Friday, May 11, 2007

Big residential projects in works on Ross

A century ago, Ross Avenue was one of Dallas' most fashionable residential addresses.
These days, the thoroughfare running east from downtown is often thought of for its car lots and faded commercial buildings.

But two new developments promise to make Ross a busy residential street again.
Dallas homebuilder Centex Corp. and Irving-based apartment developer JPI are seeking city approval for major residential projects on Ross Avenue near Central Expressway.
The new developments will join two smaller residential projects under way on Ross.
Centex wants to build an almost 3-acre townhouse complex on Ross southwest of Hall Street, according to filings with the city. CityHomes on Ross will be built on property now occupied by old buildings and vacant lots.

The CityHomes project is across the street from the Veranda condominium complex, where Jim Moore is constructing the second of four planned buildings.
"I think it's great to see other builders coming in," Mr. Moore said Wednesday. "Ross Avenue has really changed."
Indeed, his Veranda condos – built on a former parking lot – start at over $290,000.
Next door at Ross and Pavillion Street, another planned project called Ross Avenue Brownstones will have 45 brick-and-stone townhouses.
"Ross Avenue from the Arts District on out will continue to see revitalization," said Veletta Forsythe Lill, a former Dallas City Council member who has championed redevelopment along the street.
"It's something that the city and community have worked on for a long time," she said.
JPI's rental community is planned for a vacant property on Ross between Routh and Boll streets. The 1.5-acre property backs up to the Arts District.
Called Jefferson at Arts District, the development is the first of several that JPI plans on property it controls on Ross, real estate brokers say.
Centex has the property near Hall Street under contract, spokesman Louis Adams confirmed.
"Since we don't own the land yet, we can't talk about what we are going to do there," he said.
Both the CityHomes project and JPI's apartments are scheduled for presentations Thursday at the Dallas City Plan Commission.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Ross Avenue was lined with some of Dallas' most opulent mansions. Only a few – most notably the Belo family home at Ross and Pearl – remain.
Starting in the 1920s, commercial builders started knocking down the grand homes to make way for businesses.
"There is a wonderful irony to see that street which was a silk-stocking area return to residential development," Ms. Lill said.