Home News Minimalist Cedar Crest apartments aim to help solve housing crisis

Minimalist Cedar Crest apartments aim to help solve housing crisis

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After being vacant for decades, the hilly five-acre site in Oak Cliff’s Cedar Crest neighborhood could begin development early next year.

Elms, a 153-unit apartment project, is under construction on a site on the southeast corner of Morel Avenue and Corinth Street Road. The developer is Smart Living Residential, a former Bank OZK commercial construction asset manager who is Swede Hanson’s new company.

Elms has a mix of studios, one and two bedroom apartments in seven buildings. Rent is expected to range from $1,300 to $2,200, and the unit will cater to neighbors such as teachers, firefighters, nurses and city workers.

Hanson does not use the affordable housing tax credit at Elms. Instead, he uses traditional financing methods, repeating design elements in every unit, limiting unit types, We chose to keep rents down by minimizing amenities, identifying affordable land, and other methods. It took Hanson about a year and a half to find and close the site.

“Our goal is not to disrupt the typical multifamily model, but to enable the more effective and repeatable delivery of high-quality mixed-income rental housing,” Hanson said, adding that development focuses on “short-term exit economics rather than solving long-term housing problems.”

The site plan for The Elms, which includes 153 units in a hilly lot at the southeast corner of Corinth Street Road and Morrell Avenue, Cedar Crest.(Parscale Group)

The new development company will focus on projects south of Dallas. Hanson is already considering his second project and hopes to eventually have three projects in progress each year.

Smart Living in partnership with Hanson and local investors Kevin Phillips and Dan Healy. In July 2021 he acquired a 5 acre site. It was already zoned for an apartment complex. The development team has started the permitting process. Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2023, he said, and will take about a year and a half to complete, with the first units he expects to open by the first half of 2024.

Elms has a pool, Hanson said, which was not originally included in the plans, but was added after discussions with community members. A community patio is also planned.

The site is located just east of the Morrell DART train station and shares a property line with the former Cedar Crest Community Center, which the Salvation Army sold to a religious non-profit organization. behind every door In January, deed records show. Hanson is working with several local nonprofits, including Behind Every Door.

“If you want to be a stakeholder, you want to be a Dallas South investor, you have to be a stakeholder,” Hanson said. “You have to listen, you have to be active, you have to be there, you have to listen to what the community wants and needs.”

The Elms development team includes Justin Parscale and Ryan Roettker of Parscale Group, a Dallas-based architectural firm.

The project is organized as a series of individual buildings descending the hillside towards the creek. Roettker said the apartments were designed to fit into a mostly single-family neighborhood rather than building a large apartment complex, and to minimize design costs, they could be used on future sites. can be easily replicated with

“Rather than introducing building forms that don’t blend well with the community, these types of buildings create small villages of individual apartments and create a townhome-like feel that lends itself well to single-family homes,” says Roettker. says.

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn King Arnold said the project is one of several constructions around Cedar Crest, and new residents are drawn to the area for its downtown views.

“It’s in a prime location, but it’s very much needed because we’re talking about putting more housing options in the southern sector,” Arnold said. I think it will start sending signals to people that there are a lot of land opportunities in the area.”

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