With construction under way for an opening next fall, ilume Park plans to take urban living to the dogs


The new ilume Park concept, which is currently under construction, will be a haven for four-legged residents of the Cedar Springs area and their owners. It is scheduled to open in November 2013.

By Howard Lewis Russell


Anyone dashing by the Cedar Springs Kroger lately has certainly noticed the forlorn, 4-acre lot of bulldozed ground next door with its sole, giant live oak left bravely standing. More green space giving way to over-development, right?
Not at all.

Phase II of the wildly successful ilume development across the street has begun in earnest, and it’ll be a boon to all you pooch lovers: A 4-story urban paradise for pet people to be named, appropriately, ilume Park.

“The ‘Park’ is for dog park, where pets can be happily walked in a totally secure area,” owner Luke Crosland proudly explains. “In the GLBT community, dogs are part of our families, and ilume Park will be a Ritz for your dogs. It’s completely enclosed, and all dogs will be safe.”

First-floor residents will even have a patio that leads straight onto the dog walk, Crosland says, which surrounds “75 percent of our 3.7 acres and its three elaborate courtyard areas.”

One planned courtyard boasts a year-round pool; one will have a koi pond in a Zen-like setting and the other “will be a terrace area with grills,” Crosland says. Gotta be some space for the humans, after all.

Indeed, Crosland considers ilume Park “an even more beautiful expansion of ilume. We’re going to extend on the wonderful services of our Members Only brand platform—a 4,000-square-foot fitness center, an air-brush tanning facility, a massage therapy area. Our mission is to provide the ultimate in urban residential living primarily serving the GLBT community, its allies and equality-focused clientele.”

Emphasizing a “We got it right” philosophy, ilume’s staff “is committed to community involvement and making this proud community [of Cedar Springs] the benchmark for socially-conscious living,” says Crosland.

Not just socially-conscious, either: Budget-conscious figures into the plan. When the two properties are taken together, there is, quite literally, no need to go anywhere beyond Cedar Springs. At least, if that’s what you want.

 secondary-image005“By living here, you actually save money,” Crosland says. “Our utility costs are less than anyone in town. On-site pet grooming, tanning and fitness save you money because it’s all free.” Being a resident gets discounts at Dish and the newly opened hot spot Monica’s Nueva Cocina and Mi Lounge. “Other participating Cedar Springs’ merchants equally offer discounts to our members in order to keep the money on Cedar Springs,” Crosland says.

“When you park your car after work on Friday, you shouldn’t need it again until Monday,” adds Joshuah Welch, ilume’s community director.

“At ilume and ilume Park, our resident members’ needs for anything are met within easy, very easy, walking distance: We’re not here to change the street; we’re here to elevate and celebrate.”

And there’s the dog-friendly nature of the complex, too. ilume was on the cutting edge instituting dog poop DNA testing to encourage residents to clean up after their pups or else get a hefty fine; the four-legged residents will be further pampered in the new space.

“The Purr & Furr Lounge in our Phase I building will have expanded across the street at ilume Park into a luxury Pet Lounge with three veterinary wash facilities, two hydraulic lift tables, four dryers, pet-friendly furniture and even dog vending machines,” says Crosland.

(Moreover, near that sole, brave live oak now left standing shall be another giant, iconic feature that all dogs love, but which is to remain a top-secret surprise until Ilume Park’s grand opening.)

Indeed, both ilume properties have the look of a luxury resort hotel in an apartment environment. Their colors are a suave combination of lavender, violet, gray and shimmering black. ilume Park will have 240 units and more than 20 floor plans to choose from, many of which will be facing either the three resplendent, interior courtyards or the gorgeously landscaped and secure dog trails weaving ilume Park’s perimeter.

Even though construction is still in the early stages, Crosland says the opening date for ilume Park will be November of next year, 2013, with pre-leasing to begin on July 1. Members of both ilume and ilume Park will be able, naturally, to enjoy the facilities of each, which, as Crosland points out, resemble more of a boutique, resort hotel than  a mere apartment building.

“Our leasing agents perform the rolls of a concierge,” Crosland beams. “We’re a cultural crossroads for the GLBT community.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 5, 2012.