Gondolas, Trolley System, Parks on Tap for Dallas Midtown

Beck Ventures has released specific details on its plans for Dallas Midtown, its massive $3 billion redevelopment of the Valley View Mall area. The complete reinvention will ultimately entail millions of square feet of office, retail, hotel, and residential space. Plans also call for gondolas that will connect various sectors of the project, a trolley system, and a glass-roofed, open-air retail center; Bellagio-style fountains, parks, and a hike-and-bike trail that connects to White Rock Lake. (See videos and renderings below.)

Dallas Midtown is a 430-acre district bounded by Interstate 635 to the south, Preston Road to the east, Alpha Road to the north, and the Dallas North Tollway to the west. Last fall, the City of Dallas provided $250,000 to help fund a redevelopment study by Omniplan, in partnership with the North Dallas Chamber. Beck Ventures owns about 104 acres within the district, including Valley View Mall at Interstate 635 and Preston Road. It’s led by Scott Beck, president, and his father Jeff and brother Jarrod, both managing partners. Jeff Beck was the driving force behind the development of Trophy Club; he acquired 1,200 acres there in 1994.

Scott Beck said Dallas Midtown is “significantly bigger” than the Beck family.

“If Trophy Club was a legacy project, this one is a mega, generational legacy project,” he said. “This one is special. We understand it and are personally connected to it. It’s in our back yard.”

Beck and his siblings and parents all live in homes that are within close proximity to the district.

Beck Ventures acquired Valley View Mall last year. It will get under way with the first phase of its redevelopment project during the first quarter of 2014. It involves relocating JCPenney to a new freestanding building, and Sears to a second freestanding facility.

The mall’s third anchor, AMC Theatres, will stay in its existing location, but the rest of the mall will make way for open-air retail capped by a glass roof (similar to the atrium at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine). The movie complex will get a $10 million enhancement with about one-third of the theaters being traditional, one-third being dine-in, and one-third offering the new 4D experience with rumble seats other special effects.

The center of the complex will offer a live-work-play environment, with taller office, hotel, and residential buildings planned for the outer loop. Designs have a 20-acre park, about four times the size of Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, anchoring the center.

The Becks selected architect Michael Twichell to design their master plan. He was lead designer for the Shops at Legacy in Plano and much of Trophy Club.

Video: Entering Dallas Midtown from Preston Road, toward new JCPenney store.

Video: Dallas Midtown master plan.

Dallas Midtown site plan
Dallas Midtown Preston Road entrance
Gondolas planned for Dallas Midtown
Glass-covered, open-air retail planned for Dallas Midtown