Dallas’ post-recession boom has been on display across the Central Business District and surrounding neighborhoods for several years. However, no district has been popping more than Victory Park.
The concentration of major endeavors reaching for the sky around American Airlines Center beggars the imagination. It has the lure of being within walking distance of NBA Mavericks games or NHL Stars games, the Arts District and the Design District, not to mention a vibrant night scene.
This has made Victory Park a magnet for development.
A mix of rentals, condos, office and retail projects went into design circa 2011-2014 and broke ground one after the other with no end in sight. Any single project would be impressive on its own, but the collective energy taking place will make the Victory Park of 2017 unrecognizable from its very recent past.
Without further ado, here is a sampling of what all that construction racket is leading to:
Katy Station—a 30-story high-rise, illustrated above, is located at Hi Line Drive and Houston Street just east of Stemmons Freeway. It gets its name from its proximity to the Katy Trail, as well as the Victory Station urban rail line located three blocks southeast. Katy Station broke ground in 2015. The developer, Genesis Real Estate Group, planned for 461 apartments, making this the largest by unit volume of the new towers coming out of the ground in Victory Park. EDI International , a Houston architect, designed the tower.
Ascent Victory Park—a 23-story high-rise at Houston Street and facing American Airlines Center, is being constructed by Hoar Construction. GFF (Good Fulton & Farrell) is the designer architect and Greystar Real Estate is the developer. Opening the summer of 2017, Ascent features 302 units with such high-end amenities as an infinity edge pool cantilevered over Houston Street, a rooftop fitness studio, multiple resident lounges and expansive gathering spaces.
Bleu Ciel—a 33-story luxury condominium tower by Harwood International, is located at southwest corner of Ivan Street and McKinnon Street. The architectural design is very similar to the Azure, which Harwood constructed one block away at McKinnon and Wolf Street. Construction began on this 158-unit tower at the close of 2014 and it’s scheduled for completion this December. Features include 12,000 square feet of retail comprised of a small grocer, cafè, and bike rental shop. Jean-Michel Wilmotte was the architect.
Lennar Multifamily and Cinépolis USA are collaborating on a mixed-use L-shaped tower that will include a luxury cinema, ground retail, structured parking and apartments on a block bounded by Victory Park Lane, Museum Way, Victory Avenue and High Market Street. This project broke ground in January with plans to open late 2017. Cinépolis is a Mexican-owned theater chain renowned for the upscale designs and amenities of its movie houses; this one will have 700 seats spread across eight screens and will be placed above a six-level garage with a 640-car capacity. There will be 20,000 square feet of retail at street level and 15 stories of residential hovering beside the theater.
Atlanta-based Novare Group began construction of a second SkyHouse tower (the 25-story, 352-unit SkyHouse Victory) around the same time Greystar broke ground on Ascent Victory Park. Novare’s project is directly across Payne Street from the Ascent and also faces the sports arena. Apparently, all SkyHouse apartments look alike, as this a virtual twin of Novare’s SkyHouse Dallas–a 24-story, 336-unit apartment tower at 2320 N. Houston St. in Victory Park that opened in February 2015.
Camden Victory Park, 2878 N. Houston St., began leasing apartment units in February of this year. Built by Camden Property Trust, it is also directly across the street from American Airlines Center, but to the north across All Star Way.
The Ascent by Greystar, Novare and Camden Property projects lock in all of the available real estate immediately around the arena since the west side is dedicated for arena parking.
These projects continue a succession of projects that burst out the gate when lenders started freeing up construction loans after the recession.
The first generation, so to speak, of post-recession tower building in Victory Park includes The Arpeggio Victory Park at 2425 Victory Ave., by Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC; Moda Luxury Apartments at 1855 Payne St., by Alamo Manhattan and Hunt Companies Inc. ; Alexan Skyline at 3333 Harry Hines Blvd., by Trammell Crow Residential; and the aforementioned SkyHouse Dallas.
To think that in the 1990s, the 75-acre district was a brownfield north of the West End Historic District. Ross Perot Jr. began the master planned district on the premise that with American Airlines Center as its anchor, it would become a Dallas version of Times Square.
The arena opened in 2001. Some development followed it, most notably W Dallas (a hotel and condominium tower), The Vista and Cirque apartments. But the expected economic synergies were slow in coming.
As Matt Ballard, a CBRE vice president recently explained in The Real Estate Council online newsletter TREC Wire, the physical layout inhibited foot traffic.
“To address the issues with traffic flow, Olive Street was redeveloped to add a crosswalk and traffic light to connect the AAC with the rest of the development. The number of lanes were reduced and a median was added to slow down traffic through the area,” Ballard wrote. “Houston Street and Victory Avenue were converted to accommodate two-way traffic and Katy Trail was extended into the project.”
Finally, the Victory Park Lane median was removed. This series of changes made the district much more inviting for pedestrians.
Ballard also credits Houston-based Trademark Property Co., the district’s marketing partner, for identifying and attracting destination retail and restaurant tenants.