$ 75 million project underway on Douglas Avenue near Saint Michael and All Angels

The development at 8111 Douglas Ave. Courtesy of Lincoln Property Company.

As Dallas emerged in spurts from COVID-19 closures, workers inaugurated one of our city’s largest and most anticipated real estate ventures in the post-pandemic era – a glassy, ​​fringed mixed trees, double height of $ 75 million. development of use at 8111 Douglas.

The Lincoln Property Company project sits on land owned by Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, and has been brewing for several turbulent years. The rest should go smoothly, report the developers.

Construction began last May and is scheduled to end on Feb. 28, 2023, according to architects HKS.

This thing has come a long way since 2016, when once Dallas Morning News Columnist and Preston Hollow resident Robert Wilonsky has announced that Saint Michael plans to build an office tower and parking lot on vacant land adjacent to the Preston Center.

He wrote that the ad was “as close to fighting words as you can get in Preston Hollow”.

Wilonsky explained that despite Preston Center’s fiscal potential, his neighbors would prefer to see “little, no, or very, very slowly change.”

The previous year, a Preston Hollow task force had formed to study the issues and opportunities in the neighborhood and to develop a “consensus vision that could provide a roadmap for future development initiatives,” according to one. advice from former District 13 council representative Jennifer. Staubach Doors. The task force quickly concluded that the Preston Center had “more potential for economic development than what (had) been achieved”.

Still, task force members expressed concern when they learned of the existence of the 8111 Douglas plans.

On the one hand, as Gates noted, “area residents have opposed most of the redevelopment proposals due to concerns about traffic congestion and commercial encroachment on their neighborhoods.”

In addition, Laura Miller, former mayor and task force member, criticized Saint Michael for keeping the project hidden from the committee during the early stages of planning.

“When a project of this magnitude has been worked on throughout the life of the working group and no one has told us about it, I wonder if, in the end, we will have a meaningful result,” Miller Recounted The news in 2016.

The church and the real estate developers would need the support of the city council to change the zoning of the roughly four acres before the project could proceed, so that they would ultimately work within guidelines established by the force.

Saint Michael, who has been at 8011 Douglas since 1948, began looking for a real estate developer after church officials learned their tenant Episcopal School of Dallas was moving, which would mean a loss of the monthly income generated from that rent. .

The church’s campus planning committee in 2015 “felt compelled to consider the long-term management of church property and excess land north of the main campus,” according to a December 2015 newsletter from Saint Michael. He said the property was acquired in two plots over the past decade for around $ 12 million.

An office building would meet the church’s “strategic needs” for covered parking and “an air-conditioned airlift,” according to the bulletin. And that would generate funds that would further his mission of “being disciples of Christ”.

The church partnered with developer Lincoln Property in 2018.

“It took a lot of time and money to respond to the task force’s recommendations,” Lincoln Property executive vice president John Walter said in a statement that year, “but we believe the new result will be worth it. “

The City of Dallas approved the rezoning based on plans approved by the task force in February 2020.

Today at 8111 Douglas, the smell of asphalt fills the air as the work on a parking lot gets underway.

According to Saint Michael’s blog, phase two of the project, which is expected to last around six weeks, began on November 1. The landscapers planted a row of young live oaks at the end of October. The church reported that the great frost of 2021 devastated much of the greenery on the property, which it is restoring.

The completed project will encompass approximately 518,841 square feet.

Each of the two towers spans approximately 225,000 square feet, capped at a preset residential proximity slope, “to protect the line of sight of the neighboring neighborhood,” according to an FAQ sheet provided by Lincoln Property.

Lincoln Property will move its headquarters to one of the 12-story towers when completed. The company, which is moving from McKinney Avenue near Klyde Warren Park, will occupy 59,000 square feet. Another 26,500 square foot building of a 12 story building will house Sewell Automotive.

Almost 7,000 square feet of the ground floor will go to one or more restaurants to be determined, including a patio and about an acre of green space. The church reports that a recreational space will be dedicated to its farmer’s market. The project includes 130 “ultra luxury” apartments zoned in Highland Park ISD.

The Lawyer has requested interviews with LPC and Saint Michael. The church referred us to LPC, who provided an FAQ sheet.

“The development is expected to bring hundreds of millions of dollars of new value to the City of Dallas, Dallas County and Highland Park ISD tax rolls,” according to the sheet, which is available on the Lincoln Property website. .

Saint Michael Rector Christopher D. Girata said the 8111 Douglas project will allow the church to be “forward looking” and the revenue generated from this lease will help the church support the surrounding community. .

“This initiative will activate and energize our parish in new ways,” he says.