High-Rise Apartment Issue Won’t Go Away

UPDATE: The issue has been tabled yet again, this time until the Dallas Plan Commission meeting on March 20, apparently to give the developer time to rework some concepts for the development. Read on for background info.

At its meeting at Dallas City Hall, the city’s plan commission will again consider a project that would replace the two-story Saltillo Apartments with an eight-story apartment building on Cole Avenue behind Abbott Park.

The commission tabled the matter without discussion on Dec. 19 for the second time in as many months.

The developer and new property owner, Travis Cole Apartments LP, is asking for a zoning change on the 2.4-acre site to allow for a building that would be 89 feet tall and accommodate 258 luxury apartments, along with a parking garage and fitness center. The existing complex is 36 feet tall with 78 units, and would be demolished under the proposal.

So what’s the big deal about all of this? The site is next to a segment of the Katy Trail that separates Dallas from the town of Highland Park. The latter has been opposed to the project from the get-go, and has openly encouraged its residents to lobby against it.

Highland Park officials are being supported by Dallas city staff, which has recommended the plan commission deny the rezoning in part because the proposed development won’t be compatible in scale with surrounding structures, such as an adjacent two-building office complex in which the building height likewise is restricted to 36 feet.

The application was filed with the city in February, and in September, the town council passed a resolution against the development.

In 2005, a different developer lobbied to build an eight-story apartment complex on the same site, but was denied by both the plan commission and the Dallas City Council.

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