Pop Quiz: Is It a Dallas Shopping Center or a Dallas Neighborhood?

Mockingbird Station -- Shopping center or neighborhood?
Mockingbird Station -- Shopping center or neighborhood?

Dallas has lots of awesome places to shop, and also some cool neighborhoods that aren't malls. But it's easy to confuse the two. Most recently, in a piece celebrating Dallas' transition toward walkable neighborhoods, the DMN pointed to the West Village as a place "often cited as Dallas' most promising pedestrian neighborhood."

Not quite. Review what is and isn't a neighborhood with our special guide below.

Pop Quiz: Is It a Dallas Shopping Center or a Dallas Neighborhood?
Joy Kennely/Flickr

West Village It looks like a village and kind of feels like one. Unlike traditional malls, where people are just aggressively walking from store-to-store on a mission to buy shit, people in the WV tend to stroll the sidewalks in a manner that looks a bit more fun and spontaneous. There's some good independent businesses here that aren't connected to corporate chains. And the streets are narrow enough to prevent douchey Uptown drivers from speeding and running you over, which is also kind of neighborhood-like. But those streets don't belong to you. They're all private property, part of "joint development" venture between an architecture firm and two property companies that opened 2001.

Sure, there is an apartment complex inside the West Village that you can rent from, or more apartments on public streets across the way, not far from the property.

More recently, another developer called City Place Company came in to add another development to complement the current WV development, and it's scheduled to be all done in the fall of 2014. Still, does that make it a neighborhood? Or just an area where a lot of tasteful developers are cooperating together inside of Uptown, the actual neighborhood?

Verdict: Shopping Center.

Mockingbird Station It's a mixed use development where you can Shop, Eat, Live or Play. It's also next to a train station. Sounds urban! But wait. Go to the Mockingbird Station website and up comes an organized little directory of all the stores, the restaurants and the parking spots. No neighborhood association would be able to pull this off.

Verdict: Shopping Center

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