Wherein a For-Sale Deep Ellum Building Leads Us to Discuss the Future of CBD-Fair Park Link

Categories: Real Estate
dallasclutch.jpg
I see that the old Dallas Brake & Clutch building on Main and Exposition, which dates back to circa-1930, hopped on LoopNet just yesterday. My dad, a parts man from way back, has fond memories of the building, which hasn't been the B&C for the last few years. Its 16,202 square feet can be all yours for $710,000 -- which is only $440,000 more than its 2010 certified value courtesy the Dallas County Appraisal District.

And then there is this one interesting note contained within the Coldwell Banker ad:
Dallas has plans to widen Exposition Blvd and the current drawing shows them acquiring most of the land between the building and Exposition.
Is this referring to the Central Business District-Fair Park Link? Tom Morris, a program manager in the city's Public Works and Transpiration Department, says that's absolutely correct: "The proposed alignment would require acquiring the parking area between the building and Exposition," he tells Unfair Park today. "It wouldn't touch the building itself. It's roughly between Main and Elm and verges off of Exposition -- and in the future, Exposition would be probably be abandoned."

Much more on the other side.

So, what happens if and when Exposition's abandoned?

"If it's abandoned," Morris says, "then abutting property owners would have the rights to purchase it, and it could be developed for any acceptable developments."

He was kind enough to send along two mammoth maps depicting the current alignment for the CBD-Fair Park Link, which will take place in two phases. (They can be downloaded here and here.) One of them's funded for construction, Morris says -- the Hall-to-Main route. The other, from Main almost to I-30, only has enough dough to cover conceptual design. Construction money for that stretch will have to come from future bond programs, he says. And when it's done, he says, "that's when Exposition would no longer be needed."

So when the long-discussed first phase will begin construction?

"Around the end of this year, and it's contingent upon successfully acquiring the property we need," he says. "Baylor's the biggest stakeholder, and we'd get the biggest portion from them, but some will private, including from Brake & Clutch, which would be trickier if the owner doesn't accept the offer." (As in ...)

Right now, he says, the city's doing its environmental assessments, then it'll call out an appraiser. After that, he says, the city will make offers based on the appraisals.
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19 comments
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holman
holman

The East Corridor Plan (TxDoT) widens I-30 to 19 lanes, drops it below grade like Central Expy, shifts it several hundred feet north into Deep Ellum, and plans a deck top park like Woodall Rogers at 2nd Ave. All TxDoT needs is money (ha!).

Baylor is driving the upgrade from I-30/2nd Ave. to their emergency room. I suspect the 2nd Ave/I-30 upgrade has a little higher priority (to Baylor) than the upgrade to the CBD, as suggested in this piece. Baylor is too hard to get to for their emergency vehicles from the freeways. That has to change.

Daniel
Daniel

Does anybody else remember when Exposition was one way and, coming inbound on Columbia/Main (it's actually Main at that point), you had to look really hard for it because it was a narrow, dark little street squeezed between buildings? They tore down one of those buildings to put in that ridiculous plaza, and they rerouted the streets in a way that provides very little added convenience to the motorist, although it adds a bit more capacity.

Look, I know my comment is pointless. But Dallas nostalgia is one of the trademark themes of this blog. Plus, nationally, the '80s nostalgia machine is a churning, clattering juggernaut at this precise moment in time. State Bar, anyone? Metamorphosis Records? Hello?

Brian McLaren
Brian McLaren

okay, here's my comments... it looks like they're re-routing everything to come down 2nd street. Which would be really tragic given how much investment has happened in the paving patterns and street scape along Exposition. It would be nice to see the city pick an improvement and stick with it. I don't really see any reason to "abandon exposition" especially with all the Transit improvements and TOD opportunities that exist in the area not that DART has come to Fair Park.

Josh
Josh

I live right by there, and as a driver, bicyclist and a pedestrian, I would love to see Expo and Canton gone. It may be pretty but it impossible to see around the corners as a driver, the weird right turns make it so you don't know who has the right of way, and drivers frequently turn "left" from north bound expo into oncoming southbound Expo/Commerce traffic. If you're coming from Commerce, god help you figure out what lane to be in. There are frequently single bricks lying the middle of the waiting for you to puncture a tire on. And as a pedestrian, you are forced into these weird hedge maze detours or to walk in the street. Its all around a nightmare.

But I love that building. Know anything about the old gas station directly across from Murray Lofts? It would great if someone did something with that building, too.

G_David
G_David

If I may bitch for a moment, I drive by this building all the time. Turning off right off of Columbia onto Main, right by the DART crossing, there's a curb that blends into the street. I cut the corner off and hit that damn curb all the time. I wish the city would paint it yellow or something. I don't own any yellow paint, maybe I'll paint it white instead. Thanks for listening.

As for parking, not sure what they plan on doing with the old Vern's location across the street, but that lot would hold a few cars.

OED_Denizen
OED_Denizen

Robert,I still don't know how to get to the maps. Thanks,

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Just click the links in this sentence above:

"(They can be downloaded here and here.)"

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

Thanks for posting the map. It doesn't look like the new road will negatively affect the neighborhood (and the route goes through currently empty lots). It would be nice if they could preserve the abandoned Exposition right-of-way for a Deep Ellum streetcar terminus.

JWP
JWP

Can we tax use of the word 'Wherein' on Observer Blogs?

Bob
Bob

That building looks to have been an ice dock in a time before it was the parts place. Probably historic.

William Addington
William Addington

So after looking at the plans for the Fair Park CBD I'm not a big fan. I am curious if this project has been compared against the complete streets work since this project dramatically changes the Expo Park neighborhood. I don't live in Expo Park so has the city has already discussed the changes with the people that live and work there. It looks like the city is making a future realigned and rebuilt exit off of I-30 an easier proposition.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I'm just going to upload the maps directly to the server and insert into the item. I will let you know when I've done that.

OK -- the two actual alignment maps have been added into the item. Let me know if you need more to look at.

Downtowner
Downtowner

My head hurts a little thinking about this. Maybe once I see the map it'll all make sense. But I'm happy to see improved access to Fair Park in the form of light rail, trails and now roads.

moderndrift
moderndrift

Great building and location. I can't picture the connector though, I'll withhold judgment until the file is uploaded. The value of that building plummets if there is no parking.

Smdaro
Smdaro

My dad was a parts man too. Worked for Ben Griffin Ford and Ed Maher Ford back in the day. I'll bet he knew this place.

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

Can you share the map?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Planning on it. But it's such a monster file we're trying to figure out the best way to load and keep it readable.

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