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Oaxaca Interests Aims To Expand Sylvan | Thirty, But Why?

Oaxaca Interests will construct three new retail spaces totaling 10,500 SF across Sylvan Avenue from Sylvan | Thirty in Q1 2018. The popular Sylvan | Thirty development has garnered a fair bit of attention as a happening spot over its life span, but with the risks posed to brick-and-mortar retail and the potential for space to remain unused, what is making Oaxaca double down on retail in the area?

Oaxaca Interests founder and CEO Brent Jackson

Oaxaca Interests founder and President Brent Jackson said the plan is based on some secret sauce research from the Oaxaca R&D department.

“We are of the mind that, in doing our research, not only in the state but in the country, more times than not, if you have retail on both sides of the street and [the tenant mix] encompasses all services … not only does it encourage a walkable environment, but it also physically translates into better sales for both sides,” Jackson said.

Jackson did not disclose the numbers the R&D folks found regarding measurable sales increases, but obviously they were good enough to make Oaxaca invest in this move. According to Jackson, the new construction is technically separate, but functionally an extension — together, he wants one walkable retail destination.

The biggest hurdle Oaxaca will have to clear in creating walkability is the traffic signal between Sylvan | Thirty and the new development. Jackson said he wants to make the signal more pedestrian-friendly, but that will require cooperation from the city.

Rendering of 1881 Sylvan

The other more nebulous aspect of extending and/or replicating the success of Sylvan | Thirty at this new development is tenant mix curation. 

According to Jackson, this has been Sylvan | Thirty’s bread and butter, the key to much of its success. Jackson said his company will be paying close attention to how the new tenants match up with the existing tenants in Sylvan | Thirty.

“Curating the right tenant mix is very important to us in the long-term view of this area. Just getting in the sort of quick fix or quick lease has not been our strategy since day one,” Jackson said.

Beyond the basics of business viability, Jackson said relationship to the tenants is his company’s focus in the tenant selection process.

Rendering of 1881 Sylvan

“It probably sounds overly simplified, but it comes down to people. Who are the guys and girls that are actually running the [companies]? … We are very hands-on as landlords as far as getting to know our prospective tenants and that is an important element to how we curated [Sylvan | Thirty],” Jackson said.

The three things Oaxaca looks for in a tenant are the alignment of principles between the tenant and Oaxaca, appropriate attention to detail in the financial realm and a focus on community impact, according to Jackson.

He believes there is tremendous upside to this people-centric approach to tenant selection and plans to utilize the same approach for the new development.

Four of the tenants in Sylvan | Thirty have achieved Dallas Observer “best of Dallas” awards in their respective fields this year. Jackson said he believes no other North Texas development can make a similar statement.

Oaxaca is in negotiations with multiple tenant candidates for the new spaces. Jackson could not disclose who or what kind of tenants they might be, but said the negotiation process has been competitive and there are multiple prospective tenants interested in the spaces.