Category: Business

Plan Commission Tables Transwestern Vote

Transwestern will need to wait two more weeks to learn its fate.

Transwestern will need to wait two more weeks to learn its fate.

A bit of gamesmanship provided the latest twist in the ongoing Transwestern apartment saga on Thursday.

The developer’s rezoning request for two acres at the northeast corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway was on the agenda for a vote by the Dallas Plan Commission, but was tabled until Sept. 3 — apparently because some area residents in opposition to the project claim they haven’t been properly informed.

“There is a very strong sentiment among Preston Hollow East neighbors” that they didn’t have sufficient knowledge of Transwestern’s plan to construct 164 luxury apartments at the key intersection near Preston Center, according to District 13 commissioner Margot Murphy.

The most vocal opposition to the project during the past 18 months has indeed come from members of the Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association, which has held community rallies and posted frequent updates to its website about the case, including notice of Thursday’s meeting.

Preston Center Will Get a New Office Tower

Here's a rendering of the Terraces

Here’s a rendering of the proposed Terraces at Douglas Center.

New development around Preston Center might be slow, but office space in the area continues to lease as quickly as any spot in Dallas.

That’s why a pair of developers, including Dallas-based PegasusAblon, plan to construct a new 12-story office tower on Berkshire Lane, between Douglas Avenue and the Dallas North Tollway, that could be complete in early 2017.

The 171,583-square-foot structure will be called the Terraces at Douglas Center, named after the balconies on its upper floors. The developers are touting unobstructed views of North Dallas and the Preston Center skyline, as well as modern environmental standards, contemporary design, and security and concierge services.

CREW Luncheon to Focus on Partnerships

Julie Kimble

Julie Kimble

Partnerships between the public and private sectors have become more popular these days when it comes to development, and can be mutually beneficial under the right circumstances. But making sure they’re fair can be tricky.

That’s why the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women is presenting a program called “Public/Private Partnerships: Sharing the Load” as part of its monthly luncheon series on Wednesday at the Park City Club.

The panel will include Sue Hounsel from the city of Dallas economic development department, and Jesus Chapa, Fort Worth assistant city manager. The moderator is Julie Kimble, principal of Hickey and Associates LLP.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $55 for those registered in advance or $65 at the door. For more information, call Kim Hopkins at 214-890-6490.

Mixed-Use Plan Gains Traction Near Jesuit

The Forestwood development would include a mix of residential and retail uses. (Courtesy Dodd Communications) 0
The Forestwood development would include a mix of residential and retail uses. (Courtesy Dodd Communications)

Everyone seems to agree upon the need to replace the outdated townhomes on the northwest corner of the potentially lucrative intersection of Forest Lane and Inwood Road.

The difficulty in reaching a consensus among the landowners, potential investors, and local residents is exactly what should take its place. But the developers of the Forestwood mixed-use plan seem to have reached a compromise with concerned homeowners that could facilitate a new life for the corner.

One complication is that the Daniel family, which has owned the land for 160 years, won’t sell it. The family developed the townhomes just south of Jesuit College Preparatory School about 40 years ago, and has operated them since.

“This land means a lot to us. The apartments that our fathers and grandfathers built are old and outdated,” said Richard Daniel, managing partner of Daniel Brothers LLP. “We need a new plan that’s commercially viable and a new plan that enhances the community and the neighborhood.”

New Office Tower Slated For Preston Center

Douglas Center is expected to be completed in early 2017.

Douglas Center is expected to be completed in early 2017.

Dallas developer PegasusAblon, in partnership with Houston-based Lionstone Investments, is planning to expand the companies’ commercial presence at Preston Center with a new 12-story office tower on Douglas Drive.

Our colleague Christine Perez at D Real Estate Daily has some additional details on the project, which will be the third building for PegasusAblon in the 8300 block of Douglas Avenue, just east of the Dallas North Tollway.

When the third tower — known as Douglas Center — opens in early 2017, the complex will become the Terraces at Douglas Center.

Author Reveals Tales of Employees Behaving Badly


Employees Gone Wild Cover Art

Sex, drugs, and accidentally pressing “reply all” on that rude email you wrote about Jen — sounds about right for the Dallas offices in which author Richard Burton has worked.

A lawyer in the labor field for 20 years, who as seen just about everything scandalous office life can bring, Burton is sharing all of his gossip, and tips, in his latest book, Employees Gone Wild.

