Fin Sushi Lounge ready to roll at ilume


After noticing a post on Twitter from ilume saying that the long-awaited Fin Sushi Lounge plans to open this week, we put in a call to Luke Crosland of developer The Crosland Group, and even made a site visit during the lunch hour to investigate. (Yes, we go to great lengths to bring you the news.)

The above pic was the only payoff from our visit (aside from multiple Foursquare check-ins), and Crosland called back to say he’s been out of town and didn’t have a lot of details but is working to put us in touch with the appropriate people.

“I know he’s racing to get open, and waiting on the city of Dallas’ people to come out there and do their final inspection,” Crosland said. “It is a spectacular space.”

Fin Sushi Lounge has previously been described as a signature restaurant from the owners of Sushi Axiom, which has four locations in the Metroplex.

Crosland also said ilume has agreed to a lease with Onyx Nail Bar, a salon that will open in February and offer “quality pampering” right next door to Dish. But he said he wanted to hold off on a couple of other retail announcements.

“We have some real interesting things that we’ll be calling you on soon,” he said.

Crosland said residential units at ilume are nearly all leased and The Crosland Group is working to obtain financing for ilume TOO, which is planned at the site of the old Douglas Park and 4242 Cedar Springs complexes across the way.

“Leasing has just been great, and retention is great,” Crosland said. “People really love living there. We’re well above 90 percent leased. … In this economy, it took longer to get the restaurants done than normal, but we didn’t want to accept just anyone. We were very careful on how we did our mix of restaurants because we wanted to have the best of the best, and we’re getting there.”

We’ll update with more details as soon as we get them.

—  John Wright

Beyond the Box to become pizzeria; developer says closure not a sign that ilume is struggling

Owner Doug Brown is shown inside Beyond the Box on the day it opened in early December.

Beyond the Box, an upscale deli/restaurant/convenience store that was one of three retailers at ilume on Cedar Springs, closed last week about eight months after opening.

Luke Crosland, chairman and CEO of ilume developer the Crosland Group, said Beyond the Box likely will be replaced in the near future by a “unique pizzeria.”

Beyond the Box just wasn’t the right fit, Crosland said, and the closure shouldn’t be viewed as any indication that the posh mixed-use development is struggling.

“I want to be positive about it because [Beyond the Box owner] Doug [Brown] is a great chef, and he’s the executive chef at Dish,” Crosland said.

“We’re going to use most of the items in the restaurant, and I think we’re going to have a better-for-the-neighborhood operation,” he added. “When you’ve got Kroger across the street, and you don’t have to drive, maybe the idea of having prepared food rather than served food was not the right component.”

Crosland said a sushi lounge is slated to open at ilume sometime in September. Also in the works are a restaurant from the executive chef at Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, N.M.; and a salon/nail and facial spa.

Crosland said residential units at ilume are now 90 percent occupied, with only about 29 units remaining.

“We’re doing extremely well,” he said. “I’m real excited about the formula we’ve got there.”

The Crosland Group also plans another development, ilume TOO, across Cedar Springs at the site of the old Douglas Park and 4242 Cedar Springs apartments. Crosland said the company is working to obtain financing for ilume TOO.

—  John Wright

ilume plans expansion at site of old Douglas Park, 4242 Cedar Springs apartments

Ilume has acquired the large vacant lot across Cedar Springs to the north and west, which once was home to the Douglas Park and 4242 Cedar Springs apartment complexes. According to the press release that I’ve posted after the jump, ilume developer the Crosland Group plans a 240-unit expansion on the 3.88 acres. We’ll have more in Friday’s Voice.

—  John Wright

4242 Cedar Springs, Douglas Park apartment complexes are almost gone — finally

A front-end loader tears into the side of Douglas Park this afternoon.
A front-end loader tears into the side of Douglas Park this afternoon.

I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for several days to get in touch with Mark McHenry of The Lane Co. to get an update on the developer’s progress at the site of the old Douglas Park and 4242 Cedar Springs apartment complexes. These complexes have been vacant for about a year and a half, and demolition has seemingly started and stopped several times since then, with McHenry most recently telling me that it would be complete this summer. In any case, based on a quick visit to the site this afternoon, it looks like demolition is well under way again. The 4242 Cedar Springs complex is completely gone, and workers this afternoon were putting down erosion control material where the buildings stood (see below). Meanwhile, another worker was using a front-end loader to tear the brick facade off buildings in the Douglas Park complex (above), which now appears to be about half gone. This is great news, of course, for residents and businesses in the area, because not only have these vacant complexes been an eyesore, but they’ve also served as a haven for vagrants and criminals. It’s doubtful, given the current economy and the Lane Co.’s stated difficulties securing financing (they eventually plan a $40 million, 240-unit complex), that the property will be developed anytime soon. But in the meantime, it’s better to have a vacant lot than abandoned buildings.

Workers lay out erosion control material where the 4242 Cedar Springs complex stood.
Workers lay out erosion control material where the 4242 Cedar Springs complex stood.
A view of Douglas Park from the parking lot of Kroger.
A view of Douglas Park from the parking lot of Kroger.

—  John Wright