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In Bringing Charm to West Dallas, This Developer Looks to Global Artistry

Artists From Guadalajara, Elsewhere to Create a 'Charming Environment' for Residents in Next Phase of $42M Bishop Arts Village
May 14, 2018
For the last 11 years, Michael Nazerian, a 30-something executive, and his team at Dallas-based Exxir Capital have been tweaking the designs on an 11-acre mixed-use project in the historic Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff in the hopes of creating a "charming environment" for residents and visitors.

And, now, another piece of the $42 million redevelopment project, known as Bishop Arts Village, between Jefferson Boulevard and Davis Street has begun to take shape in the gentrifying West Dallas neighborhood.

Construction has started on Bishop North, a 246-unit apartment community with about 12,500 square feet of retail space catering to curated entrepreneurs from throughout the globe. In curating the lease deals, Exxir Capital has been shopping for artistic tenants throughout the world, as well as making room for Dallas-born concepts.

"This is a family legacy project funded without outside equity, so we are able to make decisions for the coming decades, not a three-four year time horizon," Nazerian, chief operating officer at Exxir Capital, told CoStar News. "I think this, coupled with the fact we have spent more than 10 years in the Bishop Arts neighborhood to gain a true understanding of it, will result in a special project that can help serve as a core of a great urban neighborhood."

Bishop North is the second phase of Exxir Capital's 11-acre redevelopment project, which only uses about 60 percent of its entitlements, or rights to build upon the property, with underground parking and two- to four-levels of above ground residential stories. Each building will have a "Barcelona" design in 20- to 30-unit pods with courtyards to give residents the feeling they live in a boutique apartment building versus a much-larger community, he said.

The public-facing community also includes two-story arched entrances that connect to the street.

"We will have intimate courtyards that feel small and approachable without the gated fortress look like most apartment complexes," Nazerian said. "Bishop Arts is a lot different than Uptown or other neighborhoods. It's a more low-key community with a lot of walking, biking and getting to know your neighbor."

Bishop North continues the Nazerian vision atop the 42,000 square feet of retail and office space currently under construction. In all, Nazerian said he expects to deliver up to 180,000 square feet of Main Street-inspired retail at full build-out of the project.

By this fall, Nazerian and his team will deliver space to Dallas chef Justin Holt - who created Oak Cliff's Lucia - an artisanal ice cream shop, Little Havana and a healthy juice cafe.

To help future plans, Nazerian and his team are building more than 500 parking spaces, some of which are designated for public use, underneath Bishop North.

Nazerian is also bringing in-house artists and artisans from Guadalajara to create custom tiles and fixtures throughout the property and the apartment units. Each home will have a different design.

"We hope the project will stand as an example to show that development doesn't have to be a zero sum game maximizing entitlements and minimizing costs," he said. "That design, experience and culture matter as well."

Bishop North is slated for completion in early 2020. Nazerian said he expects to market the apartment homes, which will have an average size of 721 square feet of living space, to a diverse range of ages and socioeconomic situations.

"We want to make this something for everyone, not just a narrow band of people," he added.

Candace Carlisle, Dallas-Fort Worth Reporter  CoStar Group   
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