City Hall's Starting to Keep a Close Eye on Valley View, "Prime Urban Redevelopment Space"

valley-view-mall-08.jpg
Prange Way, via
On Wednesday, the full council will get that economic development update that never made it to committee two weeks ago (time was not on its side). Which is just as well: When we spoke two weeks ago, I'd completely forgotten to ask Karl Zavitkovsky, head of the Office of Economic Development, about one of the so-called "opportunity highlights" buried toward the back, which so happens to deal with a certain dying mall located at LBJ Freeway and Preston Road:
Reposition Valley View area to compete with suburbs in corporate and retail site selection race.
So I called Zavitkovsky this morning and asked if he knew something we didn't following last summer's chat with Greg Maloney, president and CEO for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail, which was appointed by the court to act as receiver for Valley View Center when it fell back into the hands of the lender group.

Nope, not at all, says Zavitkovsky. Far as he knows, Maloney and Co. are still out there trying to find tenants for the mall, nothing more. But the city's concerned that the area's going to waste, growing "rotten," and that it's time to give it a proper going-over -- especially since, sooner than later, the LBJ Express construction's going to make it even more of an afterthought for, oh, a good five years.

"Our feeling is that the entire block, from what was the Chevrolet dealership all the way down Preston, plus that rotten residential behind that, is prime urban redevelopment space -- not necessarily being a mall," he says. "It's prime space, something we feel that major players will look at. So we just wanted to highlight it. We're just looking at it from a planning perspective, and we identified it as an important piece of property. You have two anchors gone, in-line space in receivership, so you have a lot of property in play. This could be a major opportunity."

Says the head of Eco Dev, the LBJ construction will play a major factor in the fate of Valley View -- and allow, just maybe, for reconfiguring some of the access points in and around the mall and adjoining piece of property.

"It'll be going on for the next five years, so if somebody does do something, if you were looking at timing, that timing might be good," he says. "I don't know if the pieces will come together or not, but the real estate has some potential. That whole corner at 635 and the Tollway is extremely strategic, and you have the potential to create connectivity with the Galleria, which isn't there now.

"This has nothing to do with Jones Lang LaSalle's plans, whatever they are. They're just trying to do their job in terms of marketing the property. And we, as a city, are very interested and would look at it as an urban redevelopment opportunity. But there isn't anything concrete."

Maloney, incidentally, is out of the office and unavailable all week, says his assistant. But he insisted last summer there were no plans to raze the mall. Question is: Have those plans changed? And if so, is that what the city wants? At which point our conversation turned to Prestonwood Town Center.

"I think the issue, or the opportunity there, is who the new owner is," Zavitkovsky says. "You need somebody with significant resources and a vision. In the case of Prestonwood, Archon came in and they had a vision of what they wanted to do and had the resources to accomplish that, and that was done without public sector support. Valley View is a prime location. I don't know how the numbers will shake out, and it depends on what someone's redevelopment vision is. We're very interested in it because of its redevelopment potential and don't know what, if any, participation the public sector will have. But we're very interested in the way it's redeveloped."
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19 comments
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stateofbean
stateofbean

Interesting seeing my own photo gallery of Prestonwood linked from here.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I bet higher property taxes would do the trick! Maybe the city should add to it's tally of businesses that they want to drive out of exsistance by adding the Mall to it's list.

Howard
Howard

Just park a fleet of food trucks there. Problem solved.

Ellum08
Ellum08

I'm sure it will be demolished soon, but I still love those distinctive 'Sanger Harris' arch and mosaic facades.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

What was Once a Prime Location is now an URBAN back water shadow of it self waiting for the wrecking ball.Tear it down and you will still have the same location.People that were once patrons at least those that haven't moved from the area have the Toll Way which gives them easy access to other high end shopping sites down the road .When it comes to less affluent there is SAM MOON area at Denton and 635 and Harry Hines Like the old Friendly Chevrolet in Oak Cliff its The worlds worst Location but it is packed every weekend .

