Davis St looking west to N. Zang Blvd. from the CVS sidewalk.

If it’s been a few months since you last drove through the Davis/Zang intersection near the Bishop Arts District, you likely wouldn’t recognize where you are now. Buildings five stories tall are going up on three of the four corners, and a new CVS stands where El Corazón was. Melba St., on the other side of the district, is beginning to feel like the State Thomas neighborhood of Uptown: mid-rise apartments and town homes on all sides with a small historic home here or there.

Not only are the streets torn up from increasing utility sizes to accommodate the growth and reconstructing complete streets, but there are about 20 large-scale residential and commercial projects currently under construction in North Oak Cliff, totaling more than a quarter of a billion dollars of investment and adding more than 1,200 units.

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real

Texas schools aren’t failing, but they’re close, Education Week’s annual report card revealed. The biggest mark against the state seems to be no surprise — school finance (we talked more about how school finance affects the real estate world here). (more…)

Dallas is still the top location for home building, according to data from Metrostudy.

New data from Metrostudy shows that Dallas is still the top new home market in the country, with builders starting 31,911 homes in the 12 months ending in the third quarter of 2017. Additionally, quarterly new home starts increased 7.6 percent year-over-year, with new homes priced between $200,000 and $350,0000 seeing the greatest buyer demand. Shockingly, new home starts in the luxury range — starting at $750,000 — overran third quarter 2016 numbers by more than 60 percent. 

Price increases are getting pushback from buyers, according to Metrostudy’s research. The median new home price seems to be stagnating around $321,000. That’s good news for homebuyers still hoping to snag a new build without breaking the bank.  This, however, highlights the affordable housing crisis in Dallas-Fort Worth, Metrostudy notes. “In order to satisfy the greatest buyer demand, builders and developers must work together with municipalities to deliver attainably priced new homes or D/FW could be on the declining end of the cycle sooner rather than later,” the report stated.

Jump for the full report:

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Even as the price of new-builds in Dallas remains largely stagnant, a report last month suggests that housing affordability will remain a primary concern for the foreseeable future. According to Metrostudy, the area’s low housing inventory streak continues unabated, and the median home price inches ever upward, reaching $320,600 last quarter. Resale prices of homes show no signs of slowing and new home starts in the $200,000 or under price range have become relics of the past.

“New homebuyers are stretched to the limit of what they can afford,” said Paige Shipp, Director of Metrostudy’s Dallas-Ft Worth market. Tell us about it.

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Greenwood Flats
Robert Elliott is at it again, ahead of the curve and setting the pace. This time the multi-talented co-founder of Stillwater Capital, founder of Robert Elliott Custom Homes, and The Associates Real Estate Brokerage has created Greenwood Flats at 5714 McCommas Boulevard. Elliott’s reputation as a builder is unparalleled. He’s constructed over 100 private residences in Highland Park alone, as well as homes in Bluffview and East Dallas. His reputation of putting together a solid development and standing behind what he builds means if you purchase one of his homes, you have a sound investment. (more…)

If you forgot Dallas’ torrential weekend rains, Monday’s return certainly brought those memories … flooding back.

What’s up with that?  It’s not like rain is something new to Dallas.  Sure, depending on whether your beliefs are fact- or fiction-based, climate change may be making rains heavier, but we’ve always had deluge-type rain (when we’re not in drought).

So why does this city flood like it’s never seen a drop of water? Why do we have to repeat, “turn around, don’t drown” and mean it when the water is coming up to the running board of the SUV? There are many reasons, some just mother nature, some brought on by neglect and — shocker — our city’s indifference to infrastructure.

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4823 Linnett Lane

Corrugated metal, Cyprus, HardiePlank and a beautiful blue door have introduced a new design aesthetic to the Bird Streets.

The Good brothers are at it again. Our Dallas version of HGTV’s  The Property Brothers has just listed their latest new contemporary construction at 4823 Linnett Lane in the Bird streets, for $699.900.

It’s the best new nest for anyone with an urban sensibility that longs to be in close proximity to the Southwestern Medical District, Dallas Design District, Love Field or downtown. It’s also a stone’s throw from one of the best elementary schools in Dallas, the K.B. Polk Center for  Academically Talented and Gifted

Location, location, location.

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Crescent-placeholder rendering

Just as our trolley track construction wraps up and the Bishop Arts stop comes online, expect the building construction to begin.

Developer Alamo Manhattan has made headlines with their infamous Bishop Arts project, hopefully designed a bit better now than at first. Their Phase 1 plans would create a five-story full city block with residential above ground-floor retail right at the newly minted trolley stop along Zang, at two corners of the Zang-Davis intersection.

Details are now coming together on the Crescent Communities development at the third northeast corner of Zang-Davis, scheduled for construction to begin December 2016 with a 22-month buildout.

Currently a Dallas County Schools property, the Crescent project would span two blocks east across Beckley Ave to Crawford St, and north just past Neely St. It could be another massive block of a project, but it appears the folks at Crescent understand “good” walkable design and what makes a place work for people. One example, since they own both sides of Beckley, is their focus on making the street feel like a real Avenue — emphasizing the importance of the way the buildings relate to the pedestrian realm along the street.

Site map

Phase 1 in red and just north of Neely. Phase 2 between Beckley Ave and Crawford St.

All that’s been made public is the site plan below, but an off-the-record conversation with the Crescent’s regional director and a handful of North Oak Cliff neighbors revealed a masterplan with an attention to detail. Oh, and the President & CEO, Todd Mansfield was Executive VP of Disney real estate worldwide. If Disney can be lauded for doing something right, it’s creating a pedestrian environment that, though fake, scores high on the principals of great walkable commercial environments. He “gets it,” and the company has a decent track record. And they quote Jane Jacobs, the mother of great urbanism.

 

Z156-222 DEV2-small

 

The site plan here is a bit different from the placeholder project image on their website — the project’s clearly still in development.

But it’s about ready for Prime Time, and I think we’re going to like what we see. They’ve enlisted design firm Lake-Flato, and you can see a few architectural elements in the site plan — a “flatiron” building corner comes to Zang and Davis where a  3,800-square-foot “gateway” plaza leads you from historic Bishop Arts and the trolley stop into a larger plaza between the fivee-story building along Davis and the five- and six-story building behind it.

First life. Then places. Then buildings.  – Jane Jacobs

At some point a developer’s vision is in the hands of its tenants — the goal is to flank the larger plaza with restaurants and great patios spilling into the plaza. They’re still on the hunt for the right tenant mix. More details coming soon, but I’ll leave you with: makers space (and other unique retail uses), boutique retail spaces, walk-up brownstone condos (as well as an emphasis on more affordable rental units), boutique hotel (inspired by the lobby of the renowned historic Ace Hotel in Portland), brewery, and grocer. Fingers crossed! It’s an ambitious vision.

Ace Hotel in Portland. By Kari Sullivan via Wiki Media

The historic Ace Hotel in Portland. By Kari Sullivan via Wiki Media