Knox Heights on Schedule for early 2017

Steve Brown reported today that the Knox Heights project, being built by Trammel Crow and Northwestern Mutual, is on time for completion in early 2017.  knoxheightsmedia

With 13,500 square feet of retail, 182 apartments, underground parking, and a pool overlooking McKinney Ave, this development further shows the sprawl of the Knox neighborhood.  This development replaced very antiquated 60’s apartments which did not interact with the neighborhood at the street level.  It will certainly awaken McKinney Ave north of Knox.  There have been attempted buyouts of the Chateau apartments and others on the East side of McKinney in that area.  Just north of the Knox Heights development are several buildings which look to be demolished in the future.

http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com

Just a quick reminder of what Knox Heights replaced:

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In other news…

Work has resumed on Corner Bar’s transformation to Chelsea Corner.  Not a lot has been done, but at least there is some new progress.

The last tenants (crossfit katy trail) have moved out of the buildings along Travis just south of Knox.  I’m interested to know if there is about to be a press release or a fence going up for demolition.  (This is the former location of Trece, Sur La Table, Little Katana, Stag, etc. where Sarofim plans to complete another large mixed use project.)

The Aura apartments between McKinney and Cole at Fitzhugh seem to be nearing completion.  The building looks great and the apartments will be in high demand.  Be prepared for a lot of new neighbors!  As I wrote months back, we are at the beginning of a wave of new residents…  I’m sure there will be growing pains, but I look forward to what the density will bring.

 

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Pei Wei…The official Sponsor of the Katy Trail?

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I’m not sure what others think about this, but to me this feels a little wrong.  It’s one thing to chalk the Katy Trail with info about your running club, or your political preference, or even a few home-grown viral sticker campaigns.  However, when Pei Wei is paying an ad agency to use a laser-cut stencil and an industrial spray chalk, then I wonder what is next.  For example, could we start seeing a free-for-all of advertisements directly on the trail?  I would think that the Katy Trail would want to control its branding and possibly get compensated when companies use the space for advertising.

Update 6/20:  The Katy Trail commented: “…this may seem harmless, but it costs us time and money to remove and in some cases has caused permanent damage to the Trail.  Please do not mark up the Katy Trail without contacting our office first!”

Confirmation that this was unauthorized.  I would encourage anyone who sees activity like this to take a video or picture and report it to the Katy Trail.  We can make a difference in the future of the Katy Trail and keeping it free of advertisements which do not benefit the Trail.

Consequences of Resisting Change: Knox Dart Station Edition

dart station

As I think about the group opposing the changes proposed for McKinney and Cole, I couldn’t help by think about the parallels of another proposal which was met with opposition: The Knox-Henderson Dart Station.  I think about it often when I consider using the Red, Orange and Blue Lines (all of which pass under NCX at Knox).

Unfortunately for us now, the residents in the early 90’s resisted the proposed station (most notably the Vickery Park neighborhood association (vickeryplace.com).  Dart listened and did not build the station.  The space was excavated at an additional cost of $1 Million.  At the time, the station would’ve been quite economical, but unfortunately the costs now will make it prohibitively expensive to complete.  Further, Dart did not include it in its 2030 masterplan, so my guess is that I won’t be around to see it built.  Thanks so much to those who determined our access to Dart for decades.

DART Knox-Henderson Info

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knox–Henderson_Station

Lesson?  I think the lesson is to carefully consider change.  At the public input meeting regarding the one way streets, I heard some who opposed this change.  As in the case with the Knox DART station, sometimes there is no second chance for a missed opportunity.  Something to think about.

Don Knobler: A hipster match made in heaven?

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You might have seen Don Knobler courtside at a Mavs game dresses up like it’s halloween, but if you live in the Knox area, you know him for his unrivaled collection of 60’s apartment buildings.  They’re pretty easy to spot since most of them are painted primer gray and feature his prolific “Don Knobler, For Lease” signs in the yards.

Although some despise the Knob for his efforts to preserve Knox Park’s more humble 60’s dwellings (many of which he has committed to preserve in their original state with no updates), you can thank this guy for a few things:

  1. Preventing the Knox neighborhood from being bought up and turned into a builder grade blah of 3-story condos.  If you want to see what I’m talking about, drive on Fitzhugh going east of 75..
  2. Providing affordable housing in a great neighborhood where new apartments are renting from $2.50-$3 per square foot.  Although “modest” in accommodation, these units will only set you back about $800 which is a bargain in uptown.
  3. Preserving the 60’s architecture?

So back to my original point….Knobler, an eccentric himself, is attracting a new group of young people to Knox.  He has the right combination: affordability and location.  Next time you’re passing one of those primer gray buildings, check out the number of beards and priuses that have arrived.