The Knox Street district already has a reputation as one of Texas’ and Dallas’ most walkable neighborhoods.
Weir’s Furniture and real estate firm Four Rivers Capital have a $150 million-plus plan that could make it more parkable, too.
They intend to build on the Weir’s site a 12-story retail and office tower with 800 spots of underground parking. Most of those spaces would be available to retail and restaurant customers in the district on weekends and after-hours and more than 200 of them would be available all the time.
“I don’t know if there’s 800 parking spots in the district right now,” Four Rivers partner Justin Schoellkopf said. “Everybody likes coming to Knox Street district, but it’s tough to find a parking spot.”
Blake Weir, merchandise manager and grandson of Weir’s Furniture founder, J. Ray Weir, said the company has considered redevelopment for years, but wanted a plan that would benefit the neighborhood while continuing the store’s legacy at Knox.
“For us, it’s super important,” Blake Weir said. “We’ve been fortunate to be in business on Knox Street since 1948.”
Construction of the 297,000-square-foot Weir’s Plaza tower at Travis and Knox streets should begin after the first of the year and take 18 to 24 months to finish, Schoellkopf said. The 2019 groundbreaking date is still to be determined.
The upper floors will hold 250,000-square-feet of offices, while the first floor and part of the second will be devoted to retail, including a new store for Weir’s Furniture. The historic Highland Park Soda Fountain Building will remain as part of the project.
Blake Weir said the company expanded its Farmers Branch location at Inwood and Spring Valley roads in anticipation of having to temporarily close the Knox store. Weir’s also has stores in Plano and Southlake.
Schoellkopf and his business partner James Mason Jr., are family friends with long histories in Dallas. They expect the new office tower to prove attractive to tenants with the proximity to U.S. 75, Uptown, and Preston Center as well as access to the Katy Trail, the Park Cities, and Knox Street merchants.
It’s a nine-minute walk from Novē at Knox, a 310-unit, 19-story luxury multifamily development Southern Land Company of Nashville is building at Oliver Avenue and U.S. 75.
Schoellkopf said Weir’s Plaza will include high-end amenities such as an oversized gym and oversized showers for the convenience of tenants.
“In a lot of these office towers, the gym is put in after the fact or as an afterthought,” he said.
Project designers also have been particular with parking design, making sure all spaces will be on flat surfaces, not slopes.
Weir said he’s excited about green spaces included in the design and is hoping the office tower construction can coincide with planned street and sidewalk work.
“We are grateful and excited,” Weir said. “We really wanted to be part of a development that would continue the legacy our grandparents and our parents started here.”