Monday, June 18, 2007

Farmers Market Downtown - Mixed Use Development

A Dallas homebuilder is working on development plans for two vacant blocks next to downtown's Farmers Market.
Builder Jim Moore – who already has one project in the neighborhood – recently bought another 4.5 acres along Pearl Expressway.
Mr. Moore said he plans to build more townhouses or condos on the property, which previously housed plant nurseries.
"We are going to do something with a lot higher density than we originally planned," he said. "The city has asked me to put in some retail there. I've had to change my plans."
The retail space would be located on the ground floor of the buildings with homes above.
Mr. Moore's current project at Pearl and Canton Street is called 2100 Downtown and will contain 28 townhouses. The three-story homes start at over $390,000.
"We've already sold one, and we haven't really done anything yet," he said.
Paving and utility work has been completed on the triangular block, and construction is about to begin on the townhomes.
A couple of blocks away, another builder – Perry Homes – is constructing a block of townhouses that start in price at $387,900.
Housing analysts say that the Farmers Market area is a logical follow-on location for builders who previously worked in Uptown and along Turtle Creek.
"When you look at areas that have been the traditional locations for townhouses and condos, what you find is its pretty much gone now," said Ted Wilson with Residential Strategies. "In Oak Lawn, what is left is so terribly expensive that it's forcing developers to look at new areas.
"The Farmers Market is quickly becoming an area of new focus."
Builders are also targeting neighborhoods east of downtown that are close to Baylor University Medical Center, he said. More than 70 townhouses are being built in that area, according to Residential Strategies.
"There has been a lot of construction in the Baylor area, and the Farmers Market makes a lot of sense, too."
Houston-based developer Camden Property Trust built the first 17-unit townhouse development in the area starting in 2000 along Canton Street.
By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News