PD-15 v3 Small Colored Labels

Boundaries of PD-15

Forget the plan the Preston Center Task Force is cooking up.  Last night it was disclosed that owners of the Diplomat and Royal Orleans condominiums have voted unanimously to accept an offer to sell their complexes to a developer. The identity of the buyer and the development plans are unknown (by me).

Update: Wednesday afternoon, PHSNA sent a note to members saying they’d received denials from both complexes that a sale was imminent. Stay tuned.

Depending on the development details, I for one, welcome the move to bring new blood and new building to the area. Here’s hoping for an architecturally interesting building that’s not a typical Mediterranean riff with terra cotta colored stucco and a splash of stone – that, I will fight.

Apartments or condos?  It’s 2016, so of course it will start out as apartments.  But it’s up to neighbors to ensure quality construction so that the eventual condo conversion can be done with a quality product.

(more…)

DHLbootcamp2015

A week ago, I had the opportunity to attend the 17th annual Neighborhood Boot Camp, which is offered by the Dallas Homeowners League. It was my first time to attend, but I have to say – it’s a must for anyone who has had trouble getting help from City Hall in the past – or who belongs to a neighborhood association or crime watch.

The morning was chock-a-block full of useful information from the beginning panel discussion moderated by the Dallas Morning News‘ Robert Wilonsky (panel members included Monte Anderson, Patrick Kennedy and Wick Allison), to the workshops after covering things like navigating City Hall, defining a strong neighborhood, adapting to change in neighborhoods, supporting and promoting DISD, historic preservation and water conservation tips.

I attended the workshop on navigating city hall, conducted by Philip Kingston, and the workshop on promoting and supporting DISD, conducted by Melissa Kingston (more on those tomorrow).

The morning began, however, with a panel discussion on the challenges Dallas faces, as well how to build a vibrant downtown Dallas. “Many of us live in neighborhoods with terrible streets,” Wilonsky acknowledged, adding that many neighborhoods lack amenities you can walk to, as well.

One question the group tackled was how to reconnect downtown to the city neighborhoods – and how to navigate city hall while trying to do so.  (more…)

Alamo Drafthouse is a likely tenant for the Lakewood Theater, but parking issues and rent price are sticking points. Photo: Mike Merrill

Alamo Drafthouse is a possible tenant for the historic Lakewood Theater in East Dallas, but parking issues and Alamo’s offered rent are proving problematic in negotiations. Photo: Mike Merrill

As we reported in January, the now-empty Lakewood Theater has an interested suitor, the Alamo Drafthouse, and negotiations are quite a ways along now.

Property co-owners Craig Kinney and Bill Willingham of Willingham-Rutledge talked to multiple restaurants and businesses that could fill the historic space in various incarnations, located at 1825 Abrams Pkwy. in East Dallas. It has stood empty since the last tenant’s lease ended at the end of January.

Things seemed most promising with Alamo Drafthouse, according to the Lakewood/East Dallas Advocate, but two issues are creating problems. And those issues could mean Lakewood Theater’s chances of staying a theater, and not getting broken up into multiple spaces, are at risk.

Built in 1938, Lakewood Theater is not protected by any official historic designation, and while the co-owners have verbalized their commitment to keeping the marquee intact, the interior is another story. If the Alamo Drafthouse doesn’t work out, “We have other options that may involve carving up the space. We just don’t know yet,” Kinney said back in November.  

But let’s get back to the current issues at hand.

(more…)

Toyota groundbreaking 1.20.2015

At a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, about 100 attendees watched as a Toyota Tundra truck moved the first shovels of dirt for the Japanese automaker’s $350 million North American headquarters in West Plano.

The relocation of Toyota Motor Corp.’s $350 million headquarters to Plano from Southern California was North Texas’ biggest corporate relocation of 2014. By the time construction is complete in late 2016 or early 2017, some 4,000 jobs will have been created at or moved to the 100-acre campus, including transfers from California, New York, and other states. Plus, for every one of the jobs Toyota brings to Plano, four more jobs will be created.

That’s a colossal business opportunity for Collin County realtors, who are getting ready to be a part of finding homes for those who need it. The company’s 1 million-square-foot campus is located off the Sam Rayburn Tollway and Legacy Drive in Plano, and many of the corporate employees will want to live close to that area.

