Development Goes On Despite Slow Economy Mixed-used project at Northwest and Hillcrest expected to open by summer

Park Cities People
by Sarah Scott, Staff Writer

If you’ve driven by the intersection at Hillcrest Road and Northwest Highway recently and wondered about the gaping pit on the northwest corner, you’re not alone.

“People keep looking in that hole and saying, ‘What’s going on down there?’” said Mark Robertson of PRG Realty Investors.
 
But nearby residents needn’t be too concerned, he said — the site will soon be home to an underground parking garage for the $40 million Hillcrest Crossing project that is scheduled to open this summer.

The three-story mixed-use project will have ground-floor retail with office space on the upper levels. The 80,000-square-foot building will include a detached bank. The company has contracted space to tenants including a day spa, a South American restaurant, a bakery, and the much-touted Equinox Fitness, whose risque advertisements have grabbed media attention.
The high-end retail reflects the surrounding demographics, Robertson said.

“I refer to [it] as the finest never-developed site,” he said.

The 2-acre tract is just one of the developments that continue to sprout up around the Park Cities despite the nation’s bleak economic outlook. Across Central Expressway, Prescott Realty broke ground on the 55-unit Shelby apartments late last year. The mixed-use development on SMU Boulevard will also have retail space, said Prescott representative Taylor Stone, who added that the project would be completed by August.

The Dallas-based company also plans to break ground on a project at the old Shamburger Lumber yard that will have 350,000 square feet of residential and 20,000 square feet of retail space. The two projects will cost about $80 million.

Prescott has already successfully pushed for rezoning of the tract of land south of University Boulevard and east of Central Expressway into a planned mixed-use development, but Stone said details on that project are still being negotiated.

“That’s a project down the road,” he said of the site that includes Cafe Brazil . “That’s not even in the planning stage right now.”