Our Steal: Miranda Gonzales with Keller Williams Urban Dallas has listed 13436 Forestway Drive for $455,000.

Once a rural community on Dallas’ edge, this area has turned into a hot-and-happening hood, with plenty of restaurants and retail — and acclaimed Richardson ISD schools, to boot. Yes, this week we are taking you to Northwood Hills/Valley View, where suburban tree-lined streets and large lots make the houses here feel like home. The two we’ve locked eyes with are made for summer. Plus, they’re priced to sell, too. Each comes with generous interiors and oasis-style pools but with price points that are miles apart.

Which would you choose the Midcentury Modern splurge or the Renovated Contemporary steal? Take your pick and let us know in the comments.


Who doesn’t like a bit of demolition in the morning?

A hot, sweaty Friday groundbreaking seemed the perfect bookend to Dallas Midtown’s four years of sweating through politics and planning. It’s not that the city didn’t want it — heck, the renderings and plans are a wonderful and productive reimagining of what had become another tumbledown mall unable to compete in today’s retail environment.  Given the news stories lately about the demise of retail, it surely won’t be the last air-conditioned ghost town to give way to today’s vision of progress.


midtown rendering

While some people still haven’t gotten over the name of the development slated for the decaying Valley View Mall campus near the Dallas Galleria, Midtown is definitely getting closer to becoming a reality now that the city of Dallas has given the developer, Scott Beck, a deadline to get the wrecking ball swinging. To further that transition from idea to fruition, AIA Dallas’ Young Professionals group is hosting an Architecture on Tap event to discuss the sprawling development.

The event, which will feature representatives from OMNIPLAN, the firm that designed Dallas Midtown, as well as Jessica Clements of Studio Outside, North Dallas neighborhood representative Sid Miller, Hammond Perot of the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, and City of Dallas Planning and Urban Design guru Peer Chako.

Jump for more!


midtown rendering

A rendering of Dallas Midtown, the dream of developer Scott Beck, four years in the making, starts with the demolition of Valley View Mall. (Courtesy Photo)

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.


Dallas Midtown


Yeah, that’s about what they said. City planners (the Urban Design Peer Review Panel) and officials in the Office of Economic Development got their first look late last week at Scott Beck’s ambitious plans to turn Valley View Mall at LBJ and Preston into a magical live-work-shop-movie-eat-play conglomeration called Midtown.

From Robert Wilonsky’s report, Scott Beck got a C or even a C-minus and was told to go back and re-do some of his work. (more…)

Valley View Mall courtesy of Aerial Photography

I drove by Valley View Mall again the other day, and cannot wait for Dallas developer Scott Beck to get his show on the road for this place. Been trying to get in touch with him for an update but alas, Candace Carlisle at the Dallas Business Journal caught up with him FIRST and snagged an exclusive interview. Great interview: Candace works her behind off. Scott told her plans are still on to  redevelop Valley View Mall into Midtown Dallas, the huge 430 acre live/work/play community  he told us all about back in 2012.

Alas, time has passed, property and building costs have all gone up, and Beck has had to “re-imagine” the new Valley View aka Midtown. (Maybe no gondola rides to the Galleria — I don’t know, Candace did not ask him about that. Sad.)



Belk grand opening

As you may know, the City of Dallas is getting very serious about saving two near-comatose shopping malls: Valley View Center at the intersection of LBJ and Preston in the north, and Southwest Center Mall in the south. The council is considering a budget of around $432 million, most of it aimed at helping the five major property owners between Valley View and the Galleria create what Beck Ventures are calling Midtown Dallas. We’ve talked about Midtown Dallas before, and how excited (and lucky) we are that a private developer wants to transform a weary mall into an exciting development. Turns out, we can thank my City Councilman Lee Kleinman for suggesting a TIF to finance the project and for making a large park a substantial centerpiece of the project. Kleinman recently told the Dallas Morning News that while infrastructure creation is a big part of this TIF (tax increment financing),  it’s not the biggest part of it. The notion of the park up at Valley View is way cool, think Klyde Warren north.  Lee really loves parks as he has been on the board of the Dallas Parks and Recreational Department, and is a founding board member of Friends of Northaven Trail, and Friends of White Rock Creek Trail. Those groups have created a fine network of linear parks, commuter and recreational bike and hike trails in Dallas, plus sites for community-oriented events. (more…)

