Thursday, April 2, 2015

Comet Town Is Coming

The long-planned Comet Town is finally getting close to ground-breaking. OK, it's not called that anymore (probably for the better). It's called Northside at UT Dallas (a mouthful; most will probably call it just Northside). Judging from the photo, it holds some promise of being mixed-use, just like the recently announced planned development west of the DART station at 75 and the Bush turnpike. That's all good.

This time, by mixed-use I really mean mixed-use, not multi-use, which is what too many of Richardson's new developments really are instead of mixed-use, which is what they are called. I'm using the terms as defined by a commenter on "The Wheel" called "Jules": "The industry calls separated uses by building multi-use, but if the uses ([multi-family], retail, office, etc.) are vertically integrated (stacked) they qualify to be mixed-use." I'm a big fan of mixed-use. Multi-use? Not so much. (I'm also not a fan of commenters not using their full names. The comment by "Jules" slipped through. My bad.)

Look closely at that concept image above. It shows a Fuzzy's Taco on the ground floor of a building with residential units elsewhere in the same building. That's mixed-use. Before I get my hopes up, I have to admit that the concept map seems to indicate a multi-use development, not a mixed-use one. I haven't seen any updates to that. We'll see what's really built.

Something about this development that maybe ought to have been in the Dallas Business Journal lede is this: "The development is being built adjacent to a proposed site for a future DART rail station." Normally, the talk is how light rail spurs development. Here's a case where that spur is so strong that the development is occurring years before the light rail is operating, or even funded, or even certain to ever get approved for that matter. There's a pent-up demand for DART expansion, while opposition to new highways is only growing. Not even The Dallas Morning News can be relied on anymore to be a cheerleader for new highway construction. For example, see this opposition to widening US 75 (one of the few times I actually agree with Rodger Jones).

By the way, about that Fuzzy's Taco in the concept image of Northside above? I force myself to believe that most consumers are unaware of the meaning of "fuzzy taco." I refuse to believe that anyone aware of the meaning would in any way patronize the business. Go ahead, call me a prude. This time it fits.

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