“We’re all gearing up for it and we are ready to take them on, whether they’re going into Plano or Uptown,” said David Maez, broker and co-owner at VIVO Realty. “Another thing we’re going to see is all the corporations that do business with Toyota moving to the area. You’ll be adding all those other jobs and people to the area.” Jump to read more!

Toyota Executives groundbreaking

Toyota CEO Jim Lentz, President and CEO Michael Groff, and Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere (center). All photos courtesy of WFAA-TV.

 

(more…)

Photo courtesy A. Vandalay via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy A. Vandalay via Creative Commons

The lease for the current tenants of Lakewood Theater is over at the end of January, and it’s anybody’s guess what will happen to the beloved East Dallas landmark, but there are confirmed rumors of interest by Alamo Drafthouse.

As we reported last November with our story Lakewood Theater Makeover Concerns Preservationists, Neighbors, property co-owners Craig Kinney and Bill Willingham of Willingham-Rutledge have been talking to restaurants and businesses that could fill the space, located at 1825 Abrams Pkwy.

Two theater groups have expressed interest, and one of them is the Alamo Drafthouse, confirmed Kinney, who also co-owns surrounding properties in the southwest strip.

“We’ve talked to everybody,” Kinney told Dallas Morning News reporter Robert Wilonsky.  The situation remains, though, “Nobody’s committed. So I can’t tell you whether they’re interested or not.”

Wilonsky also talked to Alamo Drafthouse COO Bill DiGaetano, who wouldn’t confirm any plans on the record, but emphasized his company’s interest preserving in historic theaters.

“Alamo has a policy not to comment on real estate negotiations, whether real or fictional,” he told Wilonsky. “But we have a long history of preserving 35mm film and, as shown by our Ritz Theater in downtown Austin and the current restoration of the New Mission Theater in downtown San Francisco, we have a huge passion for preserving great classic movie houses. I personally love the Lakewood Theater and would love to see it stay a theater.”

DiGaetano also made a point of addressing what seems to be the biggest concern of neighbors and preservationists: the colorful tower. “If anything came to fruition, we wouldn’t touch the marquee or the tower.” Jump to read more!

(more…)

An artist rendering of the Town Center of Frisco Station. Photo courtesy of city of Frisco.

An artist rendering of the Town Center of Frisco Station. Photo courtesy of city of Frisco.

More big news for Frisco as the Rudman Partnership, Hillwood Properties, and VanTrust Real Estate sign on the dotted line for the development partnership of Frisco Station, a $1.7 billion deal.

This 242-acre mixed-use development will be located along the Dallas North Tollway, north of Warren Parkway. It will surround the Star, the headquarters and training facilities for the Dallas Cowboys.

The development package outlines plans for 4 million square feet of office space, 2,400 multifamily residences, restaurants, entertainment venues, medical and wellness facilities, industrial space, and public parks and open spaces. The initial phase of development is expected to start in 2015. (more…)

Photo by Jerry McClure/Dallas Morning News

Photo by Jerry McClure/Dallas Morning News

The Lakewood Theater has stood as a colorful and beloved East Dallas landmark in Lakewood Shopping Center since its 1938 opening. So recent news reported by Nancy Nichols at D Magazine that the theater, located at 1825 Abrams Parkway, will be getting new tenants and a new look next year has preservationists and neighbors concerned. This is because the theater has historic designation (in other words, protection from demolition) on neither a national nor local level.

(more…)

Cabana hotel full

A storied property near the Dallas Design District that fell from a swinging night spot and hotel for rock stars in the 1960s to housing for county prisoners and sex offenders in the 1980s and 1990s may be on the rise again.

According to this Dallas Morning News story first reported by Robert Wilonsky, the Dallas County Commissioners Court sold the old Cabana Motor Hotel / Decker Detention Center yesterday to Lincoln Property Company, the third largest residential property manager in the U.S. The property, located at 899 N. Stemmons Freeway, is 399,000 square feet sitting on 3.275 acres of prime real estate northwest of Downtown Dallas. Lincoln paid $8.7 million (half a million less than the county paid for the place in 1985).

While no one from Lincoln or the county will confirm plans for the property, rumor has it that Lincoln intends to create a residential tower and data center. (more…)