Dallas Midtown


Yeah, that’s about what they said. City planners (the Urban Design Peer Review Panel) and officials in the Office of Economic Development got their first look late last week at Scott Beck’s ambitious plans to turn Valley View Mall at LBJ and Preston into a magical live-work-shop-movie-eat-play conglomeration called Midtown.

From Robert Wilonsky’s report, Scott Beck got a C or even a C-minus and was told to go back and re-do some of his work. (more…)

OmniPlan Midtown Rendering

Every time I drive by the practically abandoned Valley View Mall, I let out a little sigh. It’s just so ugly! The only thing that attracts a crowd over there is the random carnival. It’s tragic, especially for such a visible area.

But Scott Beck, who purchased Valley View last year, has sworn to revive the largest continuous tract north of 635 into a vibrant, bustling center of activity. If you don’t remember Beck, read up Candy’s interview with him here.

It’s a good thing that there are plans for the area, which is being called “Midtown” even though it’s not really in the middle of Dallas. I’ll let the semantics surrounding the name slide just for the fact that I am excited about reclaiming that area. The excitement must be catching, because Theresa O’Donnell, City of Dallas Sustainable Development director, is pretty stoked, too.

According to a report from Robert Wilonsky at the DMN, O’Donnell thinks this is “the most exciting thing I’ve ever been involved in.” Why? “This is doable, it’s achievable, and all the stars are aligned.”

Today’s presentation, which you can view a PDF of below, is just a taste. More details will be available on April 4. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the development, and how the city is going to foster a dense, pedestrian friendly environment in an area sandwiched by two major traffic thoroughfares — the Dallas North Tollway and 635.

Still, anything is better than how Valley View looks today, right?

03-21-2013 – Valley View Galleria Area CPC Briefing by Robert Wilonsky

Valley View Mall has apparently been purchased by the Jeff Beck family, who plans to turn the hollow, seemingly vacated, 39 year old mall into an outdoor complex called “Dallas Midtown.” According to WFAA-TV,  a press conference at 10 a.m will reveal further details. This will be a $2 billion project along the lines of the hyper successful The Shops at Legacy and Bishop Arts, so reports the Dallas Morning News. The plan is to bring restaurants, retail stores, office towers, a high-rise hotel and condos, all for those who want to live in the heart of a new outdoor complex in North Dallas. It’s a great location, I mean, LBJ will be repaired one of these days, right? Just last night I was talking to a developer who tells me there will be a projected 450,000 – 500,000 vehicles per day on LBJ by 2020. It seems like there are at least that many on it right now, but personally I am finding the 114 mess at the north entrance to D/FW far worse than LBJ. Originally built in 1969, LBJ was designed to carry 180,000 vehicles per day. Right now it’s holding 270,000.

Bishops Arts is doing well, and Jeff Beck is the guy who developed Trophy Club. His brother, Scott Beck, says the center is not really as hollow as we think, it’s 55 to 65% leased. So what will this mean for North Dallas real estate? Will we actually say “Meet you at Dallas Midtown” instead of “Valley View”?





John F. Rhodes/Staff Photographer In today’s Dallas Morning News (staff photograph here by John F. Rhodes) is a great story about the fate of  Valley View Mall. As you may know, there is a five-year expansion project underway for LBJ and the 38-year old shopping center, which is in default and up for sale by its creditors, will be razed to make better economic use of the property.

What do you think will be built in ValleyView’s place? Tall office towers? Apartments and condos? Perhaps a planned urban living area where residents could walk to everything within a one or two mile radius?

I remember Valley View Mall as the Queen she once was: Sanger Harris which became Foleys, and Bloomingdales chose Valley View for its only store in Dallas. Of course, that didn’t last long. As the giant department stores folded one into the other, and as shopping centers became the wastelands of America — gathering spots for snotty, loitering teenagers, magnets for crime, Valley View added in a movie theater which may have generated some income while the stores continued to drop off. As I learned at the Urban Land Institute, Gen Y cannibalizes American shopping centers: they shop and spend money on line, but hang out with friends at shopping centers where they consume nothing but A/C and toilet paper.

Valley View’s owner, Macerich Co., walked on a $125 million note a year ago, and word is the lot will be son for less than what’s owed the creditors.

So let’s steer forward ten years: that dusty LBK expansion is finished, we have stopped re-routing ourselves to DFW on Royal Lane, what do we see in the place of Valley View Mall?