A loft project in Dallas evolves into a high rise for both affluent and artistic customers

Atelier | Flora Lofts will be built on one of this city’s last choice undeveloped lots.

March 10, 2015 |
A loft project in Dallas evolves into a high rise for both affluent and artistic customers

The 29-story Atelier | Flora Lofts will offer rent-restricted and market-rate apartments. The developers decided to build in one phase after the project got sidetracked by a year-long municipal dispute. Rendering courtesy ADD Inc. (now with Stantec)

A building in Dallas’s Arts District that will offer affordable live/work residences and spaces for artists is getting richer neighbors sooner than expected.

Flora Lofts, to be built on a one-acre parking lot next to this city’s Museum Tower, will provide affordable living spaces and services to artist-residents and their families through the nonprofit ownership of La Reunion TX, a 10-year-old organization that connects artists and art with communities.

Under a revised construction and ownership plan, Flora Lofts’ 39 rent-restricted Artists Residences and eight market-rate apartments will take up the first six floors of a 29-story, $100 million wedge-shaped high rise that also includes 370 luxury apartments, which will be marketed under the brand “Atelier.”

This site, which sits between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Meyerson Symphony Center, is considered to be one of the last desirable undeveloped lots in Dallas. Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015, with a 24- to 28-month build out, reports the Dallas Morning News.

“Instead of doing it in two phases, we are doing it all at once,” explains Graham Greene, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, a principal with Oglesby Greene Architects, who since 1995 has owned the land the parking lot sits on. “Doing it all in one phase makes for a better building.” The lofts will be a mix of sizes, says Greene, with one, two, or three bedrooms.

Greene tells BD+C that the project always included a high-rise component. But it encountered some difficulty getting off the ground because of a disagreement over street access, which necessitated the project to reapply for a $2 million tax credit for low-income housing, according to the website Art Seek. That year-long delay prompted Greene to bring in ZOM Holdings USA, an apartment developer, as a partner to accelerate the construction. ZOM will own the luxury apartments at Atelier½ Flora Lofts and provide management services to La Reunion.

“ZOM gets affordable housing,” Greene says. And Hans van Veggel, chairman and chief creative officer of ZOM’s Holland-based parent, says that the prospect of incorporating live/work space for artists into the high rise “is what first drew our interest to this opportunity."

La Reunion TX will identify and qualify potential loft residents. And a third partner, METROarts Properties, will own the subsurface parking. (The residential tower will sit over nine floors of podium parking and 12,000 sf of ground-floor retail.)

Boston-based Add Inc. designed the building. According to D Magazine, ZOM has promised that the high rise would be built in a way so that its windows don’t direct more heat from the sun onto The Nasher.

Atelier | Flora Lofts is one of at least seven high-rise residential buildings in various stages of planning, development, or construction around Dallas’s Klyde Warren Park and Victory Park. 

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