unwilling to use on underground parking (as nearly all commercial developments are doing in Uptown of late). My recommendation is for the developer to put a crowbar in the wallet. Instead, they’re offering a muffin-top garage-podium decorated in decorative cladding – on all sides this time. Whoo-hoo.
Landscaping-wise the neighborhood is getting shorted six trees at street level (no fair counting trees four stories off the ground on the top of the amenity deck). But the project is burying the utilities, vastly improving sightlines.
Lenox Maplewood: 5190 Denton Drive Cutoff
Before all my PD-15 readers get in a tizzy about this four-story project, they need to understand it’s quite near Love Field. And that’s a shame given its adjacency to a DART station – what transit-oriented development is made for.
As you can see, the many of the suspected tenants will come from the Medical District’s bevy of healthcare facilities fanning outwards from Inwood Road and Harry Hines Boulevard.
It might be only four stories, but it’s still 425 dwelling units that will be built in two phases. Phase one will be the outer units with an inner portion on the DART side of the lot coming later.
No, it won’t win any design awards in a neighborhood stuffed with newly-built, similarly sleep-inducing apartment buildings.
And that’s a wrap on the Oak Lawn Committee for 2019.
Remember: High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make? Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.