National multifamily developer Alliance Residential Company is in the early stages of proposing a residential midrise tower project in the Knox-Henderson District.
The Dallas office for Alliance did not respond to a request for comment, but according to a filing with the city’s Department of Development Services, the company is seeking a new sub-district within the Oak Lawn Special Purpose District.
Considering the feedback to date from the Oak Lawn Committee and neighbors, Alliance faces stiff resistance should it attempt to proceed with the original concept.
Alliance, the nation’s second largest apartment developer according to the National Multifamily Housing Council 2017 rankings, proposes a new multifamily development of approximately 335 units. The site is located at the southeast corner of Armstrong and Cole Avenues and extends south almost to Oliver Street.
“The requested [Planned Development Sub-district] conditions incorporate urban design requirements for a walkable, pedestrian friendly development. The proposed development requires an increase in maximum structure height to 85 feet,” according to Alliance’s land use statement.
At 85 feet, the proposed tower will likely top out at about seven stories, although that specific number is not specified in the statement.
The project site encompasses 2.2 acres. Given the requested height and the known footprint, this project will likely be similar in appearance to Alliance’s Broadstone brand, one of which was recently completed in West Dallas — and probably nothing like the Miro apartment tower the company built in Uptown.
Alliance’s Broadstone communities vary significantly in style and size from project to project. Their common factors include high-density, higher-end units in a midrise building of four to eight stories.
Don Knobler, the ever-flamboyant Dallas developer and Mavs #1 fan, controls most of the land where Alliance wants to build, through a company called Ipenema Investments Ltd. But Alliance must first buy out several individually-owned existing condo units at the site, which is completely developed with a mix of condominiums, townhomes and apartments — many of which date back to the 1950s and early 1970s.
Going for a height of 85 feet only makes sense in context with the 18-story Highland Park Place office tower directly across Armstrong Street from the proposed site. This gives Alliance some cover with regard to the issue of architectural massing — but structure heights in Knox-Henderson are generally much lower, typically around one to two stories.
Oak Lawn Committee President Brenda Marks said the OLC panel was stunned when it heard Alliance’s proposal in October. The committee’s written response, directed to Alliance’s attorney Tommy Mann of the Winstead law firm, referred to the scale of the project as “the biggest ‘ask’ we have seen in recent memory.”
We believe what Alliance proposes … if accomplished, will set off an avalanche of ’cause-and-effect.’
– Oak Lawn Committee Response
The OLC said the targeted area is home to a stable community that includes owner-occupied townhomes and residences, and that stability is important to its continued success.
If Alliance pursues the upzoning, the committee advised that the developer talk to others in the Knox community, and not just the immediately adjacent neighbors. The committee made clear that it expects Alliance to return to the OLC with letters of support from the Knox community, “if you return.”
The project status at Development Services is “under review.” No hearing has yet been scheduled with the City Plan Commission.