Give Shannon Neffendorf a pat on the back.
The owner of Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters reached a deal with the developer that planned to tear down a two-story house in the Bishop Arts District that was built in 1905.
Neffendorf plans to move the structure to a lot on Fouraker Street, just behind Davis Street Espresso. He got the house for free, but Neffendorf will pay to relocate the building.
The two-story colonial revival at the corner of Tenth and Bishop used to be two blocks away from Bishop Arts, farther than any northern Dallasite would’ve wanted to park. But as commercial development moves farther south, it’s now in the middle of the action, with high-dollar condos going up on the same block and new businesses across the street.
Developer Urban Genesis bought the property last year and filed a demolition permit, which triggered the “demolition delay” process, a 45-day hold that requires the developer to meet with the city and stakeholders to seek solutions besides bulldozers.
Neffendorf says he was attracted to the home’s architecture and history.
“The size was good for our purposes, but also, it’s a really beautiful house,” Neffendorf says. “It’s got some woodwork that’s really cool. It’s in reasonable shape.”
He says he wants to help preserve the culture of our neighborhood, even if it’s not always the most profitable way to do business.
For example, he bought and renovated the Brillhart building, a three-story apartment building in Winnetka Heights in 2018. That building was in terrible shape but had good bones, and Neffendorf took on the project, in part, as a way to provide affordable housing for some of his wage-earning employees. Architect Alicia Quintans, who is also our neighborhood’s Landmark Commission representative, redesigned the Brillhart building and is helping with the Tenth Street house.
Moving a big historic building to another lot and then renovating it will cost more than just building something new.
“Even though it seems like a great deal now, when I bought Davis Street in 2010, people said, ‘Why would you pay that for a garage with a hole in the roof?'” Neffendorf says.
“There are easier ways to make money, that’s for sure. Whether it’s coffee or these kinds of projects, I do think they will make money, but that is not why I get into them. I get into things because I want to have an impact.”
Neffendorf doesn’t want to say exactly what his plans for the building are, but it will face Fouraker, and the developer wants the building moved by May 1.