Modtown Realty Executive Team (Courtesy Photo)

Like two ships passing, on October 1, Modtown Realty Group and Keller Williams quietly parted ways. The separation will come as neither sudden nor surprising to anyone keeping close tabs on Modtown. The group, who had been part of Keller Williams Park Cities since 2012, recently moved its offices back to Deep Ellum. And it’s there that Drew Colon and Jacob Moss say the group feel most at home and most connected to their brand, which largely appeals to Millennials and urbanites.

“We’re coming out to this market of Deep Ellum.” Colon said. “We’ve done a good job at creating an inviting environment here. The moment you walk in the door you get that sense. We’re back and we’re excited!”

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deep ellum murals

The “Deep Rawlins” mural by Steve Hunter is one of 42 in downtown Dallas commissioned by 42 Properties in 2015. A contest will determine which three of these murals gets to stay, and which are painted over to make way for new art. This mural currently has 1,280 votes. Photo: Can Turkyilmaz

Back in 2014, folks at real estate company 42 Deep Ellum had an ambitious idea: to paint 42 new Deep Ellum murals on the walls of the properties they owned in downtown Dallas.

This project, called 42 Murals, allowed artists to show off their talent through murals painted on many of the historic buildings in the area. The mural project also provides free public art to thousands of visitors and residents.

“We made a conscious effort to focus mostly on local artists and not look at an artist’s reputation experience or resume — we judged entries pretty much solely on the submission,” said Scott Rohrman, manager of 42 Real Estate, LLC, and manager of general 42 Deep Ellum. “What we got is something we are really proud of.”

From the beginning, artists knew the murals would likely be temporary. Two years later, and 42 Murals is once again calling for submissions to create new Deep Ellum murals. That means painting over most of the old ones.

“You don’t go into the Dallas Museum of Art over a 20-year period and every painting is sitting on the same wall,” Rohrman said. “Art galleries change their art and when we went into the project, we told the artists their art might only be up for a short time, two year now, all the artists signed a contract before they started painting that we could not and would not guarantee their art would stay up forever.”

To decide which of the art stays and which get painted over, there’s an Instagram contest @42murals. The three most popular murals — the ones that get the most “likes” — will be preserved, with the artists receiving a cash prize. Voting ends tomorrow.

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Video courtesy of Uptown Dallas, Inc.

Something has to be done. Uptown is beginning to feel a bit like Greenville Ave. did a few years back. Remember? The late night crime and violence, residential streets overrun with youthful overindulgence, and uninvited visitors parking in front of residences … to put it nicely.  Uptown is on the cusp of being known as similarly problematic area — unless we can do something now to curb that trajectory. As Uptown Dallas, Inc. works diligently to attract more young families, improve the schools, and focus on great parks, the late night bar scene is (literally) spilling into the streets and driving a higher police presence.

Two potential solutions have surfaced and exploration began last night at a formal community input session hosted by the City of Dallas Department of Sustainable Development and Construction:

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Most Endangered Historic Places in Dallas

Preservation Dallas today held a conference to announce their 2016 most endangered listoric places in Dallas list. Photo: Irene Allender

“Historic preservation is the dynamic and deliberate process through which we decide what to keep from the present for the future, and then working to keep it.” —W. Brown Morton

Many historic buildings in Dallas face an uncertain future. Today, Preservation Dallas held a press conference to announce their 2016 “Most Endangered Historic Places in Dallas” list.

These are properties too important to lose, for their historic integrity to be diminished, or for the loss of their ability to be used to their full potential, said David Preziosi, Executive Director of Preservation Dallas.

“This list is a roadmap for advocacy, education and development of programs in the preservation community that address the needs of these endangered properties,” Preziosi said. “We must work diligently to protect the places on the list as they are important to the history and fabric of Dallas, for once they are gone, they are lost forever.”

These historic places are irreplaceable community assets that tell the story of the city’s development.

“We hope this list of endangered properties makes the citizens of Dallas aware of how many important historic buildings are at risk of being lost forever,” said Nicky DeFreece Emery, Board President of Preservation Dallas. “Preservation Dallas sees this list as an opportunity for all of us to be more thoughtful in how the city grows and develops.”

Some of them, like East Dallas’ Elbow Room, won’t surprise you. But others will. Read on to see the list.

