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Old Posted Aug 4, 2003, 4:41 AM
Owlhorn Owlhorn is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Dallas, Texas
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West End mixed-use development by Fram

and article
Retail-residential project set for downtown

West End neighbor to have stores below, apartments above


By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

A Canadian developer that has already built a successful Turtle Creek condo tower is coming downtown with a major new retail and residential project.

Fram Building Group of Toronto will build two blocks of shopping and apartment buildings on Ross Avenue next to downtown's West End entertainment district at Ross Avenue and Lamar Street.

The project will be constructed on the site of the United Way building.

The mixed-use development will be similar in scale to the new West Village complex on McKinney Avenue, with shops and restaurants on the ground floors and three floors of homes above.

A Canadian developer plans to construct two blocks of buildings containing shops and apartment at Ross Avenue and Lamar Street, on the site of the United Way building.
"We decided to build this style of project not only because of market research but also because it's next to the West End," said Fram Building Group president Frank Giannone. "People want a pedestrian life, and this brings them closer to that in downtown."

The 1001 Ross building will have about 30,000 square feet of retail space on the lower floor and more than 200 apartment units above.

"Our rents will range from $1,000 to slightly more than $2,000 a month," said Fram vice president Grant Lorimer. "We are trying to appeal to the people working downtown.

"And there are more than 50,000 people living within walking distance of this building," Mr. Lorimer said.

Fram developed the 23-story Mayfair condominium tower overlooking Lee Park. Completed last year, the luxury high-rise is one of the most successful such projects in Dallas.

The Fram downtown project will be the closest new apartment and retail complex to the city's core.

While several loft apartment and shopping projects are under way in Dallas' old financial district, they are in renovated historic buildings.

"Those projects have done well, but we think there is a demand for new construction," Mr. Lorimer said.

Dallas architect Humphreys & Partners designed the buildings with a combination of brick, stucco and glass exteriors.

"We're mixing a little bit of the West End feeling with a new high-tech look," said architect Mark Humphreys. "It's got an urban-looking loft feel."

Homes on the top floors of the buildings will be two levels, and Mr. Lorimer said the plan is "to give residents roof access" for a deck or terrace.

Fram has been working on the downtown project for more than two years.

Fram originally proposed building a condo tower on the Ross Avenue site but canceled those plans. The developer recently came back to the deal and this week closed the purchase of the former United Way building.

"Yes, it's taken us a while, but we are committed to this," Mr. Giannone said.

As part of the agreement with the United Way, the charity can remain in the building through August when its new local headquarters building is completed next door.

Fram will then tear down the old United Way building and start site work. Mr. Giannone said construction on the apartments will start before the end of the year.

Along with Fram, other partners in the project include Jack Schlatter and Mike McNulty.

Several other downtown developments, including some Main Street projects and the Victory development, are on hold pending large public-sector subsidies.

Mr. Giannone said Fram may later seek standard city tax incentives to support its planned retail space in the project, but it's going ahead regardless of city participation.

"We have a lot of experience with this type of development," Mr. Giannone said. "our company builds everything from single-family homes to high-rises."


and here's a look at the World Aquarium rendering
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