Let Me Sum Up
Will Henderson Avenue end up like Knox Street? Please, no
Let’s say you’re ready to go out to eat, drink, be merry. Doesn’t matter if it’s Thursday happy hour, midnight Saturday night, Sunday brunch — the routine for me (and, I suspect, for you) is always the same.
You perform a mental sweep of Dallas neighborhoods or entertainment districts in your mind. Uptown, downtown, McKinney Avenue, Design District, East Dallas, Bishop Arts, the Cedars …
This is an astonishingly complex process, wherein you take in years’ worth of data concerning cost, parking, atmosphere, traffic, recent excursions, future plans, the migration patterns of assholes you hope to avoid, the migration patterns of close friends you hope to avoid, etc.
Henderson Avenue is an area I often settle on, not because it is well-developed or has good parking, but because it simply has great destinations.
A question as simple as “where you wanna go?” sets in motion a computational formula so intricate [insert Nate Silver joke here].
I understand this. You understand this. I fear the folks who just bought up most of Henderson Avenue do not understand this. Henderson Avenue is an area I often settle on when this question is asked, not because it is well-developed or has good parking, but because it simply has great destinations, places that fit the neighborhood well.
Last week, after driving around town for 20 minutes, we decided on Nick Badovinus’ new Tried and True, for example, and couldn’t have been more pleased. Like the best places along Henderson, it felt homey, cool, and well-integrated with its surroundings.
Now, please read this story, because I don’t want to recount all the things about their $50 million Henderson Avenue land grab that scare the hell out of me. Suffice to say that whenever the takeaway is that Henderson Avenue needs to be more like the dining/drinking/shopping/living experience of Knox Street, it’s enough to make the West End look like a preferable choice.
Knox Street is a terrible model for Henderson Avenue’s development. Ignore the weird mall-like shopping and dining choices mixed with the few decent dining choices. Just understand that Knox Street succeeds because it sits on Highland Park’s front porch.
It’s a completely unique situation. Its mix of Restoration Hardware, Chili’s, On the Border, and Crate & Barrel with Toulouse, Highland Park Pharmacy, La Duni and the cooler spots along Travis Walk would seem schizophrenic anywhere else.
But the developers aren’t paying $50 million to put in more risky, chef-driven, whiskey-and-burger bars like Tried and True. Check out the background of the top people in Open Realty Advisors: Restoration Hardware, Apple stores, high-rent multi-use projects — that’s the Open Realty model.
The previous sites mentioned include one such model in Buckhead, a.k.a. the Shops at Legacy of Atlanta, and this thing in Las Vegas. Look at it. Do not avert your gaze!
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they will do what needs to be done: slowly integrate new density-increasing, smart-growth projects with the successful ventures already there. If not, it won’t take much before Henderson Avenue becomes one of those places that, when performing my mental sweep, makes me say, “Oh, god no, not if we can help it.” Like Knox Street.
Channel 8 investigator — and one of the more insane Tweeters in town — Brett Shipp says that Museum Tower today will offer its own report on proposed solutions in the battle between it and the Nasher Sculpture Center. If you need to get up to speed on this, read the fantastic open letter to Museum Tower from John Eagle and Deedie Rose. Pure balls.
Mark Davis — who blocked me on Twitter — has had a crazy-reduction procedure since the election and offers a reasonable DMN column about what the GOP can do on immigration issues, among other topics.
I ripped into Tod Robberson last week, so it’s only fair to point out that he has a great blog post on gerrymandering in DISD school district boundaries.
Bet me $10, Mike? Check back in this time next year.
#Benghazi story isn't going away, so Obama must come clean. @dmregister editorial desmoinesregister.com/article/201211… via @dmregister— Mike Hashimoto (@MikeHashimoto) November 20, 2012
It’s hard to gross me out. But, eww.
Washing your hair in a food truck?Investigation by @wfaachannel8 exposes weakness of Fort Worth regulations. bit.ly/TVGqQI— David Schechter (@DavidSchechter) November 20, 2012