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Construction kicked off Thursday on what builders say will be one of the biggest mixed-use urban projects in Dallas – a $1 billion redevelopment of part of the old Valley View Mall.
The almost 25-acre project on LBJ Freeway will be constructed on the site of the old Sears department store and surrounding parking lots.
Almost 2 million square feet of offices, apartments, and retail and restaurant space are planned in the Park Heritage complex being built by New York-based Sertiage Growth Properties, Dallas developer KDC and Toll Brothers, a Pennsylvania-based home and apartment builder.
The planned mixed-use development is the largest part of the redevelopment of the 173-acre Valley View mall property.
Seritage – which owns the vacant Sears store and dozens of other properties around the country formerly owned by the legacy department store – is one of three owners of the mall site at LBJ and Montfort Road in Far North Dallas.
Demolition of the old retail building and clean up of the site will take about 90 days. Planning for the high-rise buildings that will replace it is already underway.
"We’ve owned this property four a little over four years," said Seritage executive vice president James Bry. "This has been a major focal point of our initiatives and what we are doing around county.
"We’ve commenced over 100 projects but this one is very special to us in that it’s the largest that we currently have," Bry said. "We are very excited about what we planning to do here, making a very vibrant new community with a 3- acre park on our property alone."
Dallas’ KDC – which in recent years has built huge North Texas office campuses for companies including State Farm Insurance, JPMorgan Chase and Liberty Mutual Insurance – is already pitching its planned office buildings at Valley View to tenants.
"There has been a lot of tenant interest in the site," said KDC CEO Steve Van Amburgh. "Our company is entertaining a number of proposals and presentations from top companies that are looking at either relocate back into the Dallas area or consolidate operations in a more centrally located place. "
"The office buildings with roughly 1.8 million square feet are up on LBJ," Van Amburgh said. "The rest of the residential and the mixed uses are behind there all intertwined along with the park."
Dallas architect Omniplan has done master planning for Park Heritage.
Toll Brothers Apartment Living – which has several projects in the Dallas area – will build several hundred rental units in the first phase of the Park Heritage.
"We are very excited to be part of the transformation of the former Valley View Mall site," Charles Elliott, Toll Brothers Apartment Living president, said in a statement. "The collaboration with Seritage, KDC and other leading developers, will make Midtown Dallas a vibrant new addition to the city."
With the demolition start on the Sears building, work is underway to knock down most of the vacant 1970s shopping mall.
The retail center redevelopment is the largest part of the proposed Dallas Midtown district, which will take up hundreds of acres between Preston Road and the Dallas Galleria with new construction.
EF Properties – which owns the former Macy department store property at Valley View – has razed that building.
The $1 billion Park Heritage development will have office, retail and residential space.
Work on the mall project restarted recently after months of delays brought about by legal disputes between the property owners and disagreements with the city.
"The Dillard’s building is completely gutted and will start physically coming down in about three and a half weeks," Beck Venture’s Scott Beck said. "The auto dealership on Preston road will start coming down soon.
"Some time in the middle or end of first quarter of next year you will see buildings vertically rising on our property."
Beck said he has a deal with LifeTime Fitness to build a high-rise apartment project, fitness center and retail center on part of his site.
"That facility will have the first LifeTime ultra luxury high-rise living 18-story apartment building," he said. "It will have the first of its kind LifeTime work collaborative office space."
Beck said he also has an agreement to build a new AMC Theater and is talking to an apartment builder about a rental project on his Valley View site.
Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings was on hand for Thursday’s construction start and said he’s glad to see work started before he leaves office in about six weeks.
"For the city this is an important project because of the ability that the neighborhood is going to have," Rawlings said. "We have an option to compete with suburbs in the north for business and mixed uses.
"It’s a place that new companies are going to call home," he said. "They want urban options and this is going to provide us more of that."
The old Sears department store at Valley View mall is coming down to make way for a new mixed-use project.