Developer Trying Again With Preston Center Neighbors

Transwestern has resurrected its plans to build a luxury apartment complex at the northeast corner of Preston Road and Northwest Highway.

The developer, you might recall, took its plans for the same property off the table last summer following a wave of neighborhood opposition about the proposed height and density of the project.

Now the company has scaled back the size of its plans in its latest concept, and Transwestern officials are cautiously optimistic about the response.

“It was really clear that we weren’t getting any traction for the density or height we were looking for. So we had to step back,” said Mark Culwell, Transwestern managing director of multifamily development. “We developed a concept that we thought would be much more agreeable to the neighbors.

The original proposal to replace an aging collection of condos and townhomes included six stories and 220 units. The new idea would be four stories at its tallest point, with 164 total units.

Plan Comparison

220 Units 164 Units
6 Stories 4 Stories
3.5 Acres 3.5 Acres

Culwell said the smaller complex is economically feasible because Transwestern renegotiated the purchase price of the land this winter, and because the market allows the company to focus on 2-3 bedroom units and increase its rental rates by 10-12 cents per square foot.

For its new proposal, Transwestern would require a zoning change from the city of Dallas for a one-floor variance on the southern half of the 3.5-acre property (south of Averill Way). Current zoning allows for just three stories and 120 units.

In March, Culwell once again solicited feedback from Preston Hollow residents, claiming their support will be critical to the project moving forward.

“We’ve been encouraged by the response,” Culwell said. “This feels like there’s a broader acceptance.”

However, Ashley Parks, past president of the Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association, said a recent poll revealed that 80 percent of the group’s members would like to see a task force trying to shape future development in the Preston Center area complete a pending land-use study before any zoning issues are considered. That study could take more than a year to complete.

“These are things that really need to be done in a thoughtful way,” Parks said. “We really would like to wait and see this land-use study so we can really look at the entire area and see what’s best for the neighborhood.”

Both neighbors and developers agree that the corner needs a fresh start, but finding a mutually acceptable solution could take some time.

“It’s one of the great locations in all of Dallas,” Culwell said. “It’s been a good process. We’ve heard some good suggestions. I think the end result is something everybody can be proud of.”

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