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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Virgin Hotels dressing room

I wish Miami had a Virgin — making reservations there for NAREE (which starts tomorrow yeah!) was a little cray cray. But it looks like we rate even more than Miami, because Florida-based Virgin Hotels has decided to open the state’s first Virgin Hotel here in the Dallas’ Design District. The first Virgin Hotel is taking reservations in Chicago, and others are on the books for New York City, of course, and Nashville.

We had heard back in 2013 that the company, a hospitality brand that combines service, value, and a seamless hotel experience, is an offshoot of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which brings us the same stuff on Virgin Airlines. The company was looking at downtown and Uptown. The Dallas Design District was a no-brainer. What started as an industrial, warehouse area that became home to one of the busiest design district in the country — the hot spot for wholesale sales to interior designers and exclusive furniture manufacturers — is now one of the hottest places to live in Dallas. There are more restaurants, apartments, and even some retail. Come six p.m. everyone is out walking their dogs. I still remember Jim Lake, Jr. telling me how he found bullets in the walls of a crummy warehouse he bought that was holding women brought here as sex slaves. To say it was a rough neighborhood is an understatement, but then, everything in Dallas seems to be getting rough.  (more…)

The Renaissance Collection Official Shot

The Renaissance Collection (Photo: Bret Redman)

With its trademark shape and fantastic location, the Renaissance Dallas Hotel has been a landmark venue since 1983, however, it was showing its age a bit. Thanks to a fantastic multi-million dollar facelift, the hotel is now LEED Silver certified and boasts 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space, with a 16,000-square-foot grand ballroom, a 10,000-square-foot rooftop terrace, and breathtaking views of downtown.

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