Midtown Valley View

Valley View Shopping Center is shaping up on paper like a Victoria’s Secret glossy ad, but one thing’s for sure: it may never again look like the Valley View Mall many of us grew up with! I will never forget the opening of Bloomingdales over there, how cool was that? Alas, now Valley View is suffering behind the road hell that is LBJ is and you almost cannot even see it anymore. But like I tell myself every time my tires touch LBJ, this too shall pass and something way better will be here. Well, after a year working closely with the City of Dallas, neighborhood stakeholders and internationally respected architects, i.e. everyone, Beck Ventures is giving us a first look at detailed plans for the transformation of Dallas Midtown. And it is, to say the least, ambitious!

Dallas Midtown gondolas

Yes, that is a gondola! Dallas Midtown will soon be a community within a community, another depot for shopping, entertainment, working, high density living or gondola riding.

The plan covers all the land from Galleria Dallas on the west to Preston Road on the east, and from LBJ Freeway on the south to even a couple of blocks north of Alpha Road. Over the next couple decades – yes, twenty years — about 60 percent of the existing buildings could be torn down.

Eventually, the potentially $10 billion project could include 14 million square feet of commercial —  30 story high-rise office commercial towers,  mixed-use and residential buildings, green space including a park four times the size of Klyde Warren Park, and the “entertainment destination” still holding the last prime remnants of the old mall. More than 10,000 people potentially could live there.

Scott Beck, you may recall, is the dude who purchased the rather sorry Valley View Shopping Center last year, and has sworn $2 billion to revive the largest continuous tract north of 635 into a vibrant, bustling center of activity. If you don’t remember, read up on my interview with him here. It’s called Midtown even though it’s not really in the middle of Dallas. In fact, if we looked at a map of Dallas, what would be “Midtown”? University Park? Highland Park Village? I don’t think it really matters because everyone’s perception is that the intersection of LBJ and Preston Road is the middle of Dallas. I like the name. Sorry!

Yes, Scott has big plans to revamp “Midtown” but also connect it to the city. There will be hike and bike trails connecting to White Rock Lake, the parks, open spaces, a trolley system and Gondola rides to Galleria (what? Don’t drop me on LBJ!), interactive water features throughout the development, including a wave pool and Ariel Show Fountains, two luxury hotels, upscale condos and rental apartments, office towers, 16 screen movie theater, boutiques, restaurant and entertainment venues.

Ariel Show Fountains? Are we thinking The Bellagio? That is exactly what they are planning at BahaMar in Nassau.

“Since our firm first announced the acquisition of Valley View Mall, the interest in this project has been unprecedented. We are attracting national and international attention. We are honored to be stewards of a crucial transformational project of this scale. The city of Dallas and our elected officials have been fantastic partners in helping this vision become a reality, ” says Scott Beck. The young president of Beck Ventures is bringing in some never-seen-befores, like a seven-story glass enclosed European style market. He says he’s focusing intently on details, and when people come to Dalla Midtown, they won’t want to leave.

Dllas Midtown glass

City Hall seems pretty pumped, as it would thinking of the expanding tax base cha-ching cha-ching. But, as The Dallas Morning News reports, this immense project will require millions for infrastructure — new sewers, water lines and roads. It will require police and protection. It is yet to be seen if the Dallas Plan Commission is on board.

“This development will create a city within a city. With restaurants, shopping, housing and office space, Dallas Midtown will completely redefine this part of Dallas, ” said Linda Koop, Dallas City Council, in the press release.

“Dallas Midtown will become a major economic driver for the city of Dallas. It will strengthen our tax base and help our city lure and retain corporate headquarters. This is an extremely desirable site and this is the perfect way to develop it,” dittoed Tennell Atkins, Dallas City Council, also in the press release.

I am so excited about this project. I mean, did you ever think you’d see a park in Dallas over a highway? I can imagine the Tweets: Let’s GG: gondola to the Galleria.

Dallas Midtown overviewImage 1