Trammell Crow brings development to Knox Heights, one of Dallas’s most popular neighborhoods.
THE HOTTEST METROPOLISES in the United States continue to undergo massive changes to their demographics and residential options, and Dallas is no exception. Trammell Crow Co., through its wholly-owned subsidiary High Street Residential, is leading a team of developers and contractors on the construction of Knox Heights, a luxury rental complex located in one of the city’s most walkable and organic neighborhoods.
“It is in one of the most walkable areas of Dallas and has a lot of character,” says Joel Behrens, principal of Trammell Crow Co. “There are a lot of older buildings that are well-kept and preserved, and we are seeing the neighborhood transition from convenience retail to high-end retail.”
Located in the Knox District neighborhood of Dallas, Knox Heights is a class-A, six-story mixed-use project that will feature 182 luxury residential units and ground-floor retail and restaurants.
The development sits on 1.3 acres and will feature 13,444 square feet of ground floor retail, a 2,378-square-foot fitness facility and lounge, a 4,500-square-foot amenity deck and pool overlooking McKinney Avenue, and a three-level underground parking garage.
As the developer on the project, High Street Residential partnered with Northwestern Mutual on the development. High Street and its construction team broke ground on the project in June 2015, and completion is expected in the first quarter of 2017.
“We have a long history of developing all product types – office, industrial and residential – on best-in-class sites in Dallas,” Behrens says. “Knox Heights is unique because it sits on an established site and benefits from the prominent and highly trafficked McKinney Avenue.”
In the Zone
Unlike other developments Trammell Crow Co. has led, Knox Heights took a bit longer because of a series of challenges the company and its partners encountered. Zoning proved difficult because the site combines four different parcels of land from six owners.
Behrens says the former lives of the parcels included a car wash, 1960s-style apartments, a condominium building erected in the 1980s and a series of bungalows from as early as the 1930s.
“Density increases substantially when you replace the former structures, the tallest being 25 to 30 feet, with one new 85-foot residential development, housing 200-plus people,” Behrens says. “The appropriate amount of density on a site is often a topic of conversation within a community, but in this case the focus was more directed on the design of the ground-plan and delivering the appropriate amount of retail within the community.
“Community involvement was a critical part of the entitlement process because, in the end, the community gave complete support of the project, which paved the way for City approvals,” Behrens says. “Like most projects, the approvals took longer than originally scheduled, but the overall outcome was achieved as we planned.”
While maximizing the building density, High Street and the construction team have created two separate outdoor amenity courtyards due to the building footprint’s shape.
Each outdoor courtyard will offer residents a different choice in outdoor enjoyment based on their personal preference.
Despite the extra time the development phase required, construction on Knox Heights is about one month ahead of schedule.
Along with the experienced contractors working on the job, Behrens says a bit of luck with the weather played into the progress on the schedule.
The Dallas area had been experiencing what Behrens called record-breaking rains leading up to groundbreaking on Knox Heights.
However, those rains cleared up in advance of a dry summer that gave the construction crews the time needed to dig the foundation with no delays.
“We were in good shape because we were fortunate to hit the rainy season at the perfect time,” Behrens says. “There has not been a major challenge, and we have been fortunate the weather has cooperated.”
Tradition of Excellence
Trammell Crow Co. was founded in Dallas in 1948 and since has grown into one of the nation’s oldest and most prolific developers of and investors in commercial real estate.
“Many of the things that make Trammell Crow Co. unique today are direct reflections of the man who founded the company more than 65 years ago,” the company states. “Known for his creativity, energy and enthusiasm, Trammell Crow gave us more than his name – he gave us his personal signature and an act to follow.”
High Street Residential, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trammell Crow Co., specializes in the development of multifamily housing. This division boasts a deep background in urban, infill mixed-use residential development as well as the redevelopment or repurposing of existing facilities. In the last decade, High Street Residential has completed 5,000 units in over $1.2 billion in value with a pipeline of over 4,500 units.