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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
A more affordable Uptown? West Dallas is newest apartment hot spot
Construction crews in West Dallas are starting work on a high-profile development site that's been vacant for almost a decade.
The former Colorado Place property on Fort Worth Avenue is being rebuilt into 299 apartments with retail space by one of Dallas' largest developers, Lincoln Property Co.
The new project is just one of a series of major developments in the works on the avenue running west of downtown Dallas.
Old properties along Fort Worth Avenue, West Commerce Street and Singleton Boulevard are being recycled into new apartments, restaurants and retail.
Lincoln Property bought the 18-acre Colorado Place property at Fort Worth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard earlier this year. The vacant land — next to Oak Cliff's popular Kessler Park and Stevens Park neighborhoods — was previously occupied by apartments built in the 1940s.
Before the recession, developers were planning a large mixed-use development. But the deal stalled, and the property changed hands a couple of time.
"We are doing 299 apartments on about 12.5 acres," said Ben Breunig, Lincoln's vice president of development. And 5 acres along Fort Worth Avenue at the front of the property are being reserved for retail development.
"We will probably open the first units about a year from now," he said.
The three-story rental community will be a lower density than other new central Dallas apartment projects, with more courtyards and more open space.
"We want a different product from Uptown and other denser areas," Breunig said. "We will have several units with views of Stevens Park Golf Course."
Neighbors are glad to see the dirt flying.
"A number of projects have been announced there and never come to fruition," said Deborah Carpenter with the Fort Worth Avenue Development Group. "Everyone is pleased to see something finally happening."
Part of the old Colorado Place property across the street from Lincoln's development on Fort Worth Avenue was bought by Centre Living Homes.
The builder plans to use the 3-acre site for a residential development, said Centre Living Homes president Trevor Brickman.
"We are trying to figure out our plans right now, but we know it will be townhomes," Brickman said. "We have several communities in the Ross Avenue corridor in East Dallas and the only single-family community in CityLine in Richardson."
Apartment builder Trammell Crow Residential is opening the first units in its Alexan West Dallas apartments on Fort Worth Avenue just east of Sylvan. The three-story development has 340 units that start in size at 540 square feet.
"We opened the first units a little over a month ago and are 20 percent leased — a very strong reception by the marketplace," said Crow Residential senior managing director Steve Bancroft.
Bancroft said nearby retail and restaurants at Trinity Groves on Singleton and Sylvan 30 on Fort Worth Avenue are attracting renters to West Dallas.
"Our renters save $400 to $500 per month in rent vs. new properties in Uptown," he said. "Activity breeds activity, and when a neighborhood is gentrifying, it is all good.
"Given our pace of lease-up, there seems to be demand for more units in West Dallas."
More are on the way.
Columbus Realty is building a 349-unit apartment community on Singleton across the street from the Trinity Groves restaurant buildings.
The apartment and retail building opens next year, and a second phase of apartments is already planned.
Also on Singleton, just west of Sylvan, apartment developer StreetLights Residential is building a 355-unit rental community called the Austin at Trinity Green. The apartments open starting next year.
Phoenix-based apartment builder Alliance Residential is building more than 300 rental units in its Broadstone project on West Commerce Street near Fort Worth Avenue.
"The leasing office should be opening up in September next year, with first units following in October," Alliance's Chad Jackson said.
The growth of the West Dallas apartment market is also attracting investors.
The 2-year-old Alta West Commerce apartment complex, which has about 252 units, recently sold to an Alabama investment firm. And apartments in the Sylvan 30 mixed-use complex are for sale.