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Conversations and Construction Trucks

When I last wrote about the Cedars Neighborhood, the big news was Alamo Drafthouse’s announcement that their next DFW location would be in the Cedars. Little did I know that even bigger news was coming. Shortly after that post was published, various redevelopment rumors began about multiple historic properties on Ervay Street, one of our boundaries, and those rumors are turning into reality. Though these changes aren’t yet visible, we are so excited about what is coming in 2015 and 2016. Everything I’m about to talk concerns buildings either visible from our grounds or buildings that you will probably drive by when you visit. Ready?

  • The property at 1610 South Ervay was a maintenance facility for Yellow Cab for over 40 years. In the early 1980s, we bought that land and have been enjoying rental income ever since. In summer 2013, Yellow Cab let us know they were moving on, and we put the property on the market. In one year, the market value of that property increased 50. Proceeds from the sale are providing a large boost to our endowment, as well as letting us get going on a few major projects. The new owner plans to renovate the building and provide small business office space.
  • The Ambassador Hotel (that hasn’t been a hotel in over 20 years), immediately adjacent to the museum, is under contract.
  • The Bowdon Family Foundation purchased a historic building (currently occupied by Preferred Office Products) two blocks from DHV to create The Cedars Union, an artists’ incubator, providing work space, entrepreneurial classes, a job bank and more.
  • The Hughes Brothers Buildings, aka Gulf Cone, a historic factory building was purchased, with plans to turn it into mixed-use residential.
  • A historic Ford dealership, directly across the street from DHV, will be the new home of The MAC, a contemporary art gallery and more.
  • And on Harwood, a historic building will become residences again.
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Melissa and Evelyn, on the roof of the Ambassador Hotel last year.

All of these projects will take time, and I anticipate 2015 to be a year full of conversations and construction trucks. After the flurry of sales, these new owners need time to finish raising the funds and start remodeling. Both Cedars Union and The MAC are anticipating a Spring 2016 opening. So, what does this mean for Dallas Heritage Village? Suddenly, we have multiple neighbors, all of whom want to work together to transform this corner of Dallas. We are already meeting regularly and talking about the big picture–partnering on programs, events, fundraising and more. We anticipate some infrastructure changes to the Cedars as well. Internally, we’re taking a long hard look at our own needs and making sure we’re ready for the increased attention these changes will also bring to us. Through all of this, we are so grateful for the support of longtime neighbors and partners, like the Cedars Neighborhood Association, and our council member, Adam Medrano. It’s a very good time to be in the Cedars.

We will keep you posted as news becomes available. Be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page, as we’re regularly linking to articles about our changing neighborhood.

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