Venterra Realty’s Chief Operating Office Richard Roos said Wednesday that Houston-based Venterra Realty is “well aware of the GBLT community” in Oak Lawn, adding that while Venterra’s purchase of the two ilume properties on Cedar Springs Road goes through, the company will strive to be “inclusive and supportive” of the community.
Venterra is in the process of purchasing ilume and ilume Park, both of which were built by Luke Crosland’s The Crosland Group, and both of which have worked hard to be good partners to the LGBT community in Oak Lawn. Residents of the two properties received notices this week that Venterra intends to purchase the properties by the end of October, and that plans are already in motion to complete some physical updates and improvements right away.
Residents at ilume can expect new carpeting and painting in the hallways, restriping and power washing in the parking lot, a new bike storage area and “exterior metalwork repairs and paint. At ilume Park, the company will make enhancements to the dog park area.
Improvements at both properties will include new fitness equipment, new and improved tanning beds, remodeling in the offices and clubhouses including color and decor changes, new landscaping and ground cover, new pool furniture and outdoor sitting area furnishings, and updated Mac computers in the business centers.
Improvements such as these, Roos said, are part of Venterra’s focus on “quality of living and great customer service.” Venterra, he added, has “a lot of exciting things lined up” for ilume and ilume Park. He said that initial changes will be focused on the physical facilities and management and staff transitions and converting operations to Venterra’s management system.
(Dallas Voice has heard from numerous sources that most if not all of the ilume and ilume Park staff have received termination notices, but we have not confirmed that.)
Roos said that while Venterra is aware of the LGBT community’s prominence in Oak Lawn, “We don’t really understand all the nuances of the community” and its previous relationship with the ilume properties and management. He said he is aware that the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce is housed in offices at ilume at a reduced rate for rent, but that his company has not yet explored that situation and how it might continue.
“Our first priority will be to take care of those first level things [like the facilities improvements and management changes]. There are a number of second- and third-level things that will come later, and understanding how we can best work with the GBLT community is part of those second- and third-level things,” Roos said.
ilume opened in the summer of 2009, and ilume Park opened in 2013.