First phase of Ilume to open this summer

Posted on 22 Jan 2009 at 7:24pm
By John Wright News Editor

Developer says mixed-use project on Cedar Springs to feature ‘who’s who retail tenant list’


Tenants who have already signed contracts to lease space at Ilume include "modern-day supper club" Dish, frozen yogurt chain Red Mango, restaurant/organic convenience store Beyond the Box and environmentally-friendly dry cleaners Eco Cleaners.

A "modern-day supper club," a wildly popular frozen yogurt chain, an upscale deli/convenience store and an environmentally friendly dry cleaner are among the new retailers that will be arriving on the Cedar Springs strip this summer, according to the developer of a mixed-used project at the site of the old Tom Thumb store.

Mick Rossley, vice president of the Crosland Group, said the first phase of the five-story project at Cedar Springs Road and Douglas Avenue, called Ilume, is slated to open in July.

The first phase of Ilume will include everything facing Cedar Springs — 23,000 feet of ground floor retail and 76 apartment units. The remainder of the project, with a total of more than 300 apartment units, will open by the end of 2009, Rossley said.

"It’s going to be a who’s-who retail tenant list," said Rossley, who publicly identified specific retail tenants for the first time this week in an interview with Dallas Voice. "We’re absolutely thrilled with who we’re talking to. … It’s a difficult time in the retail world, particularly with leasing. Most people are closing stores or putting off expansions, and so far that hasn’t been the case with our project. We’ve been very fortunate."

Rossley said retail tenants who’ve signed contracts to lease space at Ilume include:

• Dish, a 5,500-square-foot "modern-day supper club" served up by Tim McEneny, whose other Dallas ventures have included Obar, Lift Lounge and the Dragonfly at the Hotel Za Za. Rossley described Dish, which will occupy the corner of Cedar Springs and Douglas, as "a state-of-the-art restaurant with a bar component."

• Red Mango, a trendy frozen yogurt chain that opened its first two U.S. stores in Los Angeles and Las Vegas in 2007 and now has about 50 locations nationwide. The Ilume store will be Red Mango’s first location in Texas. Red Mango uses natural frozen yogurt and is a major competitor of Pinkberry, which uses powder-based frozen yogurt.

• Beyond the Box, which Rossley described as "a miniature Eatzi’s-slash-organic convenience store." Beyond the Box’s only current location is in the Republic Center Building in downtown Dallas, and Rossley said the Ilume store will become its flagship. Beyond the Box, featuring a five-star chef and a coffee shop component, will offer products such as wrapped sandwiches, pre-made salads, vitamin waters, beer, wine, coffee, milk and other convenience items, Rossley said. "7 Eleven wanted to be in the building, and we turned them down," he said. "This is a lot cooler way to get 7 Eleven in."

• Eco Cleaners, also known as Lakeside Cleaners, which has another location on Henderson Avenue and reportedly is building a third in Uptown. Eco Cleaners uses environmentally friendly chemicals in the dry-cleaning process.

Rossley said other prospective tenants include about a half-dozen restaurants that are interested in the other large corner space at Ilume, near Cedar Springs Road and Knight Street. Rossley said the list includes "the hottest diner/bar in Soho [New York]," which he declined to identify. "Dallas has never seen anything like that concept," he said.

Ilume also may include "a very hip hair salon that we can’t name," a sushi bar, a bike shop, a wine retailer and a mail store, Rossley said.

"Literally at your fingertips, if you live in these apartments, you will have everything you need," Rossley said. "At the end of the day you’ll have 10 to 12 little shops that will really, I think, make our whole complex a very attractive and popular spot to hang out."

On the residential side, Rossley said property manager Trigon Management — whose other properties include the Davis Building, the Mosaic and Dallas Power & Light in downtown Dallas — has begun collecting lease deposits. Rossley said he expects to lease 35-50 units a month once the building is open.

"I think these apartment units are in very high demand," he said. "We’re very, very pleased with the level of interest form the neighborhood."

Ilume will include 6,800 square feet of air-conditioned lobby space, as well as a courtyard featuring a 75-foot pool, a hot tub and a fully loaded cabana. The apartments range in size from one bedrooms to two bedrooms with studies, and will lease for $1,100 to $2,500 a month.

Rossley said he expects Ilume to attract a mixture of gay and straight residents and customers.

"As far as I can tell, we’re at the ground zero for gay Dallas, so that’s going to be a part of who we are, absolutely," he said. "We’ll have some of Dallas’ best dressed people who enjoy an eclectic environment all converging on one spot."

Rossley also said he expects to Ilume to benefit existing businesses on the strip by attracting new people to the area.

"We should be a good shot in the arm," he said. "I think we’ll all compliment each other."

Scott Whittall, owner of Buli Café and president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, said this week he hadn’t had an opportunity to research specific retailers identified by Rossley. But Whittall said in general, the Merchants Association’s members are excited about the addition of Ilume.

"That just basically extends Cedar Springs even father down and makes it even more of a destination point," Whittall said. "You always have to worry about competition, but in general for Cedar Springs itself, I think it’s great. … I’m glad to hear they’ve actually started signing people. That’s a good sign."

Whittall said he’ll be particularly glad to see the addition of residents with a Cedar Springs address.

"That’s going to be amazing, and it’s really going to change things," he said. "It’s just a built-in neighborhood all of a sudden."

E-mail wright@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 23, 2009.

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