 

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Dallas is experiencing phenomenal inner city growth. Neighborhoods like Oak Cliff, the Trinity River Corridor, Deep Ellum, Ross Avenue, and the Design District are seeing urban infill like never before, showing up in all scales and types.

inner city growth

Robert Meckfessel, FAIA

These changes are remaking the city and opening up new opportunities for residents and businesses alike. But when we look at housing, retail, restaurants, office, and streetscapes, what are the traits that make for good infill and connectivity for these areas?

These are the questions posed for the next Dallas Architecture Forum event, a panel presented in collaboration with Preservation Dallas called Remaking the City.

The event will be moderated by Robert McFessel, FAIA, President of DSGN Associates and past president of leading organizations involved with the quality of the built environment, including the Dallas Architecture Forum, Preservation Dallas, LaReunion TX, and AIA Dallas.

McFessel currently serves on the boards of LaReunion TX, The Trinity Trust, Trinity Commons Foundation, DoCoMoMo U.S., Greater Dallas Planning Council, and the Advisory Board of the Dallas Architecture Forum.

Panelists include:

  • Edwin Cabannis: Owner of the Kessler Theater
  • Katherine Seale: Chair of the City of Dallas Landmark Commission and Past Director of Preservation Dallas
  • Evan Sheets: Senior Urban Designer at Dallas City Design Studio
  • Dan Shipley, FAIA: Founder and Principal at Shipley Architects

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Photo: StreetLights

The Case Building will be the first residential highrise in Deep Ellum. Photo: StreetLights

People have been calling Deep Ellum home since the late 1800s, and the historic district in downtown Dallas is entering a new era with its first residential highrise.

The 17-story, 337-unit Case Building will be the largest new real estate project ever built in Deep Ellum, located near Hall and Main streets, just south of Baylor Medical Center. Dallas-based Westdale Properties and StreetLights Residential are teaming up to develop the property.

“Deep Ellum is known for its rich art and music scene. The ability for residents to walk or bike to local galleries, music venues, restaurants, and shops fits well with Streetlights’ vision of a neighborhood-friendly urban development,” said StreetLights CEO Doug Chesnut in a statement. “The population in this area continues to grow, and StreetLights is excited to provide a building inspired by the architecture and style of Deep Ellum for this expanding community.”

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IdeaBoard

By Amanda Popken
Special Contributor

It’s been 4 years since the Downtown360 plan was created, and so much has changed! It’s time for an update. This week, Downtown Dallas Inc. held the kickoff meeting to begin soliciting input. The input phase will last through October, then the technical studies, microplans, and implementation plans phase will continue through May of 2016. We should have an updated plan by next summer.

If you’d like to give your two cents, keep checking the calendar (be patient – the project website just launched so it’s not fully updated and bug-free yet), or just join DDI’s email newsletter list.

You might already know that Downtown Dallas Inc. manages the Public Improvement District for downtown Dallas. That gives them funding to support the district with things like marketing, security, events, and even bigger substantial changes (like purchasing city rights-of-way.) But they really see their role as more than just a leader in downtown, but the connecting force between all the neighborhoods surrounding downtown. These nine neighborhoods, plus the seven in downtown proper, make up the 16 ‘hoods in the 360 plan. So if you live in, work in, or care about any of these places, you’re invited to participate.
Map-website

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Farmers Market Loft

Lofts tend to feel big because of high ceilings, tall windows, and few interior walls dividing up the space. But today’s Thursday Three Hundred really IS a big space—2,296 square feet with polished concrete floors, exposed ductwork, and huge iron windows that hinge open.

Unit 208 at 2220 Canton St. is located near the downtown Dallas Farmers Market in the historic Olive & Myers Furniture Company Building, constructed in 1925. Now called 2220 Canton, the building was renovated for residential living in 1996 by Corgan & Associates (same folks who did the Adam Hats Lofts nearby in Deep Ellum).

Their beautiful work won a Building Design award from the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It is one of the few remaining examples of factory architecture in downtown Dallas and the property is now listed as a City of Dallas Landmark.

Farmers Market Loft

Not only does 2220 Canton offer an incredible location in the southwest part of downtown, check out that view from the rooftop pool deck above. Wow. Residents have access to a concierge during normal business hours, as well as a fitness center in the building and 1/3-mile walking track on the roof.

This unusual loft is newly listed by Holly Bock at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International for $390,350.

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