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New retail construction in the works for East Dallas’ Henderson Avenue

After years of delay, development is set to start on two buildings this summer.

A long-awaited East Dallas redevelopment project may finally get off the ground.

It’s been five years since developers won hard-fought zoning to build new retail and restaurant buildings along Henderson Avenue east of U.S. Highway 75.

Since then, the high-profile properties have changed hands and a pandemic put many projects on hold.

The New York-based property company that is the largest owner along Henderson is now eyeing a summer start of construction on new buildings.

Acadia Realty Trust last year paid $85.4 million for the restaurant, retail and commercial buildings along Henderson as well as the vacant land for construction. The purchase included more than 160,000 square feet of buildings that house tenants including Sprouts grocery, Henderson Tap House, Fireside Pies, Warby Parker and Tecovas.

More than 4 acres of undeveloped lots along Henderson were included in the sale. The properties were rezoned in 2018 to allow construction of retail, offices and restaurants.

The Henderson Avenue properties owned by Acadia Realty Trust house some of East Dallas'...
The Henderson Avenue properties owned by Acadia Realty Trust house some of East Dallas' popular restaurants and watering holes.(Jones Lang LaSalle )

Acadia Realty Trust plans to start construction this summer on more than 12,000 square feet of retail buildings along Henderson, according to planning documents filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The single-story buildings will cost more than $3.4 million and were designed by Dallas architect GFF, the filing shows.

Acadia Realty is making the move at a time when company officials say its Henderson Avenue buildings are seeing a big bump in business. The company called out improved performance at its East Dallas properties in a recent conference call with securities analysts.

“We’re also seeing increased demand and markets experience strong demographic growth,” Acadia CEO Ken Bernstein said. “An example of this is our recent acquisition in Dallas on Henderson Avenue where due to the growth of the residential community surrounding the Knox-Henderson corridor, we’re already seeing leasing spreads of about 20%.

“And this is even before we have executed on the expansion and rejuvenation of our assets on that street,” Bernstein said. “In conversations with our retailers in relation to new store commitments, they are generally looking past this current period of economic uncertainty and committing to key locations, especially for unique mission-critical locations like we have in our portfolio.”

Acadia Realty owns urban retail and commercial properties in markets including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston. The company is based in Rye, N.Y., north of Manhattan.

The renewed plans on Henderson come as the Knox Street business district just across U.S. Highway 75 is seeing a building boom with new retail, residential and office projects.

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