Friday, November 05, 2010

Dallas' Cityplace is developing its last 16 acres



By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News 

stevebrown@dallasnews.com
Sometime in the next week, road crews will start building streets for the last phase of Dallas' Cityplace project.

Today, the project includes more than 1,700 homes and almost 400,000 square feet of retail space."We have about 16 acres left," said Neal Sleeper, president of Cityplace Co. "We started with 130 acres 20 years ago."
But the area was mostly vacant lots at the end of 1990, when a group of investors bought the property northeast of downtown Dallas and hired Sleeper.
Previous plans to turn the district along North Central Expressway into a "city within a city" had stalled because of a regional recession and a change of ownership at Southland Corp., which owned the land.
"We started all over with a new master plan," Sleeper said.
Beginning in the early 1980s, Southland, the company that owned 7-Eleven, embarked on a plan to build more than 60 office towers, residential high-rises, hotels and retail space in the area between Haskell and Lemmon avenues.
"The original plan was for 18 million square feet of space," said John Crawford, who was on the original Cityplace project team and is CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc. "When things fell apart, that became impossible.
"What it has become is a scaled-down version of the original plan that makes more sense for the changing times," he said. "It's been eminently successful."