The New Valley View Will Be Like Uptown, With a Gondola

ValleyViewGondola.JPG
Via.
The last time I set foot in Valley View Center three or four years ago, it was eerily reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic zombie flick, and not the old-school kind with the undead lurching forward with laughable slowness. The zombies that come to mind are the type that are puma-quick and would have no trouble overtaking their prey across the depopulated expanse of brown tile.

For at least the past year, a plan has been taking shape to transform the mall and its surroundings from dreary movie set into the thriving center of commerce it was 20 years ago. Commercial real estate developer Scott Beck purchased Valley View last year, envisioning the construction "centralized urban village."

The big reveal came today when Beck and city planners presented their grand vision for the Valley View area And "grand" might actually be an understatement. This is a $10 billion-plus development on 450 acres bounded by Preston Road, LBJ, the Tollway, and Alpha Road. We're talking 1,000 hotel rooms, 5,000 upscale apartments and condos, 4 million square feet of office space, plus generous amounts of space dedicated to entertainment and retail. Pretty much all that will remain is Sears, JC Penney, and the AMC theater, and those will all have new digs. There will be European-style "bullet trolleys," 20 acres of green space, and connection, via bike trails, to White Rock Lake.

The whole thing has been dubbed Dallas Midtown.

Beck says it is "a bit premature" to speculate on the details of the public-private partnership, but that it will be "developer driven." The city will likely kick in some money for infrastructure improvements, and there will probably be a TIF district to help cover some development cost, but the bulk of the funding will be sought out by Beck Ventures, which owns the 100 acres on which Valley View sits, and surrounding property owners.

To understand the full scope of the vision for Dallas Midtownwatch this video. It's a dizzying tour of a densely packed urban utopia, full of pedestrians and sunshine and relentless techno music. You'll also spot what Beck calls the project's "crown jewel": a gondola.

Yup. Riders will be conveyed to the Galleria by the type of suspended cable car typically reserved for amusement parks and scenic mountain towns. It seems like an odd thing to include in an urban setting, just as it seems odd to name an area north of LBJ "Midtown." But maybe that's what the people of the future will want.

Another quibble: The whole concept reeks vaguely of Victory Park, which is its own kind of urban dystopia, albeit one that's more Stepford Wives than 28 Days Later. That would still be quite an improvement, but one wonders if the redevelopment of Valley View wouldn't be better achieved more organically and on a smaller scale.

Beck, who predicts that businesses and people are poised to "rubber band" from the northern cities back to Dallas, prefers to compare it to another development. "It's a large vision," he says, "It's the equivalent to standing on top of the Crescent Hotel (in the 1980s) and not seeing what you see today in West Village and Uptown."

That will take two or three decades, and it might not look exactly like the renderings, but Beck is confident it will happen.

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50 comments
paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

I see a fancy mcdonalds with overpriced apartments overhead...Damn Dallas needs this we don't have any

wlyhly69
wlyhly69

I own a 5,000 square foot “pool hall" being replaced by a 20 acre park as part of this 400+ acre development.  A dubious honor at best.

In our defense, I would like to say a few words.  We pay over $100,000 in rent per year, and have a payroll employing a dozen or more employees of over $120,000 per year, which in turn supports several young families.  Now I like parks as much as the next person, and when I see a bunch of kids playing soccer on the parking lot behind my pool room, I understand first hand why we need more parks in the area.  I also see on occasion, why some folks hang their dislike of pool halls on the mis-logic of "starts with P, rhymes with T, & stands for Trouble".  However, I can assure you after having owned it for 20 years, there are more fights in one season of Dallas Stars' 3-hour hockey games than there have been in the 20 years at Hawley's Billiards, which is open 365 days a year from morning until 2am and more illegal drugs in a Cowboy locker room.

 It is ironic that the Midtown Project, which refers to itself as an entertainment center, wishes to replace a form of entertainment enjoyed, in the United States alone, by almost 22 million participants in 2012 according the National Sporting Goods Association.  This participation rate is more than Golf, Tennis, Soccer, Softball or Volleyball and more than Skateboarding, Skiing, and Snowboarding combined.   It is time Dallas' leadership and certain developers quit demonizing a sport that they evidently know little about and likely are not one of the many millions of participants. With professionally design space and financing, Hawley's Billiards would welcome the opportunity to be a part of this revitalization effort in an area with which we are intimately familiar. One need only go to a Fox and Hound to see how a properly financed and designed poolroom could add to the ambiance desired by Beck Ventures.  But misdirected attitudes and biases will need to change.

skeezer
skeezer

Maybe if he puts in a 'string bridge' across LBJ, all the tourists from Downtown and Uptown will flock out there.

MissMacy
MissMacy

This boondoggle will turn out just like everything else. You know, with McDonald’s, a Super Target, a couple of nail salons, Starbucks, Sears (who the hell shops at Sears?!), three useless bank branches and crappy parking. But we can dream, right?

Daniel
Daniel

It is impossible for me to believe that the developers would go through the hassle and expense of creating a rendering -- and oh! what a rendering it is -- if they did not already have $10 billion all lined up and ready to go, supply chains kicking into gear, and contractors bidding on this magnificent project as we speak. What a glorious day for Dallas, for Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway, and for lovers of progress everywhere! 

Clay
Clay

I really like the idea, but why the "upscale apartments" can't someone just build normal apartments with normal rent prices... ugh..

