Brickyard water tower

Photo: Jonah Gilmore, Studio Rocket Science

Urban art has a new home in Farmers Branch with a stained glass water tower at The Brickyard.

Local artist Joseph Shortell of Shortell Design was commissioned by Dallas-based Billingsley Company to create this iconic structure at New York-style apartment community. Lauren Stout, an independent artist working with Shortell, laid out the color schemes with direction and approval from property developer Lucy Billingsley.

“We could not be more thrilled with how the water tower has turned out,” said Sumner Billingsley, managing partner on The Brickyard project. “I think it fully encompasses the thoughtfulness and unique attention to detail that went into this development – inspired by elements of the past, but infused with the creativity and energy of our community today.”

Among the features of The Brickyard water tower:

  • Internally lit with 24 LED flood lights
  • Agricultural silo-style metal roof
  • 24 three-foot-by-six-foot curved panels, each with individual colored acrylic panes in varying shades of yellow, orange, red, blue, and green
  • Panel and pane frames made of powder-coated metal to withstand harsh Texas weather

We’ve written about The Brickyard before: they have a unique vision for their property Farmers Branch, an inner-ring Dallas suburb about 14 miles north of downtown Dallas: bring New York-inspired living to DFW, but without the price tag.

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millennials renting

Photo: Billingsley Company

We’ve all heard the sad story of Millennials living with their parents, drowning in student debt, and working at Starbucks with liberal arts degrees.

While part of that image is accurate for a percentage of the U.S. population—a recent Pew Research Study showed 32 percent of Millennials do live with the folks—a larger percentage of those 18 to 34 years old live independently (48 percent). And a lot of them are renting.

Millennials are often drawn toward renting versus buying, in part because of that student loan debt. They also like the flexibility of being able to take advantage of new economic opportunities by not being tethered to a mortgage. These are free spirits.

“For Millennials, life is about experience over ownership,” said Sumner Billingsley, a managing partner of The Brickyard in Farmers Branch. “Thoughtfully designed apartments and rental townhomes give [them] the ability to enjoy creative and unique design elements that are typically reserved for single family homes, but at a budget [they] can afford.”

So what are the top five considerations of today’s Millennial looking for a temporary dwelling? The Billingsley Company did some research and came up with a list.

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The Brickyard

We recently wrote about how one Dallas inner-ring suburb is seeing big changes, Farmers Branch Renaissance Turning Once Sleepy Suburb Into Vibrant City.

The city has another reason to celebrate: Billingsley Company is bringing New York City architectural charm to to Farmer’s Branch, with The Brickyard. This is their new apartment community in Mercer Crossing, at the crossroads of Interstate 35E, Interstate 635, and President George Bush Turnpike.

They have everything you think of when you imagine NYC: romantic industrial architecture, brick detail, metal-framed windows, metal awnings, large arched windows, and walk-up style housing. Everything, that is, except the price.

In Manhattan, the cost of living is more than double the national average: The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Lower East Side is $3,558, according to the First Quarter 2016 Citi Habitats market report. This is roughly equal to the entire monthly income of the typical U.S. worker.

Current pricing for The Brickyard ranges from $995 to $1910 per month.

Sumner Billingsley, a managing partner on The Brickyard project, took her experience living in the West Village in New York and translated this project.

“As a former resident of New York, I wanted to bring the rich neighborhood feel of the West Village and the Bowery to Dallas but at a price that was right for us,” Billingsley said. “I have been told that ‘quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.’ So our sole focus is to deliver a fantastic product, and I’m damned if I am not going to deliver it at a great price.”

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