Good, clean design. Something Dallas sees little of.

A thought has been percolating in my head recently. Having seen more than a few development proposals while stumbling around town for CandysDirt.com, developers always show the same thing: The perfect intersection of mediocrity and profitability.  It’s almost always higher than neighbors want, takes up more space than neighbors want, and is a density increase neighbors don’t want.  And it’s all wrapped in what I’ll gently call a ho-hum exterior.

I get it, you’re presenting an economic wet dream to squeeze the most profit from the least work.

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It was a busy evening for Cole Avenue at last night’s Oak Lawn Committee meeting. There were a pair of unrelated projects proposed on the Knox Street and Armstrong Avenue cross streets.  First up, was Restoration Hardware … oops, they’ve gone all upmarket and now just use initials … RH. Oooh-la-la.

For those not in the know, RH has been on a tear upsizing their brick-and-mortar stores. Branded RH Galleries, shoppers will finally be able to see a lot of the stuff we previously had to cross our fingers and order blindly via the catalog or website. Amen. Currently there are just nine in the country, one of which is in Austin. Being a Chicagoan, I have to say the Chicago outlet is the most stunning.  It was built in the Three Arts Club building which housed female artists — musical, performing, and visual arts — beginning in 1914.  While the National Register building had been vacant for 20 years, revitalization proposals had included a hotel and a columbarium capable of storing 1,900 funereal urns containing many a great-aunt Millie. RH was definitely an improvement.

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