This is about to become a common sight in our beloved Bishop Arts District neighborhood. In fact this sight is just off Bishop, across from the Laughing Willow. There are demo’d vacant lots in the middle of neighborhoods all over North Oak Cliff’s most popular entertainment district. I’ve found three new ones within the last week. Here’s the skinny on the last 10 projects under construction now, for a grand total of 27 individual projects.

“How did this happen?” you might ask. Perhaps it was the local option election that made North Oak Cliff “wet” in 2010? Or the nearby Trinity Groves’ explosion into Dallas’ culinary scene? Or Bishop Arts’ own explosion onto the ‘great neighborhood’ scene? Maybe the Bishop/Davis Rezoning Plan in 2010 or the Oak Cliff Gateway zoning changes in 2014 (and then updated in 2015)? Or did it all start in 2002 with the Bishop Street reconstruction? Maybe it’s a bit of all of this — and great neighbors who throw great, big annual events. For sure, that.

Your favorite restaurants and shops need your support more than ever before — with all the construction, sales are down about 30 percent across the board.  Seventeen (and counting) separate construction sites are underway within a half-mile of the district! From now on you need to make weekly trips — to gauge progress on these, have a bite to eat, and find something you can’t live without. There are some GREAT new shops opening too — ALL owned by Dallas and Oak Cliff locals. Legit.

Click to enlarge

In Part 1 we covered the big development projects under construction immediately around the Bishop Arts District (projects numbered 1-8 on the map.) Part 2 covered the projects mostly west of Bishop Arts (projects 9-16.) Here are projects numbered 17-26 below. (Yes! 26! Though more like 28 actually….) Note that project numbers correspond to the map above.

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Proposed Lincoln Katy Trail

Perhaps the folks at Lincoln Property are skint of holiday party invites? I mean, why else would they expect the neighbors surrounding their proposed project at Carlisle and Bowen to be available to meet the week before Christmas?  And with less than a week’s notice?

You may recall I reported on this particular project just before Halloween.  I noted that Lincoln had met with neighboring property owners who wanted input into traffic and shadow studies for the proposed building.  At that point, over a month after the initial meeting, Lincoln representative Angela Hunt had stopped replying to neighbors.

Well, the neighbors never met or heard from Hunt or Lincoln again until a hasty December 12 invitation to the last-minute meeting on December 18. No input, nada.

And the results were as expected.

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In today’s D Frontburner blog, I traced the trail of Angela Hunt’s transition from District 14’s city council advocate battling inappropriate development in Oak Lawn to being an emissary for developers.  Here, I want to explore the Lincoln Katy Trail project where Hunt is representing Lincoln Property. (Click here for Frontburner article)

It’s important to note that Hunt is now a private citizen and has the right to secure work however she pleases.  Unlike many technology firms, government doesn’t use non-compete agreements.  Hunt herself says, “I am no longer on the Dallas City Council. I am not an elected official, I don’t have a constituency, and I no longer decide zoning cases. I am a private citizen representing developers and neighborhoods in zoning cases.”

Taking a step back, the owners of The Vine townhomes have been battling developers seeking to radically upzone two lots neighboring their complex.  Gables’ plans for the Carlisle on The Katy complex were nixed by city hall in 2007, Exxir reignited in 2015. The Turtle Creek Terrace lot began with a similar campaign by Lennar, they gave up, and now Lincoln Property holds the option.

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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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Cabana hotel cracks 1

I was down at The House yesterday, where I about fainted when I toured some of the few units left to sell: gorgeous and such a bargain! From the 25th floor, I looked out and saw the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge rising in her majesty, as if she was part of The House design. Then, to the right of MHH I saw The old Cabana Hotel, bordering the Dallas Design District. What a stark contrast (no pun intended, well, maybe intended) to the smooth, clean crisp whiteness of The House. God, I thought, that is going to make an amazing development. Then I drove over to the Cabana just to feel the vibe. Take a close up look. (more…)

4501 Cole Map

We just can’t build apartments fast enough in Dallas, it seems. Apparently Sarofim Realty Partners and Lincoln Property Company agree, as new plans reported by Steve Brown of the DMN include 165 luxury rental units for the mixed-use development at 4501 Cole.

Greater density in the area has left residents craving a real grocery store, and rumors swirled about Trader Joe’s moving in months ago before being confirmed in Brown’s story. The site, at Cole and Armstrong, has had plenty buzz as developers seek to turn Knox Street into the city’s premiere walkable shopping district.

And with these apartments added in the mix, and with rental demand projected to remain strong, we think this Womack + Hampton Architects development would be a tremendous asset to the area, which has several multi-family developments nearby, but none with a mix of ground-floor retail such as this.

Here’s a bit from Brown’s story:

“The Lincoln Knox apartments are a natural extension of this upscale, walk-able neighborhood and will offer outstanding amenities,” [contractor] Hill & Wilkinson’s Jay Graham said in a statement.

It does make me wonder what could be next for Knox. Of course, the area has been a magnet for high-end retail and exceptional boutiques such as Forty Five Ten, Design Within Reach, and Urban Flower/Grange Hall. It’s a short walk to the Katy Trail. Tons of trendy restaurants can be found nearby, too. But what about the landmarks? Could longtime businesses such as Wild About Harry’s and Highland Park Soda Fountain (nee Pharmacy) be pushed out as more dense developments go vertical?

What do you think?

4501 Cole Map

We just can’t build apartments fast enough in Dallas, it seems. Apparently Sarofim Realty Partners and Lincoln Property Company agree, as new plans reported by Steve Brown of the DMN include 165 luxury rental units for the mixed-use development at 4501 Cole.

Greater density in the area has left residents craving a real grocery store, and rumors swirled about Trader Joe’s moving in months ago before being confirmed in Brown’s story. The site, at Cole and Armstrong, has had plenty buzz as developers seek to turn Knox Street into the city’s premiere walkable shopping district.

And with these apartments added in the mix, and with rental demand projected to remain strong, we think this Womack + Hampton Architects development would be a tremendous asset to the area, which has several multi-family developments nearby, but none with a mix of ground-floor retail such as this.

Here’s a bit from Brown’s story:

“The Lincoln Knox apartments are a natural extension of this upscale, walk-able neighborhood and will offer outstanding amenities,” [contractor] Hill & Wilkinson’s Jay Graham said in a statement.

It does make me wonder what could be next for Knox. Of course, the area has been a magnet for high-end retail and exceptional boutiques such as Forty Five Ten, Design Within Reach, and Urban Flower/Grange Hall. It’s a short walk to the Katy Trail. Tons of trendy restaurants can be found nearby, too. But what about the landmarks? Could longtime businesses such as Wild About Harry’s and Highland Park Soda Fountain (nee Pharmacy) be pushed out as more dense developments go vertical?

What do you think?