Recalling the housing industry collapse that led to the Great Recession, Toll Brothers CEO Doug Yearly said, “We all wished we had a big apartment portfolio through this downturn.”
The company had already jumped into the multifamily market when he said that, and was the process of building several thousand rental units, primarily in East Coast cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington.
“These communities are primarily in upscale urban and suburban markets where we also have a strong for-sale presence,” Yearly told MFE. Dallas wasn’t on Toll Brothers’ project list then, but it is now.
Toll Brothers is planning its first multifamily project in Oak Lawn, a neighborhood that is going through transition as next-door Uptown development spreads westward. Oak Lawn is walking distance to the Katy Trail and the Uptown nightlife, which makes it very attractive to developers.
Toll Brothers is proposing a nine-story tower with apartment units that average 845 square feet. The building will occupy less than a half city block, have about 78 percent lot coverage and is of concrete and steel design in the shape of an M. A pool deck open area cuts short the center leg of the M, which happens to serve as the amenity center. Most of the parking will be underground.
- Project Name: Rosemont Congress Addition (working title)
- Location: 2728 Welborn Street
- Number Units: Undetermined
- Total Size: Nine-Story Tower on 1.3-Acre Tract
At the Oct. 20 City Plan Commission meeting, the Toll Brothers application to replat this 1.32-acre tract at the southwest corner of Welborn Street and Congress Avenue was withdrawn, an indication that the company has met resistance from the neighborhood; city staff recommended the replat, so that’s not the roadblock.
Candy’s Dirt confirmed as much, noting in a September report that Oak Lawn residents are asking City Plan Commission to down-zone parts of Oak Lawn, including the Toll Brothers site.
This doesn’t mean the project is dead. The Oak Lawn Committee has an official role to play as the community forum for Oak Lawn Special Purpose District 193; this include Oak Lawn, Uptown and West Village. Their recommendation is still pending, and their opinion is of considerable importance to City Plan Commission.
Observers have noted that Toll Brothers has not put in the kind of community outreach effort that residents have come to expect, so the company has some legwork ahead.
Currently, the site is occupied by four aged and gray colored two-story apartment buildings that, according to the plat prepared by Brown & Gay Engineers Inc., are “to be demolished.” It is known as the Point Two Turtle Creek Condos, 2728 Welborn St.
In recommending approval of the replat, city staff commented on the neighborhood’s recent history. A half-block south at the southeast corner of Hood and Brown streets, a 2.4-acre tract received a replat in 2011. That resulted in a building project in 2014 and the opening by May 2015 of Cantabria at Turtle Creek Apartments, a nine-story luxury community. It is next door to Plaza at Turtle Creek, a twin-tower luxury community that has been in place since 2000.
Even closer to the Toll Brothers’ site is a 0.74-acre tract cater-corner to it on the same block that received a replat in May 2015. The project name is Brown Street Townhomes, but there has not yet been any construction on site.