Knox Park, Cole Park, NCX and Flood Prevention

With all the recent rain, I thought I’d post something interesting which ties Knox Park, Cole Park, and North Central Express way together.

How are all these things related?  They are all related when you consider why you don’t have to worry about flooding like properties in East Dallas.  You may have heard of the $200 Million project to fix the flooding problem in East Dallas caused by ignoring Mill Creek when that part of town was developed.  Rather than building around the natural drainage patterns, developers hastily leveled out creeks and drainage to create home sites.  Now, over a century later, many residents of East Dallas know the drill when it comes to heavy rains; head to higher ground and call your foundation repairman.  Most know to park their cars in driveways off the street and get ready to see their street become a river.  The Mill creek drainage tunnel should solve these problems and create a drainage system which will finally solve a longstanding problem.  I won’t get into the hairy details of this project (you can read about them here http://cityhallblog.dallasnews……)  but it seems to still have a few hurdles yet to overcome.

Onward to the good news for Knox Park residents….  You can thank the construction of North Central Expressway for the excellent flood control that we enjoy.  With the design of NCX being below grade, a massive system was created to prevent it from flooding.  Enter Cole Park Stormwater Detention Vault built from 1990-1993.  It can hold a massive 71 Million gallons of stormwater.  It is accessed from the brick building by the Cole Park Tennis courts.  This video shows how massive the facility is beneath Cole Park.

Stay dry and be thankful for well planned flood control.


The Rumor Mill: Restoration Hardware

Just some pure speculation here…but is it possible that Restoration Hardware is considering expanding its current store to be a mega-location like the one in Atlanta?


Different ideas about the future of the Knox RH location have been floating around for years so this isn’t exactly new speculation.  There were rumors of a hotel on Knox Street or of a different location altogether.  Now the rumor is that RH could be making a play to groundlease everything from its current location to Highland Park Place tower.  Yes, that would include the Mecox space and the old Sangria Space.  Seems like a tall hurdle, I agree.

However, this one thing has made me think.  Lombardi has totally frozen its plans to roll out its new Asian concept in the former Sangria space.  The location is now prime with the new retail across the street being completed….but still no change.  We all know that Lombardi is a veteran restaurant group and has the resources to move forward with a great concept in an exceptional location, but this space is now sitting dormant.  Could RH finally be making its move?


Some say the owner of the property isn’t cooperative with the demo of the old Packard dealership where RH currently resides.  Some say they are sure that RH is looking at other locations very seriously.  I’m very curious to know what will happen or to get a new restaurant in the Knox neighborhood!

MATA Trolley Extension

Knox Extension

The McKinney Ave Transit Authority has posted this image on their Facebook page.  It shows the increase in ridership and also the proposed Knox Extension.  Bringing the trolley to the Knox neighborhood would be a fantastic way to connect our neighborhood with Cole Park, West Village, Uptown, State Thomas, Klyde Warren and Downtown Dallas.  It would also give better access to the Uptown Dart station.  I take the orange line from Uptown station to get to DFW sometimes…It’s cheap, easy, and 1 hour to terminal A.  (More on the Knox Dart station to come…don’t get excited, it isn’t getting completed)

We are still far from seeing this become a reality, but its encouraging to see a public proposal being put forward.  Looking at MATA’s board of directors, it appears that many are real estate developers with projects in the Knox area which gives me hope that this could become a reality.

Here are some recent blog posts about the proposed extension:

Knox Theater to Pottery Barn

knox theater

I was doing a little bit of digging on the history of the former Chili’s restaurant space and the Pottery Barn space on the north side of Knox Street.  Turns out, Pottery Barn was originally a movie theater and its story to becoming Pottery Barn is quite interesting.  My digging also came up with the excellent article from 1998 which chronicles the addition of Chili’s (RIP) and Pottery Barn.  Weirs and its principals seem to have played a significant role in determining which tenants we see today.  It’s also very interesting to hear that Chili’s wasn’t the preferred choice, but it was allowed to lease the space in an effort to attract Pottery Barn.


Proposed Reconfiguration of McKinney and Cole Avenues

Tristan Hallman (DMN city hall blog) has reported huge news that will affect everyone in the Knox neighborhood for the better (in my opinion).

two way

A proposal has been put forward to reconfigure McKinney and Cole Avenues to be two way streets.  This was the configuration until the 1970’s when Dallas began its campaign to support suburban sprawl.  In my opinion, this change would be beneficial in reducing the speed of traffic and reducing the traffic which uses McKinney and Cole to bypass 75.  At rush hour, most of the traffic speeding up and Down McKinney and Cole are just passing through at 40-50mph to avoid getting onto the congested freeway during these peak hours.  These are not residents and they make it more dangerous for those of use who walk and bike.  Creating a slower traffic environment will help restore these streets to their original function which is to serve the residents of Knox Park.

With the reconfiguration of Knox Street, the possibility of a protected bike lane, and widened sidewalks, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of our little neighborhood.

The article reports that there will be a meeting in May for residents to voice support or concerns regarding this project.

Update: 4pm 5/2   The public input meeting for this change will be held on Monday May 16th at 6:30pm.  3966  McKinney Ave (Church of the Incarnation, Great Hall on the south end of the building).