Proposal would mean tearing down Douglas Park, adjacent complex
Alejandro Flores doesn’t want to be uprooted again.
Flores, 18, moved with his family to the Douglas Park Apartments about a month ago after his old complex near Shelby and Oak Lawn avenues was torn down.
Now, there is talk of tearing down Douglas Park, as well as the adjacent apartment complex at 4242 Cedar Springs Road, to make way for a new 240-unit, $40 million multifamily development.
“It sucks,” Flores said. “It’s kind of hard to be moving all the time.”
Flores is one of hundreds of residents who likely would be forced to relocate if plans for the new complex go through.
Between the two existing complexes, there are 136 units, and it’s unlikely many of the residents could afford to live in the new complex, which would take two years to complete anyway.
At Douglas Park, for example, a one-bedroom with all bills paid is $610 a month, according to manager Irma Torres.
But one-bedrooms in the new complex likely would start at amounts comparable to other newly constructed properties in the area, which means in the vicinity of $1,000 plus electric.
Plans for the new complex are scheduled to be heard by the Plan Commission in August and the City Council in September, according to Mark McHenry, development partner for southwest region for the Atlanta-based Lane Co., which is proposing the project.
Construction would begin in the spring.
“We’re certainly moving forward and working with the neighborhood and the community to get a plan put together that everyone is comfortable with,” McHenry said. “I’d say we’re pretty close, but we still have some work to do.”
The proposed complex would be four stories with a maximum height of 48 feet, McHenry said. It would have an internal parking garage that would be hidden by the units.
In response to concerns from nearby residents, the Lane Co. agreed to allot two parking spaces per unit, while the city requirement is only 1.5.
“There will be ample parking,” he said.
The Lane Co. is under contract to purchase the property, McHenry said. If the new complex is approved, the company will have to allow existing leases to expire. “If we would buy the property tomorrow, we can’t go in there tomorrow and tell everybody to move out, and we wouldn’t want to do that,” he said.
Torres stressed that the deal has not been finalized. “We’re under contract, but we don’t know when all this is going to take place,” Torres said, adding that she is still signing leases and has only two vacancies. “We have no clue when.”
One nearby resident is looking forward to the proposed new complex.
“I’m glad to see Douglas Park go because they seem to attract clientele that don’t have neighborhood values and think it’s all right to make all the noise they want,” said P.D. Sterling, organizer for the Oak Lawn Stakeholders and Apartment Managers Crime Watch Group.
Sterling, who lives at 4205. N. Hall St., called the 4242 complex “one of the ugliest buildings ever built to my knowledge.”
Douglas Park was built in 1962. It is owned by San Francisco-based Douglas Park Partners. The property is 1.8 acres and is valued at $2,353,680, according to the Dallas Central Appraisal District.
The 4242 Cedar Springs complex was built in 1984. The property is 2.08 acres and is valued at $3,174,080. It is owned by Dallas-based Ferndale Partners.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 27, 2007
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