Home News Why an entire block of cool, old and affordable Bishop Arts housing is about to be bulldozed

Why an entire block of cool, old and affordable Bishop Arts housing is about to be bulldozed

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No doubt what’s happening behind the tall curtained fence covers that surround the entire old North Oak Cliff residential area: the end of a historic home.

This eclectic jumble of working-class affordable homes, whose last tenant was banished in February, is about to be bulldozered to give way to another monolithic blockbusting apartment project. ..

This ugly ending on West Eighth Street between Ruwellin and Adams isn’t a new plot for the bad guys, but as a result of zoning, Bishop Arts District stakeholders approved it 12 years ago.

Immediately after hearing that the barricade was up — not good news if you care about the past of our city — I hurriedly found a few community members there and finally saw it.

Most of the time, the sidewalks were crowded with people looking for a good time. For them, this is just a convenient street car park two blocks from their destination, a place to get the entertainment center of Bishop Arts.

With a cozy porch and a nicely sized garden, the collection of soon-to-be-extinct homes is the latest victim of the reality of gentrification density and mobility.

That’s also why there are people everywhere in Dallas, especially in West Oak Cliff. Area planning is currently underway — You need to participate and make sure that the proposed blueprint matches what you want in your neighborhood.

The future of West Ace’s 2.67-acre block, and many other such blocks, was a bishop / davis land in 2010, led by nearby stakeholders and approved by the city council, including the then North Oak Cliff. It was sealed by a usage survey. Representative of Delia Yasso and Dave Neuman.

That effort, Planning and development area No.830Aimed to guide development while preserving the characteristics of the region. What has happened over the years since then has been a dizzying mashup of luxury-priced homes and huge soulless apartment buildings.

Choose from “Don’t Uptown My Oak Cliff” or “Don’t Highland Park My Oak Cliff”. Both screams are accurate.

The PD 830 introduces aggressive zoning designed with density in mind. High-rise buildings with no setback requirements and no tools for preserving or reusing existing structures that could compete with the market power that made demolition overwhelmingly attractive.

Also, there were no restrictions on the size of parcels or buildings to prevent boring giant apartment buildings from casting shadows on the district’s wonderfully reused commercial spots and original homes.

Many of the McDonald’s home facades, which owned almost all of the properties in this block until 2016, have been removed in the last few weeks. (Liesbeth Powers / Special Contributor)

The bigger injustice is how the PD 830 allowed the density to break into existing neighborhoods and truncate affordable homes remaining in North Oak Cliff. The West Eighth block between Llewellyn and Adams is almost adjacent to the main corridor of Bishop Arts, but is also the northeastern part of the cohesive district of discreet and well-maintained homes.

The four-story development planned by Lennar Multifamily Corp. on both sides of this street will include 225 market-priced apartments sized 500 to 1,400 square feet. Eleven properties were lost in the mid-1900s, offering at least 65 rental homes between $ 600 and $ 1,200.

Imminent demolition has updated some neighbors’ calls to fix the PD830 to prevent more of these superblock apartments. North Oak Cliff city councilman Chad West said Thursday that he was ready to resume discussions with real estate owners and stakeholders regarding the request.

The city issued a suspension order on Monday, claiming that work had begun without proper permission, none of which would permanently delay the iron ball set on West Eighth Avenue.

Vernon Young, Assistant Director of Development Services, also contacted us that some properties are eligible under the city’s Demolition Delay Overlay. This requires a 45-day waiting period while the History Conservation Department evaluates things.

But don’t hold your breath. This process rarely makes a big difference.

This West Ace Street block has been worried by neighbors since it was sold as a single property in 2016, but it’s still too late for years. When the Bishop Arts District took off, there was no defense to effectively fight the wave of development permitted by the PD830.

The residential area of ​​Ace Street, currently marked for demolition, is only two blocks away ...
The residential area of ​​Ace Street, currently marked for demolition, is just two blocks from the center of the Bishop Arts Entertainment district. The single duplex at the corner of the 8th and Llewellyn is outside the 11 properties of the bulldozer. (Liesbeth Powers / Special Contributor)

The McDonalds have long owned all the assets of the block, except for one house on the corner of West Eighth and Llewellyn. The two surviving sisters, Ninette and Marguerite McDonald, decided in 2016 that it was time to sell the house they were lovingly caring for and the duplex, 4plex, and small apartments around it. ..

The property, which was 100% rented at the time, was sold featuring “advantageous zoning where ownership can maximize development plans … 50 feet high, 4 stories, no density requirements, no setbacks”. ..

Oak Property purchased the entire block in 2017, and two years later, it received approval from the City Planning Commission for the proposed property replanting. This allowed a single development to take over both sides of the block.

Replats are a quasi-judicial issue, commissioners must follow advice from the city’s law firm, and decisions are not sent to the city council for final approval.

Enrique McGregor, the appointed member of West’s predecessor Scott Griggs’ Planning Committee, voted in favor of West Ace’s request for re-plating on June 20, 2019. Several other members expressed concern and stated that they disagreed with the guidance of the city’s lawyers, and were eventually “approved in protest.”

West, who took office in District 1 a few days before Liprat’s approval, was previously a member of the Griggs Planning Committee and raised similar questions in that role.

Underlying the controversy between the Commissioner and the city’s legal experts is section 8.503 of the Dallas Development Act, where “if the size, shape, or area does not fit a pattern that already exists in the neighborhood,” the relocation is It states that it may be rejected.

Despite shocking changes in the adjacent residential area, the city’s law firm has approved the re-plating of this plot at the edge of an area that is zoned for apartments and is becoming more and more commercial. I advised.

Different views on 8.503 are recurring issues that require more thorough investigation by the city hall.

Some breaks on the fence along West Eighth Street between Llewellyn and Adams were offered ...
Some breaks on the fence along West Ace Street between Ruwellin and Adams gave a glimpse of the empty homes earlier this month.(Liesbeth Powers / Special Contributor)

In October, more re-plating details related to West Ace properties returned to the Commission and were passed as part of the consent agenda. Renner’s purchase continued on December 10.

Just a few miles from the Bishop Arts District, the neighborhood of West Oak Cliff is drawing the attention of real estate brokers and developers looking to connect apartment properties that offer the greatest return on investment.

West Oak Cliff Area Plan DraftWill be available online in both English and Spanish on March 9th, and will eventually guide decision makers in assessing zoning requirements, similar to the PD 830. Surrounded by Davis, Illinois, Tyler and Cockrel Hill, residents of the area have 60 days to provide feedback on this community-based blueprint that they have been working on since late 2020.

Both West and his current CPC representative, Amanda Popken, have begged for the participation of diverse residents. “The message is big and clear, so if you don’t want the area to be dense, it’s reflected in the plan,” Popken told me.

My best advice: Drive West Ace Street and speak out accordingly.

At the request of Councilor West, the City of Dallas Conservation Dallas and Heritage Oak Cliff will participate in a panel discussion on “Demolition Alternatives” at the Arts Mission Oak Cliff on April 12. The start time of the night event is pending.look CandysDirt.com For more information.

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