A Houston-based developer plans to break ground on Bishop High Line, two apartment buildings on Melba at Bishop, Nov. 1.
The four-story buildings will be in the 300 and 400 blocks of Melba, where nine houses are being demolished. A building in the 300 block of Melba, across the alley from the Wild Detectives, will have 47 units, and the one in the 400 block will have 71. Surface parking will be at the rear of each building. The project is adjacent to the Nazerian family company’s $42-million Bishop Arts project.
The developers, Urban Genesis, say they would like to ask the city for $5.7 million in future tax reimbursements if the neighborhood would support it. With that incentive, they says they could pave the alley and make street improvements in the 300 block. The city funding also would require them to offer 20 percent of the units, about 12, as affordable by the city’s definition. In this case, an “affordable” one-bedroom would cost somewhere around $800 a month; the market-rate is around $1,200.
Without that funding, the developers told the Bishop Arts Neighborhood Association Tuesday, they will still build brick apartment buildings, but they would have to use less expensive windows and doors and skip the alley and street improvements.
The developers, Pouya Feizpour and Matt Shafiezadeh, live in Houston but were childhood friends growing up in North Dallas. They say they were inspired by the High Line Park in New York City to develop buildings that look like converted warehouses.
To go with that look, they also had to incorporate into the design those three canopies on top the roof in order to comply with a zoning rule that says 500 square feet of the roof must be visible from the street. That was written into the zoning, PD 830, with the idea that the rooflines should be compatible with those of the little houses that are now being demolished in a zone where four-story apartment buildings are allowed. Feizpour and Shafiezadeh said they would consider seeking a variance on that requirement if the neighborhood would support it.
They plan to complete the project next summer.