Feb 9, 2022 - News

The changing face of North Oak Cliff

An apartment building under construction

A giant apartment complex being built where El Fenix used to be. Photo: Courtesy of Cormac West

Four different apartment buildings that will add close to 1,000 luxury units are under construction along a half-mile stretch of Beckley Avenue in North Oak Cliff.

Why it matters: The new apartments will dramatically alter the aesthetics and demographics of the neighborhood between the Bishop Arts District and Trinity Groves.

What’s happening: Banyan Residential, a California-based developer, started construction last Spring on Banyan Beckley, the first of two brutalist complexes that will include more than 500 apartments next to the Trinity River basin, just south of Interstate 30.

  • San Antonio developer Kairoi Residential started construction on the sprawling Lake Cliff Apartments building, near the Methodist Dallas Medical Center. The eight-story complex is expected to have more than 350 units and cost more than $30 million, according to the Dallas Advocate.
  • Zang Flats will be a five-story building, adding 71 sleek-looking units at the corner of Zang Boulevard and Beckley — across the street from Spiral Diner.

Background: Population growth was part of the plan that nearly 10 years ago persuaded the city to spend millions on a modern trolley that runs between North Oak Cliff and Downtown Dallas. Now, the trolley often appears close to empty.

The intrigue: While some longtime residents of the area have balked at the Uptown-ization of North Oak Cliff, the new developments have an ally in attorney-turned-restoration guru David Spence, the founder of Good Space.

  • Spence has done more than anyone to rejuvenate the neighborhood’s historic buildings, revitalizing the Bishop Arts District.

What they’re saying: “We could renovate every little four-plex and eight-plex that dates back to the trolley line days, and that would not absorb all the people that want to live here,” Spence tells Axios.

  • “If people want to move here, someone will build them apartments. The alternative is to say no and have that investment go somewhere else.”
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