After more than two decades of rapid growth, Uptown Dallas is pretty much out of available land space. According to Uptown Dallas, Inc., the district is now 99 percent developed, meaning the only place to go is up.
“What we really look for are the types of establishments that can bring the density but that also have the ability to go from day to night,” said Interim Executive Director Noelle LeVeaux.
It’s a live, work, play model that’s been successful for Uptown. Several high rises provide retail on the bottom and apartments or office space up above. With 18,000 residents now calling Uptown home, LeVeaux says the demand for more only grows.
“The neighborhood itself is acclimating to having more people that not only work here but also live here. That gives an opportunity for other businesses that wouldn’t necessarily be here before,” said LeVeaux.
At last count, Uptown’s home to 18,000 residents at night and 30,000 employees during the day.
That creates a demand for a mixed use model that attracted developer Kevin Eden with the Javelin Group. When scouting a location for what would be the third ever Canopy by Hilton Hotel, Javelin was quick to snag one of Uptown’s last available lots.
“I think it’s pretty capped out in terms of development capabilities. There may be some adaptive reuse that may take place over time or things that are maybe underutilized, but I think most of the development is here now,” said Eden.
Still redevelopment has become somewhat of a consistent cycle in the neighborhood as long time establishments fade away to make room for the new.
Ashton Christie, owner of Christie’s bar on McKinney Avenue, says several of the neighbors they knew for years are now gone.
His father chose the location back in 1991 on a hunch that the area might turn into a hot spot. Still, they had no idea that the neighborhood less than one square mile big would someday be worth $5.6 billion dollars.
Those increasing property values have worried Christie at times that they may no longer be able to afford to stay.
“Can we sustain it? We hope so. But at the end of the day, we don’t know,” said Ashton Christie.
It’s a trend Uptown Dallas, Inc. expects to level out soon. LeVeaux says after years of property values climbing, they anticipate a shift.
“We’ve had this opportunity for a long time where prices have been high in Uptown. I think we’re going to see some of that come down. There’s a lot of availability that’s come online in this past year in regards to even apartments,” said LeVeaux.
LeVeaux believes it will be needed to continue filling the apartments built and providing business for the restaurants and retailers that have opened in recent years.