A developer promising to spend $500,000 on Oak Cliff Founders Park in exchange for a land swap has pulled the deal because of negative publicity and “unforeseen issues” complicating the deal.
Windmass Capital owns the 63-unit Founders Square Apartments on North Marsalis, which is adjacent to Founders Park. The owners last year brought a plan to Lake Cliff Park neighbors, proposing to demolish the 1.37-acre apartment complex and turn that into parkland. In exchange, they wanted to build a five-to-seven story apartment complex with ground floor shops at the corner of Colorado and Marsalis, a 1.37-acre parcel that is currently part of the park.
The developer was promising $500,000 in improvements to Founders Park, including including brush removal, tree remediation and lighting and safety improvements.
City Council was expected to hear the proposal this week, but Windmass pulled the proposal after an outpouring of opposition based on a story in the Dallas Morning News last week with the headline, “Hey, Dallas, want to trade Oak Cliff parkland for a 7-story development?”
Windmass can, by right, demolish the Founders Square Apartments, where rent costs about $1.50 per square foot, and build a six-story apartment complex.
The company told neighbors in June that the land swap would make the project more profitable, therefore allowing them to build underground parking. The land swap would’ve nearly doubled their property’s roadway frontage from about 250 feet to about 475 feet. Without the swap, Windmass representatives said, they likely will build a six-story apartment complex with podium parking and no retail component.
City Councilman Scott Griggs informed neighbors via Facebook this weekend that Windmass has pulled the proposal and currently has no plans for Founders Square Apartments.
We have decided we will not be proceeding with the land swap. We have run into some unforeseen issues with the mechanics of the land swap as well as blow back from the DMN article which has led to many issues, including potential loss of tenants at our current apartments.
We are not evaluating a new development on our current site and intend to hold our existing apartment for the foreseeable future.