Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Developer meets with community about Deep Ellum apartment project

The Deep Ellum, Texas, sign on the corner of Main Street and Good Latimer
Expressway points the way to the neighborhood. 
A developer that's working on two Dallas apartment communities is eyeing a Deep Ellum project.
North Carolina-based Crescent Communities has been meeting with one of Deep Ellum's largest property owners and talking with residents and businesses in the area about a new rental community.
The project — if it happens — would be located on the east side of Malcolm X Boulevard at Canton Street.
Developer and investor Scott Rohrman — whose firm 42 Real Estate owns the one-story commercial building now on the block — said nothing is finalized.
"Crescent Communities came to us and said we want to talk to you about building something about Deep Ellum but before we decide to do anything we want to interview a lot of Deep Ellum people," Rohrman said.
Rohrman, whose firm in 2014 purchased almost 40 properties in the Deep Ellum area, has been working to remodel and upgrade existing buildings he owns for new restaurant, entertainment and retail tenants.
"We have been approached by up to 20 apartment developers talking to us about our properties," Rohrman said. "But to date we had not entered into any discussions with any of them because we didn't think it was time for the area.
"We are trying to work really hard with Crescent Communities and Deep Ellum before we decide to do a deal."
Adding more residential to Deep Ellum would help the area, but Rohrman said it must be compatible with the neighborhood.
"Everyone who talks to me about what I should do in Deep Ellum says you have to have more density," he said.
Crescent Communities has been working on plans for a high-rise apartment project in the Uptown neighborhood at McKinnon and Randall streets.
The developer also owns a tract at Davis Street and Zang Boulevard in North Oak Cliff, where it plans to build a rental community.
One large apartment building is currently under construction in Deep Ellum.
The 17-story Case Building is being built by StreetLights Residential and investor Westdale Properties on Hall Street near Baylor Medical Center. The tower will have 337 units.
StreetLights and Westdale are also working on plans for a second apartment project next door to the historic Knights of Pythias building on Elm Street at Good Latimer Expressway.
Rohrman's 42 Real Estate is currently redeveloping several old Deep Ellum Buildings along Main Street.
His plans call for remodeling the old commercial buildings and adding outdoor plaza areas and improved streetscape.
Written by Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News