Blake Wilson
Blake Wilson

Private developers will lose their own money on this bad idea

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

interesting that JCP has said their store at Valley View will close May 1. That leaves a Sears and an AMC.

Sears is not a viable retail concept, period. yeah, they still have diehard, kenmore and hardware, but when was the last time you went there? only if you had to...

and as far as a theater goes, between Northpark, the new Look up on Belt line, the Studio Movie Grill(s) and the planned theater in the Village on the Parkway, who the heck wants to go to the Valley View, eh excuse me "midtown", AMC?

so the bottom line is retail shouldn't be the engine for this rebirth. there isn't any retail demand that is not satisfied by the retail existing in northern dallas. except for a Costco. we really do need a Costco....so there's 10 acres of your redevelopment!

Don't you just love the name "midtown"? so they went to some creative agency, paid them a wad of money, and they came up with the name "midtown". gee, wonder how those creative types, who probably office in what has been named "uptown", came up with that one?

Hey beck group, wish you well and good luck on this one. I think you are going to need a bit of magic to pull this off.

markzero
markzero

Anyone remember how cool the monorail and gondolas were going to be at Las Colinas, and how people would flock there to work?


edit: gondolas, in canals, even.

Bobtex
Bobtex

From the 20tjh Century, we are still waiting for Two Main Place, Three Main Place, Four Main Place, Two Dallas Centre, and Three Dallas Centre, as well as the companion tower to what is now Fountain Place. We are also waiting for all those shiny new office buildings around Reunion Arena and the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Then there is the second tower at Cityplace, with the  high-rise bridge across Central Expressway. Some are still waiting for Victory Park to become the "Times Square" of Dallas along with all those new restaurants and shops.

And some just don't care about what comes out of a developer's orifice, from either end.  It's all the same.

MattL11
MattL11

I watched the video. First it made me dizzy. Then it made me laugh. Iconic Office Tower! An iconic hotel AND a luxury hotel! And what modern upscale development is complete without a JC Penney AND a Sears! 

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

$10B is a lot of money. Don't know much about Beck but his website is sparse on past big deals and even more sparse on internal personnel. Lots and lots of blue sky.

Bottom line, I find it hard to take seriously any development featuring gondolas or monorails.

gigmaster
gigmaster

The second you start using zombies in your story, all credibility was lost...

Notmadeomoney
Notmadeomoney

Interesting, the biggest comprehensive development in Dallas in years and years isn't "transit-oriented" at all.  Go figure.

Whitney
Whitney

What in the actual fuck? I think presence of a gondola usually implies there is actually some scenery to be viewed. Oh wait, there's the Galleria towers.  

Mason Ice
Mason Ice

If they would approve the trail system in the next bond election for SoPac trail to continue through Vickery Meadows then you would be able to bike from this to White Rock to Katy to American Airlines center if they just build a small junction trail between this proposed network and the park at Hillcrest. Just saying.

Jarod Byrd
Jarod Byrd

you wont catch me on that death ride lol

Brian Paris
Brian Paris

And then..... Monkeys flew out of my ass and the Cowboys moved back to Fair Park after Jerry Jones sold them to Mark Cuban.... What a crock this will be!

Becky L Hunter
Becky L Hunter

Cool I can't wait to see it finished. That whole are of dallas needs a redo over. Those apartments on Montfort next to Valley View mall needs to be taken down.

dallasoriginal
dallasoriginal

what will happen to the artist that have put so much time and money into valley view over the last three years while it has been falling apart ! There are art galleries and studio out there now !

Kristie Akins
Kristie Akins

Whoa, Ed Garcia, that's crazy. You called it!

Ed Garcia
Ed Garcia

Kristie Akins i read the future!

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

That will take two or three decades, and it might not look exactly like the renderings, but Beck is confident it will happen. And so little boys and girls, it was that day that the big rich men killed the central core of Dallas.

kduble
kduble

@Clay They'll have more affordable units also. It's required to get public funding.

lfh-resident
lfh-resident

@mavdog Scott Beck and Beck Group are not one in the same, just so you know.

roadsidecouch
roadsidecouch

@Brandon Moise Yeah screw the gondola give us our water taxis.

MissMacy
MissMacy

@MattL11 It sounds more like a Gaylord resort than a retail/hotel development.

markzero
markzero

@MattL11 Don't forget the wave pool! Sounds like it's more geared to families than the upwardly-mobile singles they seem to want working in that office tower.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@gigmaster I just thought it was hipster-speak for scary non-asian minorities.

drtz
drtz

@Whitney It will be optimally placed to maximize the experience of exposure to exhaust fumes brought in by the warm Summer breeze from a new-and-improved LBJ Freeway.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

kill the poor, or move them all to seagoville..yipppeee lemme take a selfie

markzero
markzero

@darrd2010 if you mean the CBD, that's been limping along for ages, anyway. This hardly qualifies as the edge city to replace it, however; it's way too small and not self-sufficient by any means, nor does it have the amenities and tax rates of areas further out. So I'm not convinced by Beck's vision that people will snap back in from the suburbs to live here, but the upwardly mobile moving up and out of poor neighborhoods in West Dallas might find it a good deal.

mewkins
mewkins

He's sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook. And by gum it put them on the map!

mewkins
mewkins

You'll be given cushy jobs.

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