"Empty Victory," by Matt Pulle, January 29
New York State of Mind
Victory will not survive without condo landowners who care about their neighborhood and investment. Renters and flippers do not make a stable neighborhood or foundation for future growth. Therefore, a simple solution is for Victory to quit trying to overthink successful models. You need to (subsidize if you have to) have a Victory grocery store and assorted real service stores (pharmacy, doctors, cleaners, etc.) within Victory so residents can walk and shop. Have all of these subsidized companies provide delivery services (even doctors) for residents. Look at any New York neighborhood and even North Dallas neighborhoods to see what has worked for generations. Victory developers needed to check in their egos along with their crazy LA/NY condo price structures. Even before the Cali crash you could get a sizable two-bedroom water-view condo along the coast of West Los Angeles for 700K, yet for the same price I could only find a one-bedroom overlooking the county jail. Come on!
Victory Wannabe, via dallasobserver.com
I live in the complex Jefferson at the North End, which I guess technically is not a part of "Victory Park." However, I think the success of the area depends a lot on the residents of this complex. The complex probably has the most diverse residents in the area, both financially and culturally. In the future, this area has to meet the needs of such a diverse group, which would also mirror the diverse group that patronizes the American Airlines Center. What about a movie theater, upscale bowling (Tin Pin Alley), chic low-priced retail (Forever 21/ H&M) and low-end quality restaurants (Five Guys Burgers/Wingstop)? These options could work well with high-end boutiques and restaurants.
Sherri Hughes, via dallasobserver.com
It is great to see an article published that vindicates what I have been saying about Victory for years, first as an armchair urban planner, and now as a student.
Though you don't directly state it, one point that seems to be proven is that stadiums and arenas don't deliver on the economic development promises made during their elections. While there has been development, it hasn't been what was promised. Looking at recent closures; the arena seems to have done little for the retailers, since they are open all day, six to seven days a week. Game-day traffic that is supposed to drive this development is only in the area shortly before and after the event, 100-150 days out of the year. No profitable retailer would set their business model around such an irregular and unpredictable customer base.
Also you mentioned the two design flaws to the Victory development: Victory Park Lane isn't designed to handle pedestrian traffic flow on event days, and the lack of visibility of the street itself.
I'll add a third. Back in the day, when DART wanted to build the first part of the upcoming Green Line to service the AAC, they wanted to build it on Houston Street and build the station directly adjacent to the development and arena. The developers wanted it on the edge, between the development and Interstate 35E. The city decided to side with developers, as it always does, and denied DART the ability to serve the activity center directly.
Thousands of people use that station for events and will never see any retailers, even at full build-out. They will see the parking garages for the buildings, however, though that is little consolation for the retailers and very confusing for potential visitors who have to figure out where the spine is for Victory.
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This goes back to a fundamental flaw of Dallas trying to become more urban in its core, including Downtown, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Victory, etc. Historically, cities are formed on the ability to generate jobs and economic activity. After that, they will take the shape of the transportation city. When Dallas was served by streetcars, it was a dense, walkable city. Now that it's laced with freeways every few miles, it is a low-density, auto-oriented region.
While DART's light-rail system is making inroads in this area, the region is still dominated by the auto.
This pertains to Victory in a big way. Since the urban core was built prior to the auto, it is not as convenient for the car. Since the suburbs were built around the car, they are more convenient. If people want to buy something upscale, it is more convenient to go to NorthPark than Victory. In essence, no place near the urban core will be able to out-suburb the suburbs.
Branden Helms, via dallasobserver.com