The apartment market in Oak Cliff is tight, but 260 new units are coming online

The Zang Triangle apartments begin leasing this month. They are the first new apartments built in Oak Cliff since 2000. Photo by Nikki Cotten.

The new Zang Triangle apartments at Zang and Colorado start leasing this month, and they’re the first new rentals in Oak Cliff since the Grand Estates at Kessler Park opened 11 years ago.

The new complex adds 260 apartments to the Oak Cliff market, and another developer, Wood Partners, has proposed building 209 units at Davis and Rosemont, across the street from St. Cecilia church.

Is there a market in Oak Cliff for these 469 new apartments? By most accounts, upscale apartments are scarce in Oak Cliff. It’s a trendy neighborhood that draws young professionals. And the apartment rental market in Dallas as a whole is robust, due to a down economy coupled with low supply, according to real estate firm Marcus & Millichap, which tracks the local market.

“There’s plenty of demand,” says David Spence of Good Space, who owns several small apartment buildings in Oak Cliff.

His are renovated 1920s and ’30s buildings along the old streetcar line, close to the Bishop Arts District. They’re fully leased, and he says he doesn’t know of any similar units that are available.

Mark Martinek of MOD Construction Services recently completed renovation on a 1910 Prairie-style apartment building in Winnetka Heights. It had been vacant for eight years, and Martinek spent about eight months renovating it.

All four one-bedroom units leased within two weeks of being listed in September, at about $1.20 per square foot.

“They weren’t even entirely finished yet, and people had already lined up for them,” Martinek says.

He says he’s looking for another apartment project in Oak Cliff now.

Brooks Dyer and Kenny Moore have been renovating houses in Winnetka Heights and surrounding neighborhoods as a side business since about 1997. Now they’re working on a four-unit 1926 apartment building on Rosemont at Jefferson. It’s their first multi-family project, and it’s a doozy. So far, they’ve gutted the building, replaced the roof, installed heating and air conditioning, and replaced most of the floors.

When they’re finished, they’ll have four, two-bedroom/one-bath apartments with fireplaces, washer/dryer, wood floors, and covered parking, plus one smaller garage apartment. They expect to lease the 1,000-square-foot units for somewhere in the range of $1,200.

“We like this neighborhood,” Moore says. “And we believe the more of these you do, the better the neighborhood becomes.”

While high demand for these old renovated units has been proven, the question is whether there will be a market for new construction. Zang Triangle developer Lang Partners is banking on it.

There are plenty of people who would want to live in Oak Cliff if they could have an energy efficient apartment with an onsite gym and resort-style pool, says Lang Partners president Dirik Oudt.

“The housing stock for multifamily is so old,” Oudt says. “We think there are a lot of people who will want to live here now that they have options.”

Units at Zang Triangle are expected to lease for about $1.25 per square foot, which is about the typical rate for upscale apartments in North Oak Cliff, says Spence of Good Space.

“So that’s going to be easy to lease,” Spence says. “The apartment market in Dallas is pretty strong right now.”

And this newest apartment complex in Dallas is along the planned Oak Cliff streetcar line.

Zang Triangle starts leasing in November, and the entire project is expected to be completed in February.