The Dallas Examiner
Out with the old, in with the new. The RedBird Mall area is getting a face-lift with the addition of a new luxury apartment community that will be a part of Reimagine RedBird.
Reimagine RedBird is a $160 million project that will transform RedBird Mall into a mixed-use development site that will feature a work, eat, play, stay destination.
“‘Mixed use’ means rather than just retail, it is retail, office, hotel and apartment put together in all one community,” said Peter Brodsky, majority owner and developer of Reimagine RedBird.
The apartment complex, Palladium RedBird, will feature modern, amenity-rich residences with 300 units that will have upscale luxuries, such as a swimming pool, fitness center, playground and upgraded appliances that also include granite countertops.
Reimagine RedBird partnered with Palladium USA to build Palladium RedBird.
Brodsky said the goal is to deliver a high-quality, mixed-use development to the Oak Cliff community.
“One of the key anchors for any mixed-use development these days is apartments,” Brodsky said. “Now, the added challenge that we have at the RedBird site is that there really aren’t any high-quality, class-A apartment buildings in the area. Often, when we use the word apartments, people often in the community said that evokes images of a Section 8 housing development and not a high-quality apartment building you find in Uptown.”
The 6.37-acre apartment community is going to be located in the southwestern portion of the RedBird Mall site, where the J.C. Penney department store used to be. Preleasing is set to begin in the summer of 2020.
Tom Huth, president and CEO of Palladium USA, said prices vary for the apartment units.
“It is based on a sliding scale based on a person’s income and can vary anywhere between $400 to $1050 per one-bedroom apartment, [and from] $500 to $1300 for a two-bedroom unit,” Huth said. “The Oak Cliff community has not seen anything like this, and it is exciting to be a part of this.”
The groundbreaking for the residence will be taking place in the next two months.
“A very high percentage of the units will be affordable and geared towards workforce housing, such as those like police officers, teachers and firefighters pay class. The other units will be priced at market price,” he continued. “So the units will be some of them priced affordable and some market price. Thirty percent will be what the market-based apartments are and are a lot more expensive than the studio apartments.”
For the apartments that are designated as affordable, applicants must show their income and rent is based on a percentage of that income, according to Brodsky, who said the apartment prices are still a work in progress.
“Reimagine RedBird is a project that aims to return the old RedBird Mall to a place of pride and quality in the community,” Brodsky said. “Instead of it being an indoor mall with great stores, we want to turn it into a mixed-use development that has restaurants, outdoor green space, and where you can live, work and play and shop. What we are trying to do is reverse the last 20 years where it really has been a neglected property. It really hasn’t been invested in, and it hasn’t served the community’s needs, which has caused most people in the community to travel elsewhere.”
Brodsky said the days of indoor malls is passing since the business model has changed around the country for shopping malls.
“So it’s not that we want to turn it back into a mall with a Sears anchor, but more that we want to update it to what today’s people – consumers and residents – of the community want,” he said. “If you think about the business model of an old mall, it would be that anchor stores bring people to the site, like a Macy’s. When Macy’s has a sale, people walk through the mall and patronize Macy’s or other stores. Well, that business model is dying. Instead, we have to find reasons to draw other people to the site, and one of the main ways to get people to the main site is to have them live there. Particularly today, because I think millennials and empty nesters are looking for a more urban environment.”
Staying close to home without having to travel to North Dallas is one of the main reasons why Brodsky invested in this project in order to help the community.
“The immediate goal is to provide the community with the amenities that they want, but have it be in their own community,” he said. “The research we have done indicated that people in the community are getting the amenities that they want, they are just having to drive to NorthPark or Arlington to get them. After they go to church, they are driving a long way to get lunch. So, the first thing is to put it in the community. The second longer term goal is to prove to the market that this community can support these types of amenities, and to spur more growth and amenities in the community.”
The construction project will take 24 months to complete, in which $60 million will be invested in the apartment complex, while the other $150 million will be designated for nonresidential.
“The project is well in excess of $200 million when said and done,” Brodsky said. “We need to address the need because you have a lot of people that deserve the same things as people get in other parts of the city, and it doesn’t make any sense to me that people with the income that exists in this part of the city, that they would not be provided the same amenities. It doesn’t make any sense business-wise.”