Friday, August 12, 2022 Aug 12, 2022
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Why the ForwardDallas! Plan is Stuck in Neutral

By Trey Garrison |
ALL’S FAIR: Development manager Steve Stamos in front of the apartments Fairfield hopes to demolish; the replacement (below).
photography by Christina Barany

Why is it so hard for Dallas to stick to a plan? Take the case of Fairfield Residential and its project on the east side of the Central Market on Lovers Lane. The company has sunk $25 million into the deal, which calls for tearing down dilapidated, crime-ridden apartments and building a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use site with high-end apartments and $300,000 town homes integrated with a Corner Bakery, Starbucks, a bank, and more. It is a quarter mile from the Lovers DART station, making it a high-density, transit-oriented development. The city has been clear about what it wants-high-density, transit-oriented development. That was the heart of the forwardDallas! master plan approved in 2006.

With that in mind, and after Fairfield held half a dozen neighborhood meetings where response was predominantly positive (more than 100 residents signed letters of support), they figured it would be a slam-dunk at the Dallas Plan Commission. It was. Against. After an October hearing where just three people spoke against Fairfield (only one was a neighborhood resident), the plan was dismissed with prejudice.

Fairfield is appealing to the City Council to overturn the commission’s decision. But if the council doesn’t rule in its favor, instead of the $130 million project Fairfield envisions, the vacant, run-down apartments will remain there for another two years. Which is just what Dallas needs more of.

renderings courtesy of Lee & Associates, Inc