Terry Montesi: Can Victory Park Be Fixed?

Terry Montesi
Terry Montesi

In the spring of 2012, Trademark Property Co. made a big commitment. We partnered with Victory Park owners Estein & Associates to bring Victory Park back to life. I knew there was risk in becoming associated with the project, and that we’d have only one chance to get it right.

We did our due diligence and decided that the public spaces and retail could indeed be fixed, and enlisted experts from across the county, such as Stantec Vibe, RTKL, Half Associates and many others, to work with us to formulate a vision for the new Victory Park. We are convinced that these changes will transform the project into Dallas’ premier walkable urban dining, entertainment and shopping district.

When it comes to residential, office, and entertainment, Victory Park is ahead of the game. New residential development is on fire, with the Novare Group just breaking ground on SkyHouse Dallas, a 336-unit high-rise between the Perot Museum and the House of Blues. Also, construction of Mill Creek’s 378-unit upscale Arpeggio Victory Park is nearing completion, and the Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan recently broke ground on its Victory Park luxury six-story, 263-unit apartment building. In addition, Camden Property Trust purchased 4.7 acres due north of the AAC, with plans to construct 425 additional multifamily units for rent.

Office space in Victory Park is more than 95 percent leased, with tenants such as Cumulus Media, WFAA -TV Channel 8, Haynes & Boone, HFF, and Ernst & Young, to name a few. Of note, Victory also welcomed the Perot Museum of Nature & Science to the development last December, to rave reviews, I might add, and the W Dallas Victory Hotel has begun its $4 million room renovation. Not to mention, the American Airlines Center which hosts nearly 200 events annually.

Although this strong district activity is encouraging, much must be done to the streets, sidewalks, parking, public spaces, graphics, way-finding, storefronts and the existing and vacant lots on the west side of Victory Park Lane, before the district will become truly successful and ultimately sustainable.

So what’s next at Victory Park?

First, we want to add retail and office space to the unfinished Block D garage, located across from the W, and revamp Victory Park Lane. Storefronts need to become individualized and lose the sterile homogeneous appearance. Additional signage will be added, directing guests where to park and guiding traffic through the development.

Olive Street will be reconfigured and a major cross walk added so pedestrians aren’t dodging oncoming traffic. Houston and Victory Avenue, both wide, high-volume streets, will be converted to two-way traffic, with the exception of during events.

We will extend the southern terminus of the Katy Trail to the park area within the district. We will remove the median on Victory Park Lane and widen and animate the sidewalks. And last but not least, Victory Park will receive a complete overhaul and welcome the addition of one or two fast-casual dining options.

In addition, we have just started pre-leasing a retail, entertainment, multifamily and hotel building on block G, due south of the unfinished block D garage. These buildings will complete the new Victory Park retail, dining and entertainment district.

Our goal in the next few months is to continue working with the City of Dallas and the other Victory Park stakeholders to fine-tune the plans and commence construction. In the meantime, you will be able to find Victory Park news and events on the soon-to-launch Victory Park website at victorypark.com.

Terry Montesi is chairman and CEO of Trademark Property Co., which he founded in 1992. Contact him at tmontesi@trademarkproperty.com.

Looking south from Victory Plaza, toward the W Hotel.
Looking south from Victory Plaza, toward the W Hotel.
Looking west on Olive Street.
Looking west on Olive Street.
Looking north on Victory Park Lane.
Looking north on Victory Park Lane.
Estein's Lance Fair, left, and Terry Montesi, during a recent visit to D.
Estein’s Lance Fair, left, and Terry Montesi, during a recent visit to D.

8 comments on “Terry Montesi: Can Victory Park Be Fixed?

  1. Is this a joke? This was announced in the Spring of 2012 with promises of an immediate start, and now this minor update to what was announced nearly 18 months ago. I look forward to the next “update” in early 2016 when Trinty Groves and the Design Districts parking lot retail will be thriving entertainment districts.

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  2. How about trying to bring in a grocery store or market. Dean & Deluca would be great. But with all of the residents now (us included), we really need some sort of nice grocery market. Additional nice restaurants would be great too!

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  3. I was under the impression that Cushman & Wakefield was involved with the office and land components of Victory and was a partner in this success story – odd they weren’t mentioned?

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  4. What’s the reason for removing the median? It’s actually the nicest part of that street.

    And can we get a more detailed timeline than “the next few months” as to when we can expect a groundbreaking of the Mandarin garage? When does the city-owned garage break ground that will allow Camden to begin construction on their property? When does the new website go live? Will the multifamily and hotel building on Block G replace the HKS-designed office tower that was previously planned for that site? When can we expect the first new tenant lease?

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  5. Please don’t convert Houston and Victory avenues into two-way streets. Also, if you’re still shopping for movie theaters, can we get an Alamo Drafthouse or another unique cinema?

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  6. I say “hats off to you, Terry.” If Victory Park can be fixed (and I’m a HUGE believer that it can, and must be) it will take a proven entity and visionary risk taker like you to see it through. The Victory Park project is at the heart of the downtown/uptown revitalization efforts and a critical connection point linking downtown, Arts District, uptown, Harwood District, Trinity District, Design District, Oak Lawn and LOL as well. The success of Victory Park to this greater effort is essential.

    More so, the Victory Park brand is equally important to the city itself.. It, like Clyde Warren Park, The Perot, Museum Tower and a host of other notable milestones speak to this cities continued resilience and “By God Because We Said So” commitment in the face of skepticism and uncertainty. It’s as BIG as Dallas itself and I am excited to see you put the Victory back in Victory Park. Thanks Terry and let me know what I can do to help!

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  7. Pingback: Specifics of $101 million overhaul of Victory Park revealed | DALLAS TEXAS REAL ESTATE