The Preston Hollow native thought about writing the exposé for years, after dealing with an executive that liked to hold meetings with female employees wearing nothing but a towel around his waist and other illicit workplace behavior.

“It’s a pretty wild and funny book filled with a bunch of extreme adventures,” Burton said. “Over the years, I’ve just seen dozens and dozens of accounts of employee misconduct and decided it was time to share.”

Who’s Really Leading This Task Force?

The ongoing saga of the skybridge proposal isn't relevant to the work of the task force in charge of reshaping Preston Center. Or so they say. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

The ongoing saga of the skybridge proposal isn’t relevant to the work of the task force in charge of reshaping Preston Center. Or so they say. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

The bumpy road didn’t get any smoother on Tuesday night for the Preston Road and Northwest Highway Area Plan Task Force.

The group tried to lay the groundwork for its efforts to reshape development around Preston Center by meeting for the first time in more than three months. Yet following almost two hours of back-and-forth, the abundance of basic procedural squabbles among task-force volunteers, public officials, and hired consultants brought one question to the forefront.

Who’s in charge here?

Dubrow Earns Regional Entrepreneur Award

Mark Dubrow

Mark Dubrow

Preston Hollow resident Mark Dubrow has been named the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the Emerging Technology category for the Southwest region.

The Ernst & Young award recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate success in innovation, commitment to their business, and financial performance.

Dubrow, president and CEO of Onyx Payments — a payment processor for hotels and travel distributors — has almost 30 years of corporate financial management and industry business services experience. He is now a candidate for the 2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year national award, which will be announced in the fall.

Lunch Panel Focuses on CBD Growth

Kourtny Garrett

Kourtny Garrett

What’s hot in the Central Business District? Or, perhaps more accurately, what’s “haute” in the CBD? That’s the question that will be posed to panelists at the monthly luncheon for the Dallas chapter for Commercial Real Estate Women on Wednesday at the Park City Club.

Kourtny Garrett, executive vice president of Downtown Dallas Inc., will moderate the panel and give a presentation about the implementation of the Downtown Dallas 360 plan. The other participants include Amy McLaren, vice president with CBRE, and Shelle Sills, director of retail and special projects at Headington Companies and former general manager of the Neiman Marcus flagship store.

The event is open to the public. Cost is $55 if you register in advance or $65 at the door. For more information, contact Kim Hopkins at 214-890-6490 or

Camps are Music to Kids’ Ears

Young campers get excited. (Photo: Chris McGathey) 0
Young campers get excited. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

Allen and Gila Selis are people who believe in education. As the operators of Tech EdVentures and Music Together Dallas, respectively, they believe that education is something parents and children can do together.

For Gila, her story with Music Together Dallas began when she took her then 9-month-old daughter to a class in 2001.

“I loved my demo class so much that I asked the owner of the business if I could take the training to teach on Sunday mornings,” she said. “That magical feeling that I felt touched my soul right there and then, that very first class.”

Little Greek Getting Big With Expansion


Little Greek will continue its brisk expansion when it opens its first Dallas restaurant on Thursday at the southwest corner of North Central Expressway and Walnut Hill Lane. A ribbon-cutting is set for 11 a.m.

The menu for the fast-casual concept includes an assortment of pitas, wraps, and gyros, all with meat imported directly from Chicago.

“We know that our meat sets us apart. We use the highest quality gyro meat that money can buy,” said owner Jan Rosen. “We have been so happy with the success and growth of our other two Little Greek locations, and this Preston Hollow location is a perfect fit.”

Expanding Harrison Family Footwear Brand is a Shoe-In

Kai (left) and Eric Harrison took over their parents’ 37-year-old shoe company, The Remac Group. (Photo: Tanner Garza) 0
Kai (left) and Eric Harrison took over their parents’ 37-year-old shoe company, The Remac Group. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

“I went away to college having absolutely no doubt that I wanted to come into the business. I graduated from OU on a Saturday and started working here on Monday,” said Eric Harrison. “That was 29 years ago.”

For Harrison and his brother Kai, joining the family shoe business, the Remac Group, was a no-brainer. And while the company itself may not be a household name, one of its brands will resonate with Preston Hollow residents: J. Reneé.

A staple in Preston Royal Village for the past 17 years, the boutique supplies local women with unique heels, flats, sandals, and handbags. Named after the Harrisons’ mother, Joyce Reneé, the brand that started it all when Reneé and her husband Micky founded the company 37 years ago is finding new companions on the shelves.