Victory Park Soon To Live Up To Its Name
The Great Recession hit Victory Park harder than most areas of the Big D. But after a new game plan and some much-needed TLC, Victory Park (home of American Airlines Center) will soon be a slam dunk haven for live/work/play.
Victory is on the verge of becoming the next "it" spot in Dallas. Within the next 18 months, it will complete upward of 2,500 multifamily units. More than 160k SF of retail already exists with more on the way. And Hillwood still has 11 acres of undeveloped land to contribute to the landscape of the 75-acre area. But Victory took the long route to success.
Once upon a time, Ross Perot Jr. (yes, that Perot), the then-owner of the Mavs, and Tom Hicks, the then-owner of the Stars, wanted to create an urban lifestyle destination anchored by the American Airlines Center via Perot's development arm, Hillwood.
"The idea was to have enough adjacent land to build a mixed-use project along with the $425M city-owned arena," Hillwood EVP Ken Reese tells us.
After the AAC opened in 2001 and the W in 2004, many assumed Victory was on its way to—well, victory. But even the House of Blues and the new home of WFAA couldn't cushion the blow of the Great Recession. Hillwood lost millions in equity during the crash and leaned heavily on its equity partner, UST XVI Victory Park, which is managed by Estein & Associates. In 2012, UST XVI, which had taken over ownership of the majority of Victory, called in Trademark for its retail expertise.
Trademark talked to retail experts, office experts, stakeholders, city officials and residents to set up a game plan. "The community told us to make Victory more pedestrian-friendly, less exclusive and expensive, and more diverse," Trademark CEO Terry Montesi (here with his family) tells us.
By way of a TIF fund, Estein added crosswalks and signage, made Houston Street and Victory Avenue two-way, removed medians and widened sidewalks. The positive effects of this improved infrastructure can already be seen by the number of pedestrians walking (yes, Dallas is somewhat walkable), eating lunch on patios and hanging out outside.
The 160k SF of retail doesn't hurt either. In the last 18 months, Trademark has facilitated the opening of Buda Juice, BuzzBrews, Jimmy John's, Read Between the Lines and many others. In 2017, Cinépolis theater will open along with a threefold restaurant/retail/co-working concept from Tristan Simon's company, Rebees.
Hillwood still oversees 2,139 units of multifamily in Victory. The 263-unit Alamo Manhattan, 423-unit Camden Victory Park and 336-unit SkyHouse Dallas are already open, and the 352-unit Victory Place, Greystar's 302-unit Ascent and Genesis' 461-unit Katy Station are underway.
Besides the live/play aspect of Victory, work will soon be thrown into the mix. Hillwood is in the early stages of an 8.5-acre office development.
"The hope is to get in a large user who likes the young, educated, Uptown-like population and do something really special with the space," Ken says.
Unlike other emerging (make that emerged) neighborhoods like Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum, Victory is surrounded on all sides by hotspot 'hoods. Victory's proximity to Uptown, Downtown and the Design District makes it a natural fit for the evolution of Downtown Dallas.