What Could High-Rise Development Look Like in Turtle Creek’s Mansion Park?

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Last week, a reader asked what CandysDirt.com thought about the potential for more 20-plus-story high-rises in the Mansion Park area of Oak Lawn.

For those that don’t know, I’m defining Mansion Park as being bounded by Oak Lawn Avenue, Cedar Springs Road, Turtle Creek Blvd., and Maple Avenue. It’s an area I’ve covered often, but this December 2019 piece is a good review.

The map above shows what I know and what I suspect residentially (big map here). For those wanting the tranquil pocket of older mish-mash homes from decades past, that’s becoming more gone by the day.

Orange Ya Glad to See Me?

Unpacking that map, the “oranges” are a combination of existing high-density development (both early and the latest crop of tacky apartments) plus the planned density already discussed before. Some of the Turtle Creek-facing planned developments are mixed use – Prescott plans have office, apartment, hotel and condo, Mandarin Oriental might be hotel and condo, while Hillwood plans are all office.

Speaking of the Mandarin Oriental project, the Dallas Morning News reported last week that the moneymen behind the JMJ Development project are threatening foreclosure due to a loan default. You may remember that I called out the project a month ago after it had petitioned Plan Commission to abandon its approved zoning and start again.

All this has be wondering if Dallas will ever have a Mandarin Oriental? Their first attempt imploded with Victory Park during the Recession and now this wrinkle. The Hong Kong-based hotel group is very private in announcing their involvement in a project – a secret I held for a year before it was made public once zoning was approved in November 2019.  Maybe the stalled Prescott project on the other side of The Mansion can pick up Mandarin on the rebound if it goes south here?

Anyway, back to the map.

The dark blue are the parcels making up a series of townhome developments by Mehrdad Moayedi. The signs went up over a year ago and the lots have been cleared, but that’s about it. Moayedi is known for having 100 irons in the fire at any one time, so I suspect these have been back-burnered.

Option 1 from pitch deck (option 2 stinks)

Wimbledon Place: 3515 Brown

The other ragtag of colors are where it gets interesting. The two green parcels are currently for sale. The largest being the Wimbledon Place townhouses at 3515 Brown. The sale of the 1.59-acre site is not surprising. First, they’re across the street from the Cantabria apartments that I hear have disrupted neighborhood tranquility from the beginning. Secondly, they’re in back of the forever-for-sale Turtle Creek Gardens and whatever that redevelopment will look like. Third, the 1973 townhomes were built to 1973 quality. When I was shopping, I viewed a couple of the units and I recall the floors feeling “bouncy” – a word not often seen in real estate patter.

Being MF-3 zoned (high-rise), the sales packet includes two high-rise options. The one above is 18-stories housing 323 units averaging 1,000 square feet with three underground parking levels and a half level at ground level (visitor, loading, garbage, etc.). Right off the bat, were this plan used (highly unlikely) the podium would have to go. I say it’s unlikely because it’s just an idea in a real estate agent’s brochure.

Option 2 with eight-story tumor at left

Option 2 is a 16-story tower of similar look but with an eight-story tumor on one side to make up for the two fewer floors – unit count would be 327. I include these two renderings because they show what happens when buildings get shorter – some bulbous outgrowth makes up for the reduced height. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying it’s illustrative of what happens.

Oak Lawn Place

The second for-sale parcel is the Oak Lawn Place apartments at Welborn and Routh that had been owned by their previous owner since 2003 before selling to Scope Properties in 2017. The lot measures 70-by-127 feet equaling 8,820 square feet of dirt – so unless neighboring condo owners want to sell-up too, there’s no high-rise on this corner.

For Sale And Possible Development

Let’s return to the map. Outside what’s currently for sale, there are a few interesting shout-outs.

There are six hot pink parcels that are owned by investors (various LLC/LC designations). Two are “in back of” the for-sale Wimbledon Place. The largest is a condo complex at Routh and Enid where Welborn Street Partners LLC owns eight of 11 units. Number two is owned by UG Bowser LLC who built the 4545 Bowser townhouses. Number three on Fairmount was sold in 2020 by the Society to Prevent Blindness to Penn Properties LLC out of Owensboro Kentucky. Numbers four and five are owned by SALI LP (3606 Dickason) and the descriptively-named 3636 Dickason LLC. Number six is a mid-block parcel on Welborn between Dickason and Gillespie purchased in November 2019 by Connatser Realty LLC whose address is the Connatser Family Law practice at the Crescent.

The light blue are a series of eight properties owned by Winhavir LP that had been purchased over the years by Ralph Cutshall who died in October 2019. It’s unknown what his heirs will do with the parcels.

Finally, there’s the Iris Memory Care facility in dark red located on Dickason between Welborn and Hood (formerly Silverado Senior Living). It was purchased in June 2019 by IMC Turtle Creek LLC which is controlled by David Krukiel, who with business partner Brandon Meszaros, have been operating senior facilities for a decade.  While it seems unlikely this newly reopened business would redevelop, given its up-for-grabs surroundings and high-rise zoning, the money the two-story facility could sell for might eventually be too good to pass.

Don’t be the person trying to sell this

The Answer to The Question

As I said, a reader wrote asking what I thought would be coming to Mansion Park. I am sure this column is not the whole story of development in Mansion Park. I can only assume the long- and short-term financial motives of LLC owners. Similarly, I can’t guess which condo complex will decide to sell out (Wimbledon Place is a good example of an owner-occupied complex deciding to go).

I also can’t predict how much of this activity is simply wishful thinking. We’ve already seen the parcels along Turtle Creek that are having problems getting out of the ground. What we know is that along Turtle Creek there are seven approved but unbuilt high-rises plus the two/three likely with the sale and redevelopment of Turtle Creek Gardens. Wimbledon Place and Teixeira Duarte would add two more to the under-construction Toll Brothers high-rise. That’s a dozen possible high-rises. Unless the smaller parcels can join forces, they will likely redevelop into townhouse or mid-rise projects.

All I can tell our reader is that if they own a small parcel that’s undevelopable on its own, hold out until a neighboring developer wants it. Otherwise you risk becoming one of those left-behind orphan houses that are surrounded by development but hold no value to anyone but you.

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Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is CandysDirt.com's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on SecondShelters.com. An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

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