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?

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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?

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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!

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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:

http://candysdirt.com/2016/02/17/trolleys/

http://candysdirt.com/2016/02/17/guest-post/

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.

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http://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/1998/january/real-estate-knox-street-is-a-new-street-and-george-bayoud-is-why

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.

http://cityhallblog.dallasnews.com/2016/04/exclusive-major-changes-proposed-for-uptowns-mckinney-and-cole-avenues.html/

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).

Corner Bar

This is more a question than new information, but what’s going on with Corner Bar??  CultureMap reported back in January that it was being recreated by Len Critcher (inwood tavern) and Kent and Tracy Moore Rathbun, and that the name would revert back to Chelsea Corner.  The building has been gutted for months, but no progress.  If they are re-opening as a bar/restaurant, this place will be brand new from the ground up.  I had assumed they would just rework the current space, but as you can see below, they have completely gutted the building.

I’ll post if there are any changes, but this one seems to have stalled for the moment.

http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/01-05-16-corner-tavern-chelsea-corner-traci-kent-rathbun/

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Knox Street Diet

knox rendering

Knox Street is about to undergo some serious change for the better.  Sometime later this year or beginning of next year (2017), the road will be reduced to one lane each direction and a turning lane.  This initiative (Dallas Complete Streets) was started several years ago with city bond funds and may be supplemented with PID funds.  The link is below if you want to delve in to the detailed renderings and options, but the jist is that the lanes are being reduced, the crosswalks are being improved, the sidewalks are being widened, and parking along Knox is going to be angled to make it easier to get in and out of the spots.

Last week a survey crew was out on Knox which I believe was in relation to this project.  Last I heard, this project is at the bidding stage.  More information at: https://dallascompletestreets.wordpress.com/category/knox-street-complete-streets-project/