Exxir - Bishop Arts - Interior

Rendering of interior plazas of the Bishop Arts Village project   (Source bishoparts.com)

Update 12/16/16 from yesterday’s Plan Commission meeting: after much conversation, commissioners voted to hold the motion until the January 19th meeting. Neighbors will be meeting with Rob Baldwin, the developer’s zoning rep after the New Year to clarify recent changes to the zoning amendment request.

Arts Village, LLC (aka Exxir Capital, aka the Nazarian family) will be going before the Dallas City Plan Commission Board this week to amend the zoning for Planned Development District No. 830, just south of the Bishop Arts District in North Oak Cliff.

Nazerian Subdistrict Map

In September, I reported on this zoning change request, and since then the developers have held at least one community meeting. Yet they failed to include two of the most important requests I heard at that meeting:

1) To word the 15,000-square-foot market use to prohibit one singular tenant, and …

2) To limit hotel and entertainment uses to the portion of the 11 acre site south of 9th Street, where these uses are currently planned to be built — away from the residential neighborhood north of 9th and surrounding the development site.

We must remember that in this PD, zoning change requests are not subject to a specific development plan. Once uses are allowed by right in an area, plans can change, even owners can change. And although the Nazerians have proven to have great ideas for this development, these changes effect the land use allowances for the indefinite future, regardless of who the owner is.

At Thursday’s meeting, their zoning request will include the changes listed below, to be applicable within this one new subdistrict which will cover the entire 11 acre site resting between Melba Street, Madison Street, 10th Street, and Bishop Ave.

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0032

What is it about a Friday night that makes you want to grab a glass of wine or a beer, and catch a simple meal somewhere in your jeans. Somewhere close. The last thing you want to do is turn on the Viking. That’s why I am so psyched to see Preston Hollow Village filling up with a variety of restaurants and eateries. There’s Blue Sushi Sake Grill, the second location in Texas, following the first in Fort Worth, Modmarket, the first Dallas branch of the Colorado-based chain, following Flower Mound, Plano and Southlake, and there’s Vertskebap, the Austin-based wraps concept. There’s Blatt Beer & Table, part of the Omaha, Nebraska-based Flagship Restaurant Group, and the first Blatt outside of Omaha. (Wonder if Warren Buffett eats there?) Flagship is also the owner of Blue Sushi Sake Grill. Blatt is a craft beer bar and restaurant with “elevated beer hall fare” and a Germanic twist: housemade sausages, burgers, chicken and waffles. This is the stuff hearty Midwesterners eat when the mercury dips below zero.

And the Thai restaurant Pakpao recently opened their second location (other than the Dallas Design District) next to Frost Gelato. We popped in Friday evening and found one of our son’s high school buds, Tea Acuff, working with owner Richard Ellman. I was curious why he chose this particular location to move into Preston Hollow — really, the location is NOT Preston Hollow, but we will let that slip because on Friday, it seemed half of Preston Hollow was there… listen up ye restauranteurs of Preston Center: a grocery store brings out the consumers:

SONY DSC

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HalfPriceBooksNorthwestHighway

In this rendering from Cunningham Architects, you can see the 34,000-square-foot REI campus that will open this spring across from the Half Price Books flagship store on Northwest Highway and Shadybrook.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should go ahead and say that my husband works for Half Price Books. But honestly, I’d be a fan of the company regardless. I’ve always been interested in how Pat Anderson grew a company from a 1,000-square-foot laundromat into a national brand, all without relinquishing the used bookstore feel that makes the brand so familiar and cool. And while the company knows how to run a successful chain of paperback-filled, nostalgia-laden stores, is it ready for the world of real estate?

As you may know, Half Price Books is developing the lot opposite of its flagship store at Shadybrook and Northwest Highway. Outdoor retailer REI has already committed to anchoring the development with a 34,000-square-foot store set to open March 3, and there is an additional 13,000 square feet for other retail. Designed by Cunningham Architects, the center will definitely stand out with a cool modern facade.

It’s all in a very unique part of Dallas, Vickery Meadow, which is mostly dense apartment communities roughly bounded by Greenville Avenue on the west, Northwest Highway on the south, Park Lane to the north, and Skillman on the east. It’s a very ethnically diverse area that is sorely lacking quality retail, and is yet over-populated with bodegas, check-cashing stores, and sketchy corner stores.

“Half Price Books has always had a great relationship with Vickery Meadow residents, and we’re excited to help bring more retail options to the area,” said Half Price Books Executive Vice President Kathy Doyle Thomas. “Every Sunday this fall, we hosted the Vickery Meadow Local Market in the parking lot of our Half Price Books Flagship store. Our neighbors, businesses in the area, and the city of Dallas are very excited about our new development.”

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