LaceyB
LaceyB

I've only been in that area, maybe, twice, and it was a dead zone. One time took about a 45 minute bus ride. That was fun. It just felt like land was dying--nobody was up there, everything was closed, except for a Jack-in-the-Box. Why would anyone want to sink money into a loser, for any reason? If memory serves, it was next to at least one major highway as well. Who wants res/mixed use near already dumpy apartments and a loud freeway? Not me.

Alex Roderer
Alex Roderer

they should make it into a little pedestrian friendly outdoor shopping area like the ones dotted around the metroplex theres a few in dallas that i dont know then names of but have been to a few times and then theres like the shops at legacy or firewheel mall...places like that valley veiw is so expansive that it could really be something cool like that. i dont know if the cotton belt is going that far down but if it does or if dart eventually builds a rail line through that area TOD would be really nice over there with the LBJ express and all right there.

NotDrivingat$10gallon
NotDrivingat$10gallon

It would be awesome if instead of more traffic lanes, the construction on 635 was for public transit. The area of the Tollway/635 and 75/635 would be great transit hubs. Valley View area could totally redevelop like Mockingbird Station and Galatyn Park Station.... But wait, we're adding more traffic lanes.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

RW, did you develop any impression of what he meant by the comparison to Prestonwood Town Center? Is he saying that there will be, or will not be, public funds available for the right project at Valley View? Or could you tell?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

I think it's too soon to say. Also: I think after the money poured into the former Red Bird, the city will be -- or SHOULD be, rather -- skeptical about trying to use public funds to keep a dying mall on life support.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

The problem with these older, 70's era malls and surrounding properties like Valley View and Red Bird is the fact you cant do much w/ the interiors. Sure, a coat of paint and drywall might help out building a new food court, but its like spitting in the wind. People dont go to these malls anymore because of both the lack of big box stores and perceived public safety issues, especially at Red Bird. Why the DCCCD hasnt seriously considered building out new campuses at these places is something that should be looked into.

Gabe
Gabe

Because the DCCCD is broke right now. Like the DISD, they are paying old-timers (many who are very very good at what they do) to retire.

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

This part of Dallas is 'over retailed' to begin with so from the get go outside of a Costco, I don't see what retail developer would want to go there. Since, we don't need more housing for the 9000 people we gained in the past 10 years...... I think this will be a loser of a location.

md
md

I agree on the retail. Disagree on the location and opportunity for residential.

In the past ten years, many sprawling apartment complexes were torn down to be redeveloped. That hurts Dallas' population numbers, but helps improve the city. A well-thought-out mixed-use project with office and residential space could do well here given its location.

BuildIt
BuildIt

Dallas doesn't need housing? Isn't the fact Dallas is allegedly built out the reasoning behind why only 9000 extra people moved to the city? If Dallas is serious and wants to increase its tax base, it would find any opportunity to build housing. And in this case, a mixed use development would probably work quite well given the space available.

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

Too bad there won't be a light-rail line near it or under it any time soon. Unless maybe the Cotton Belt can add a previously discussed spur down Inwood Road to it?

Erin D Lindsey
Erin D Lindsey

 I'm with you on this. I have very fond childhood and teen-era memories of Valley View Mall (particularly Game Chest.) But since it started dying, it seemed to me that a good idea would be for it to be retrofitted into a transit center/mixed use venue, kind of like Mockingbird Station. Bonus points if they can keep the AMC on the third floor.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Valley View and the area surrounding it, including the dump apartments right behind the mall and the old chevy dealership, would be a great place to develop new retail and/or community. I had heard a rumor awhile back that Costco was looking at the area, and it was hinging on the wet vote. If thats the case, I wonder what the hold-up is?

When it comes to the mall property itself, the old sanger-harris be an excellent location for a DCCCD campus, as Highland Mall in Austin is going through a similar transformation with their macys location. As long as it doesnt end up becoming one of those "jesus dome" mega churches or a mexican flea market, if'll be happy with whatever goes in

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