BAD Aerial-small

Developer builds big project in Anywhere, USA.

If you’ve been following the Bishop Gateway project near the Bishop Arts District in North Oak Cliff, you know it’s been quite a contentious project. If you haven’t been following, here’s an overview along with an update. Either way, take note of the process they’re going through.

The first-pass draft of the project showed hideously sterile five-story blocks, just as the current zoning allows, covering three blocks in three phases.

Planned for both sides of Seventh St. from Zang to Madison and the northwest corner of Zang at Davis, the project would have replaced popular businesses such as Zoli’s Pizza, Local Oak, and Ten Bells. The neighborhood was in an uproar.

The properties had not yet been purchased — as with many large developments, the developers like to get the project details lined up before pulling the trigger on the purchase — so the plans were still somewhat negotiable.

And, luckily, the project is in a TIF (Tax Increment Finance District) and planning to apply for incentive funding. The process for TIF-elligible projects triggers a design review and requires TIF Board approval and City Council approval.

Alamo Manhattan hired former City Council rep Angela Hunt to assist, and held a number of community meetings to gain feedback. The one I attended in May was a bloodbath of criticism. But the developers seemed to have heard what was being said on multiple levels.

At the community meeting in September, all stakeholders seemed to at least accept the proposal as “less objectionable.” The project has been scaled back to two blocks, which takes out fewer beloved buildings and businesses, and the design and project focus seems to be a huge improvement. Some of the highlights:

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BarPolitics-napkin

By Amanda Popken
Special Contributor

It’s only the fifth installment of Bar Politics, so if you have no idea what this is, you’re not that out of the loop. You’ll definitely want to check out this amateur roadshow this month if you’re at all interested in housing, development, real estate, and the gentrification-storm we’re preparing for in North Oak Cliff.

Hosted by Josh Kumlar, the event is formatted similarly to the Late Night Show or the Daily Show. Political news jokes, a skit or two, and interviews with special guests. And music, of course.

Once a month they pick a topic, pick a bar, and start talking smack. Josh is a recent SMU grad, a theatre major. His friends help him with the show’s shenanigans. The interviewed guests are local celebrities, knowledgeable on the issue at hand. As Josh describes it: (more…)

martos.cayetano@gmail.com

I have been dying to tell you about this for weeks, but just now getting the dirt. And bear with me, because I am still checking the facts but I am so excited I just couldn’t sit on this. A very cool, high quality project is on its way to 10th and Adams in Oak Cliff/Bishop Arts and seriously, you may just have converted me to an Oak Cliff dweller. That go-getter Harrison Polsky at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty — if you don’t know this dynamo agent, you should — found the land and helped put the deal together for Proximity, the developer, who then hired Bill Mead (the same guy who built Mark Cuban’s house I THINK) to create 17 townhouses, which will be built at the corner of West 10th Street and Adams Avenue, two blocks from the many restaurants and shops that the Bishop Arts District has to offer. We are talking 2350-ish square feet of AC space, exposed brick walls, cool 700 square foot rooftop patios. Starting prices about $440,000 with different upgrade packages bringing the asking up to $525,000 to $550,000.

Harrison PolskyI’ve got to stop shouting!

And the architect? My pal Richard Drummond Davis, a Princeton-trained architect who is also apparently an Oak Cliff native. Who has designed countless estates in Park Cities and Preston Hollow. Oh, stay tuned for this one!

Says the developer:

“We really wanted to do something that incorporated a unique modern look to the area; yet would maintain certain traditional aspects of community and artistic appreciation found throughout the Bishop Arts District. In order to achieve that we hired experienced and acclaimed Oak Cliff-native Richard Davis’ architecture firm, Richard Drummond Davis Architects, and a builder who’s impeccable attention to detail we knew would not be compromised by any means throughout the project, Bill Mead. We’re confident 10th & Bishop will be a wonderful part of the continued growth and improvements being made in The Bishop Arts District and surrounding areas.”

I cannot emphasize enough how high quality this project is going to be — word is to embrace the coolness, design quality and not spare any expense. (more…)