Uptown residents will gladly be losing a neighborhood bar to see in its place an 18-story, 120-unit residential tower with a street-level restaurant.
Dallas Cothrum of Masterplan Consultants talked the City Plan Commission into recommending a Planned Development Subdistrict for his client, thus paving the way for the construction of the McKinney/Boll Tower at 2614 McKinney Ave. (southeast corner of McKinney Avenue and Boll Street).
Cothrum has been laying the groundwork for this project for about a year now, meeting with neighbors and the Oak Lawn Committee to work out the details of a development they can live beside.
A two-story building on the site will be demolished. It’s been operating as some kind of bar or lounge since 2003 and since 2005 has been The Idle Rich Pub; there’s an appropriate name for a gentrified neighborhood.
Based on his meetings with the local stakeholders, Cothrum said their primary concern was that there not be another bar.
The project owners, Mockingbird Venture Partners LLC and M&M Venture LLC, agreed and in its place plan a 55-seat, 5,000-square-foot restaurant with valet service to ensure patrons to the establishment do not stack cars into the street. A potential for traffic congestion was another pet peeve of the residents.
The Whole Foods/Gables project, completed in 2015, has ground floor retail with a recessed tower that—just like McKinney/Boll—sits on an asymmetrically shaped quadrangle lot with a sharp-angled northwest point. However, Whole Foods/Gables occupies a much larger footprint.
McKinney/Boll barely takes up a half-acre, whereas, Whole Foods/Gables occupies nearly a city block.
These asymmetrical quadrangle lots are common on McKinney, because of the way it cuts diagonally through Uptown. One Uptown Apartments (as illustrated above) has a similar shape, and is directly across the street from Cothrum’s project, although its front entrance faces the opposite direction.
Another consideration in the design that Cothrum mentioned at the Dec. 1 public hearing was to mass the building’s maximum height toward McKinney and away from State Thomas, a historic neighborhood of single family, one story homes. The building has a tiered height and a rooftop pool faces State Thomas on the lower level. By right, there was no setback relief required, but the developers volunteered a setback to build consensus in their favor.
Residents of the McKinney/Boll Tower will have underground parking that is separate from the restaurant. The second story will be dedicated for a retail use.
While the tower has 18 above-ground levels, it is still a relatively small building, Cothrum noted. Comparing it to One Uptown across the street, McKinney/Boll has a total of 10,500 square feet restaurant/retail and 150,000 square feet in all. The 20-story One Uptown by Greystar has 30,000 square feet retail, 248,000 square feet in all, and exceeds McKinney/Bolls residential units by 108 apartments.
The residential units will be larger than average for the neighborhood, Cothrum claimed. The average area for an Uptown unit is 660 square feet versus 1,000 square feet for McKinney/Boll, he said.