Board approves $5 million for Bishop Arts project

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The massive Bishop Arts District redevelopment project from the Nazerian family gained approval Thursday for $5 million from the Oak Cliff Gateway Tax Increment Financing District. The project, which will connect Bishop Arts to Jefferson Boulevard, also has received a $2 million economic development grant to buy some of the parcels.

Work could begin as soon as June on the $42-million first phase, which will include about 200 apartments, one- and two-story retail buildings and a two-story underground parking garage.

Developer Michael Nazerian says he wants the project done right, with sensitivity and respect for Bishop Arts. Because the area’s median income is low, bankers would not fund the project to include costs for details the Nazerians want, such as brick paving in roadways, buried power lines, underground parking and more expensive building materials. That’s why the project needs public funding, he says.

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The apartments’ c-shaped interior courtyard (at bottom of image) will create 30-40 unit pods, which Nazerian thinks should foster community.

The apartments truly would address the street — residents wouldn’t walk around buildings or parking lots to find lighted, tree-lined sidewalks, Nazerian says.

Interior courtyards amid the retail buildings open up the block with space for cafe seating and events.

Restaurant and retail buildings will be small — about 450-1,000 square feet — so that start-ups can afford spaces, Nazerian says. The ground floor of two-story live-work units would be built to retail specifications so that residents could eventually open shops or galleries.

Also, there will be a few “micro unit” apartments of about 350 square feet.

“Bishop Arts is their living room,” Nazerian says.

Buildings on Bishop and Melba will have one or two stories maximum, and building heights will increase to four stories toward Madison.

“It feels like it’s always been there,” Nazerian says of the future development. “It’s a part of the district.”

Sidewalks on Bishop, Ninth and Melba will be widened to 11 feet; most of them currently are 8 feet wide.

None of the project’s parking spaces will be visible from the street, Nazerian says, and 30 spaces will be available for public parking.

The Nazerians also plan to use high-end materials, as detailed in the slide below.

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Michael Nazerian moved to Dallas seven years ago after his family started buying parcels for this project. He says he’s traveled to 64 countries studying the commonalities that he likes about urban areas.

“We view this as a work of art and a work of passion,” he says.

Once the development is built up, he wants local artists to help “finish the canvas” with touches to sidewalks, walls, seating, etc.

“A little extra thought makes it a real place and gives it that fine-grain detail,” he says.

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This drawing shows the elevation on Madison.

See the entire proposal that Nazerian showed the Oak Cliff Gateway TIF board Thursday. The board agreed to add the area to the TIF’s reach and provide up to $5 million in funding.

Nazerian Bishop Arts Project

About the Author:

Rachel Stone is the Oak Cliff editor. Email rstone@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/advocate_oc.                                     


  1. TJ Harvey October 14, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Very true. Oak Cliff was never meant to be an Uptown or Downtown area. There are many apartment options all ready available. Several of those need updating and repair. We don’t need high density living in an area known for unique homes and a small town living experience in the City.

  2. […] $42-million overall project will come in many phases over the next few years, says Thea Van Loggerenberg of Exxir […]

  3. […] care. But the City granted Nazerian $2 million to help purchase those properties then promised him $5 million more in tax reimbursements to support his Bishop Arts Village project. He’ll probably receive the next […]

  4. […] $42-million Bishop Arts Village project, which will create a connection between the Bishop Arts District and Jefferson Tower, received $5 […]

  5. […] part of the Oak Cliff Gateway TIF District, making available $5 million in reimbursements for the Nazerian family’s mixed-use project, called Bishop Arts […]

  6. person October 30, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    This is way more appropriate along Zang or even Davis. Granted the shanty shacks that this will be replacing outlived their expected life by at least 30 years but to force your way into something that happened organically just sucks the soul out of this once unique gem.

  7. newoakie October 30, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    We need more single family housing, not apartments like Uptown or the Village, most apartment buildings look like ghettos 20 years down the road.

  8. […] all the rezoning and redevelopment going on in our neighborhood, one new business reminds us why Oak Cliff is still so … Oak […]

  9. Brandon Mohon October 27, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    This is a private investment. I don’t see any reason to contribute $5MM of taxpayer money to subsidize a private investor. TIF money should be reserved for projects that benefit everyone.

  10. […] “East Garden District” is the site of a planned development from Farrokh Nazerian and his son, Michael. The zoning allows building heights up to five stories on Bishop and Zang and four stories […]

  11. Bng445 October 24, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Move to the burbs. That area is almost all SFH.

  12. bedelltx October 24, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    It sounds like this will be done tastefully and with great respect to the uniqueness of the community. Looking forward to it. I like the idea of apartment dwellers drawing traffic to Bishop Arts during the day.

  13. paisano57 October 24, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Good news for the Nazerians, not so for Oak Cliff. We need more houses not apartments!

Comments are closed.