A Dallas-based developer said he hopes to start turning dirt by the year’s end or in early 2016 on a series of mid-rise buildings that will bring street-level shops and restaurants, and lofts to undeveloped parcels on Lancaster Avenue on the south end of downtown.
“Our focus is on urbanism,” Paris Rutherford, principal of Catalyst Urban Development, told the City Council in a presentation Tuesday.
Catalyst is teaming with the multifamily division of national home builder Lennar to develop about a dozen tracts of city-owned parcels on the north side of Lancaster Avenue.
The parcels, totaling about 5 acres, remained after the Interstate 30 overpass was moved south several years ago.
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Last spring, the city development staff began searching for a master developer, saying the time was right to build on the property, and Catalyst was selected.
“We’re getting a lot of growth,” said Jay Chapa, director of the city’s housing and economic development department. “Lancaster has not necessarily taken off as we envisioned.”
One project is underway at Lancaster Avenue and Monroe Street. Pinnacle Bank Place, a 130-unit apartment community, should be under construction in 30 to 60 days, Chapa said.
Rutherford said he expects to buy additional land to complete Catalyst’s strategy. Development will be done in two phases, with the parcels at west end of Lancaster near Lamar Street being developed first. Development will move to the east, to about Jones Street, he said.
Plans call for buildings three to six stories tall, but more will be added if allowed, he said. Some office space and an entertainment venue are also planned. Plenty of parking will be built and emphasis will be placed on selecting quality building materials and having extensive streetscaping, Rutherford said.
Rutherford didn’t offer specifics, but said Catalyst’s plan will blend well with Sundance Square, the near south side and West Seventh street.
“We know we have challenges,” Rutherford said. But, he added, “Locationality, that’s not our challenge. Any large urban area is a series of districts. We’re creating a district that works with those other districts.”
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727