Will West Dallas Apartment Projects Bring Critical Mass to an Underserved Area?

The apartments at Sylvan|Thirty are some of the 1,300 projected units that will be built in West Dallas.

The apartments at Sylvan|Thirty are some of the 1,300 projected units that will be built in West Dallas.

Steve Brown’s dissection of the new apartment projects in West Dallas says that this area with incredible views of downtown and the Calatrava bridge will become the next big industrial-to-residential transition in Dallas. But what impact will these 1,300 brand new apartments have on the existing infrastructure? And will this redevelopment become a model for other areas?

A constant woe of North Oak Cliff residents has been the dearth of quality retail in the area. With the opening of Cox Farms Market and the ongoing development of Sylvan|Thirty at Fort Worth and Sylvan in West Dallas, one has to wonder if developers such as Shaw are eyeing projects other than residential in this up-and-coming transition area. Add to that the popularity of Trinity Groves and plans for even more apartments in this project, well, it’s time to wonder if this area will reach critical mass soon.

While the developments will have similar amenities that you’d see in Uptown and the Design District, the rents are going to be several hundred dollars cheaper, according to Brown’s piece. And this coming on the heels of news from Lincoln Properties that the Village — a huge community of multifamily properties sandwiched between Northwest Highway and Lovers Lane, just west of Skillman street — will be completely redone in the coming years, perhaps all this talk of new urbanism and density is finally catching on north and south of the Trinity.

But the crux of the issue is smart development, building housing and retail in a way that they work together, de-emphasizing commutes between buildings and capitalizing on routines and natural proximity.

That’s best illustrated by the endcap of Brown’s piece, which may be foreshadowing what’s next for West Dallas and North Oak Cliff:

Now developers are pouring millions in new projects in the area, [developer Monte Anderson] said. “If you look at the Belmont, Sylvan Thirty and the Wood Partners deals, those total up to more than $140 million.”

Anderson is now working on several small retail buildings that will be constructed next door to the Belmont. Neighborhood leaders who’ve been pushing for redevelopment say they are happy with the progress.

“It does seem a little overwhelming at times with the number of projects at once,” said Deborah Carpenter of the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group. “Twenty-five years ago, if you had asked me if Singleton Boulevard would be a destination, I would have fallen off my chair.”

Dallas architect Larry Good, whose firm designed Wood Partners’ Commerce Street apartments and the new Cliff View, said more projects are coming in the area.

“Between West Commerce and the Trinity Groves area, it’s really happening,” Good said. “We hope there is some diversity in the housing types.

“That’s what the area needs.”

Do you agree?

4 Comment

  • These New apartments can go from being in a Stylish to Stay away that area from in a lease cycle There is still a lot of WEST DALLAS in WEST DALLAS. Just like there is still a lot of OAK CLIFF in OAK CLIFF

    More needs to be done in our area than Trendy Restaurants Boutique retail high end fruit stands and places for RENTERS to stay .

  • As the area west of the showpiece Santiago Calatrava Bridge, at the moment, lacks the infrastructure essential for an upscale clientele, leasing will probably be sluggish initially.

    Regardless of the magnificent views and great prices, savvy tenants who have busy careers and travel extensively will be reluctant to spend 45 minutes driving every time they need to source each of the following essentials of life: gourmet groceries, barber/beauty services, great restaurants, dry cleaning, public schools, libraries, gourmet wines, clubs, apparel, health clubs, upscale coffee shops, news stands, mobility for commuting.

    They each only have 168 hours in each of their weeks, and if their careers and traveling consume a large chunk of that precious 168 hours, as is common, long treks to score essentials will get old quickly.

    With the new apartments, great views and attractive pricing, these multifamily units will some day be most popular, but there will not be a surge of new tenants moving in until those essential infrastructure components are in place.

    • How do you figure 45 minutes driving? I live in Kessler Park and can be at the Whole Foods on Lemmon in less than 15 minutes thanks to the new bridge, which pours you out right onto the tollway’s on ramp. Unless you’re driving to Frisco, there’s nothing that’s 45 minutes away, even in bad traffic.

      • Sir-

        If the tenants who move into the new apartments are the upscale types that the developers seek to attract, they probably do not have much time during the day on week days to shop or run errands.

        They tend to work long hours.

        When they do have time to go out to shop, get their mani/pedis, there are probably thousands of other upscale types out foraging for necessities at the same time. Thus we have a traffic jam, with a substantial amount of time required simply to egress the apartment house and get on the street,

        At midnight, I will buy your 15 minutes. At the times that these busy upwardly mobile careerists are able to shop, they face tons of traffic, thus the 45 minutes per outing.