The development company, then known as Hampshire Hotels Management, purchased a vacant lot at 3207 McKinney Avenue for the project. Amenities were to include a 6,000-square-foot ground floor restaurant, a seventh-floor pool deck and a lounge. Construction was predicted to begin by January of 2014, but that proved to be overly optimistic — news reports followed its progress through the spring of 2015, but still saw no construction start.
Between late 2013 and March 2015, the development team had to run through a gauntlet of local groups, including the City Plan Commission and the Oak Lawn Committee. To reduce noise and traffic, plans were changed to put three levels of a five-story parking garage underground, instead of the original one level underground, and the queue for valet parking was moved off-street to an interior courtyard. The height also dropped to 15 stories.
A spokesman for the developer said this raised the project cost to just over $60 million. With the revisions, everything appeared to be in order and the project was finally a go — but more than two years later, the vacant lot is still getting its grass mowed.
According to the Dream Hotel Group website, the Dream Dallas is still “coming soon” to Uptown, so TOWERS Dallas asked DHG’s vice president of communications, Katie Fontana, about its status.
“Dream Dallas is still very much happening. The design has changed dramatically since 2015, but we aren’t ready to share new renderings/details publicly at this time. The hotel is slated to open in 2019.”
— Katie Fontana, Dream Hotel Group
OLC President Brenda Marks managed to fill in some details about the revision. The original project was to be built on the lot between the office building at 3219 McKinney owned by the law firm Waters Kraus & Paul and the film production building at the corner of McKinney and Bowen Street, she said. Months later, the development group put the Waters Kraus & Paul property under contract.
“They then came back to OLC with a different design that incorporates both locations. We went through several months of conversations between the developer and the adjoining townhouse neighbors on Cole [Avenue],” Marks said.
The latest plan was supported by the OLC in late 2016, she added. The deed transfer wasn’t recorded until May 26, 2017, according to county appraisal district records. According to a state filing by the new architect, HKS Architects Inc., the revised project will have 250 guest rooms, various restaurants, meeting room facilities, and a rooftop swimming pool overlooking a three-level parking garage.
HKS revised the project cost estimate to $75 million and stated that construction was estimated to begin November 2017. Coincidentally, Dream Hotel Group was announcing their project around the same time that Trammell Crow Company’s High Street Residential and project partner Principal Real Estate Investors were announcing plans for the 20-story M-Line Tower, which was to be built directly across the street from the hotel.
The 261-unit luxury apartment tower did break ground on its original schedule, and on August 8 the developers celebrated the grand opening of the M-Line — named after the streetcar line that runs on McKinney Avenue.
“We began welcoming our first residents into their apartment homes this weekend and are quickly wrapping up construction on the remaining units in the tower, which should fully deliver before the end of the year,” High Street Residential principal Joel Behrens said in a prepared statement for the building’s grand opening .
The M-Line adds substantially to the pedestrian environment on McKinney. Two ground floor restaurants are opening, a Cafe Express and a Blue Sushi Sake Grill — so whenever the restaurants planned at Dream Dallas open, they’ll already have some serious competition.