The following article originally appeared in the Spring 2018 edition of the DFW Real Estate Review. An excerpt has been reprinted below.
In the 1980s, nine skyscrapers were added to Dallas’s skyline and the city’s “Main Street” for commercial activity shifted to Ross Avenue as Trammell Crow and others developed a succession of commercial buildings closer to and ultimately on Ross Avenue.
By the late ’80s, Ross Avenue was home to some of the Dallas’ most iconic and highly sought-after commercial space, but retail, restaurants, and residential never followed, resulting in a street with magnificent office towers — and a hodgepodge collection of surface parking lots.
“One of the reasons I love to walk in Manhattan is it’s interesting to look in the windows and see the activity,” says longtime Dallas resident Jim Wilson, principal and regional partner of Atlanta-based Goddard Investment Group, which spent $70 million to renovate the iconic Fountain Place tower in one of the most ambitious rehabilitations undertaken along Ross Avenue. A 45-story residential apartment tower, AMLI Fountain Place, will be built next door.
Today, the influential corridor is becoming a more fully urban district that combines a live-work-play component to the historically important corporate office address via a new wave of owners that seek to activate ground-floor retail and pedestrian traffic.
Ownership changes along the corridor began to materialize about a decade ago as surface parking lots in the area began to change hands from parking lot owners/investors to local billionaires with track records for innovative and impactful real estate development: Tim Headington and Ross Perot Jr. among them.
Trammell Crow Center’s mixed-use project in the 2000 block of Ross Avenue, more than four years in the making, is one example of a property ownership change and its impact. The initial catalyst for the project was a surface parking lot that became available for purchase, says Ramsey March of Stream Realty Partners, master developer for JP Morgan Asset Management.
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