The Cedars is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods whose history has always been shaped by transportation, much like Dallas itself. When Old City Park was purchased in the 1870s, stately Victorian cottages and mansions with massive cedars lining the streets sprouted nearby, housing the city’s moneyed and professional elite. Now some 140 years later, the Cedars has become a haven for creatives looking for loft living. The neighborhood boasts a sleek new DART Cedars Station, and developer Jack Matthews donated land for the gleaming Dallas Police Headquarters, whose presence boosts security.
Location: 2.927 square miles of land directly south of downtown Dallas north of the Trinity River.
Boundaries: Interstate 30 to the north; the Houston & Texas Central Railroad to the east; the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe tracks to the south; and the Missouri Kansas & Texas tracks to the west.
Home styles: Lofts, apartments, townhomes, and single-family.
Average home price: Ranges from $85,000 to $3.2 million for a Beat loft penthouse, but most housing in the Cedars runs about $150,000.
Average rent: $1,000 per month.
Average lot size: 5,500 square feet.
Lot prices: $10 to $12 per square foot.
Where to go: With Gilley’s Dallas, Palladium Ballroom, Poor David’s Pub, and the venerable Lee Harvey’s, where not to go is the question. The Opening Bell serves great coffee and conversation.
Why the Cedars? Famous Dallas son Stanley Marcus was born in the Cedars, which sets the stage for the proliferating arts community that has made this ‘hood more of a SoHo than any other Dallas neighborhood. Many choose to live and work there because of the affordability, multiuse zoning, and proximity to downtown. Architect Dan Shipley moved his architectural firm to the Cedars. And sales and marketing consultant Brad Friedman, who recently built the only new single-family home in the Cedars in 75 years, says his neighbors are an eclectic crowd of artists, glassblowers, steel sculptors, and designers who live in or above their studios. He finds that energy powerful. “Once a year, there’s Cedars Open Studios. Artists open up shops and houses, and you can studio hop, buy, connect, and watch what’s being made,” he says.