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Oak Lawn Committee undecided on massive Old Parkland expansion proposal

The Old Parkland team pitched the massive expansion and rezoning proposal to the Oak Lawn Committee at its July meeting.
Credit: Jake Dean/Dallas Business Journal
In 2014, Harlan Crow signs an I beam moments before it was hoisted on top of the dome-topped Parkland Hall building at Old Parkland's West Campus. The proposed East Campus would also feature a dome-topped structure.

DALLAS — Old Parkland is a local institution for financial firms — and now, the campus known for its Jeffersonian architecture and high-dollar tenants is seeking to expand its Maple Avenue campus across another block.

At the Oak Lawn Committee’s July meeting on Tuesday night, developers and architects on the Old Parkland team pitched changing the zoning for the project’s additional development across the street. The proposed expansion would likely include a nine-story, dome-topped office building compound in the same style of the project’s existing architecture — a nod to American history, a passion of the project’s owner Harlan Crow.

Craig Hamilton is one of the architects of several Old Parkland structures and the proposed expansion. He said in the Oak Lawn Committee meeting that the development provides a “green oasis” of high-quality culture and artwork to the community.

To learn more about plans for the addition to the campus, click here.

“You can see the great attention to detail in terms of the architecture, the joy and pleasure that's been taken in producing intricate detailing, and a language of architecture which really pays homage to the great American tradition of classical architecture in all its forms,” Hamilton said Tuesday night of the new structure’s design. “A language also that pays homage to the climate of Dallas, with its porticoes and colonnades and covered walkways.”

Old Parkland’s new “East Campus” would plant its doors at Maple Avenue and Reagan Street. Hamilton said 90 percent of the building’s parking would be underground. In line with its existing campus, the maximum height of the new building would be 240 feet.

The block, directly across the street from the existing West Campus, would follow the same zoning restrictions as the original if approved. The stretch of land — an outlined rectangle between Maple Avenue and Reagan, Throckmorton and Fairmount streets — currently houses about 81 apartment units and Italian restaurant Sprezza, said Cody Armbrister, senior managing director of Crow Holdings, at the Tuesday meeting.

The Oak Lawn Committee, a volunteer cohort that offers development endorsements to the city with a community-focused lens, voted to neither approve nor oppose the proposal. The body elected to invite the developers back with more requested details to next month’s meeting, all of which are conducted via Zoom. The committee’s approval isn’t required to obtain a Dallas City Council go-ahead, the next step to legally start the expansion. However, Rob Baldwin, one of the developers, said the Old Parkland team wanted to show the committee the plan before filing a case with the city.

The committee’s concerns included exclusivity of the campus to the Oak Lawn community, the displacement of the existing and potentially surrounded apartments and the height of the building.