The Nazerian family company expects to break ground on streets and underground utilities for its Bishop Arts project project this month.
The project’s first two buildings, on the south corners of Bishop and Melba, could start going up by the end of the year. The buildings, depicted in the drawings above and below, will comprise about 30,000 square feet, with retail on the ground floor and office space above. They could be open about a year from now.
The $42-million overall project will come in many phases over the next few years, says Thea Van Loggerenberg of Exxir Capital.
The developer is planning more than 400 apartments and about 95,000 square feet of retail space on 4.5 acres roughly bounded by Madison, Melba, Bishop and Ninth. Along Melba and Bishop, the buildings will be no more than two stories. Then they “flex step” out to three, four and five stories toward Madison and Ninth, Van Loggerengberg says. They expect the first apartment building to be under construction early next year.
The Nazerians spent about seven years assembling properties, which included a 1970s apartment complex and many mid-1900s homes, for this project. They received $2 million in economic development funds from the City of Dallas to buy them up, and demolition began earlier this summer.
Michael Nazerian says the family wants this to be a “generational” project. They have no intention of building it to flip.
The Nazerians are in it for the long haul, says Van Loggerenberg.
“Whatever the future of Oak Cliff holds, our family will be a part of it,” she says. “It is a commitment that allows us to approach things entirely differently than 99 percent of Dallas developers, who follow a … model with a goal to exit an asset in less than three years.”
The company hired Oak Cliff-based metal artist Manuel Sarmiento — he’s on their full-time staff — to design and create details such as trash cans, signage, benches and other touches for the project. He is creating a sculpture of a tree out of rebar, which will take up one entire exterior wall of one of the first buildings, so that vines can grow up it for a “living wall.” Nazerian also is working to collaborate with muralists and other public artists to fill out the project with local art.
“We want this to feel like part of Bishop Arts, like it’s always been here,” Nazerian says.
Check out drawings and plans for the first phase of the project below.