For decades, the Knox District area has managed to remain some of the city’s hottest real estate, while maintaining its designation as one of Dallas’ most appealing neighborhoods. The charming single-story storefronts are in stark contrast to the towering glass buildings most think of when they picture Dallas. And then there’s the location of it all — a convergence point of high-end neighborhoods like Highland Park and Uptown, with rare, pedestrian-friendly (for the most part) sidewalks that could take you directly from lululemon to the Katy Trail.
And though Knox District has never faltered as a destination (outdoor brunch at Le Bilboquet or quick visits to Grange Hall and Aesop are a welcome reprieve in this strange time), the past couple of years — with heavy construction, rotating storefronts (R.I.P. Highland Park Soda Fountain), and the global pandemic of it all — has seen the neighborhood primed for a new phase. That’s where Highland Park Village Management Company comes in.
This week, MSD Capital, L.P., The Retail Connection, and Trammell Crow Company announced they had retained the management company, led by Stephen Summers and Ray Washburne (whose families own Highland Park Village), to lease, market, and manage their retail holdings in the Knox District area. Highland Park Village general manager Becki Snow will oversee property management, and the Village’s chief marketing officer Victoria Snee will handle marketing and public relations.
“It’s such a special block and we’re just honored to be a part of it,” says Summers, managing director of Highland Park Village. “I think there’s a lot of potential for Knox in terms of bringing in some really interesting leases on the retail, F&B, and hotel side to take it to the next level.”
And though Summers can’t yet share any details on potential new names in the neighborhood (they’ve already an outpouring of interest), he was able to touch on the team’s shared vision for Knox District. He anticipates a focus on health and wellness tenants playing off of the Katy Trail, with some unique restaurant experiences. A hotel could also finally find its way to the neighborhood.
“We have a really great opportunity to develop the parcel along the Katy Trail [from Sid Mashburn to Grange Hall] and create some hotel and green space along the trail,” Summers adds. “Obviously it’s a weird time to be looking at a hotel because of Covid-19, but long-term I think it’s a fabulous hotel location. It’s a great, walkable district with incredible F&B that’s only going to get better.”
Ultimately, Highland Park Village Management Company hopes to help distinguish the cherished Dallas block as its own destination. “Knox District is not trying to be Highland Park Village, it’s trying to be a unique street catering to its younger, denser clientele, so we’re going to focus on uses that serve that shopper,” Summers adds.