Valley View Mall Makes Way for Dallas Midtown

Participants in the groundbreaking were, from left to right: Ken Malcolmson, President and CEO North Dallas Chamber of Commerce; Jaynie Schultz, Dallas Midtown Park Foundation Advisory Member and District 11 CPC Commissioner; Adam McGough, District 10 City Council Member; Linda Koop, Texas State Representative; Tennell Atkins, District 8 City Council Representative; Scott Beck, CEO of Beck Ventures; Amy Monier, District 11 Park and Recreation Board Member.
Valley View Mall continues to be demolished in preparation for the first phase of Dallas Midtown.

The demolition of Valley View Mall continued Friday as Beck Ventures broke ground on the $4 billion mixed-use Midtown development project. At a press event, developer Scott Beck, CEO of Dallas-based Beck Ventures, detailed plans for the transformative project, which he got involved with in 2012.

“The project all started with a single vision—the desire to reinforce our northern city boundary all while creating an urban mixed-used village in the center of the population density of Dallas,” said Beck.

The development lies at the corner of Preston Road between the Dallas North Tollway and U.S. Highway 75, adjacent to Interstate 635. According to Beck, approximately one-third of the city of Dallas’ population lives within three and a half miles of the site. The location allows Dallas to compete with surrounding suburbs for companies looking to relocate, Beck said. The district will give a multibillion-dollar boost to the city’s tax-base and generate more than $70 million for TIF funds that will go toward redeveloping southern Dallas, Beck said.

The project will be anchored by a 183,000-square-foot Life Time Fitness and a Cinépolis cinema. The $500 million initial phase will also include about 500,000 square feet of office space and more than 400,000 square feet of retail, along with more than 1,000 apartments, including affordable housing, and an 18-story luxury hotel. The hotel flag remains confidential but will be announced in the coming months, Beck said.

The health and wellness facility will feature an indoor and outdoor aquatic center including a rooftop beach pool, and two large functional resistance cardio training areas with “world-class” equipment, Beck said. The Life Time-operated facility will also encompass the fitness company’s newest innovation—Life Time Living, a residential area interconnected to the facility, and 50,000 square feet of collaborative work space. It will also include a café and bistro, a spa, a Life Time Kids Academy, and Ultimate Hoops.

The 10-screen Cinépolis theater will have more than 600 seats. Viewers will be able to enjoy leather recliners, at-your-seat waiter services, a full bar, and gourmet menu.

Beck Venues is working with A.G. Spanos Corporation on the project’s 1,000 apartment units. The unidentified upscale hotel, in partnership with Hesperus Group and SB&G, will include 440 rooms and more than 50,000 square feet of meeting space. It will include multiple food and beverage outlets and a rooftop bar with a swimming pool.

Plans for Dallas Midtown also include a 20-acre park, which will be owned by the city of Dallas. The park’s vision plan was curated by MIG consultants and will be monitored by the Dallas Midtown Park Foundation.

“From Klyde Warren to Vitruvian to Arbor Hills, we all recognize the power of parks as game changes,” Dallas Midtown Park Foundation Advisory Member and District 11 CPC Commissioner Jaynie Schultz said. “The 400-plus acre development to be built here will change Dallas in ways we cannot imagine now, just as no one foresaw the full impact of the parks I mentioned a moment ago.”

Beck plans to open the initial phase of Dallas Midtown by the end of 2019.

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Five Dallas Beers to Cool You Down This Summer

From the beach-ready to the hops-to-the-face, we’ve put together a range of DFW-brewed beers that will get you through a North Texas summer.

Although summer is more of a formality than an actual seasonal shift for North Texans, the end of school and a national holiday or two offer some unique opportunities for themed beer consumption. While your options might seem simple — lagers, limes, drink, repeat — we like to think that DFW’s breweries offer a broader range of pints for the rites of the season. We’ve paired five of our favorite local beers with five of the most recognizable activities for this time of year — because there ain’t no cure like these summertime brews.

Get salty this summer.

Solidarity with the neighborhood lemonade stand: The Salty Lady (Martin House)
Summertime offers North Texas youths the chance to make a little extra fidget spinner money by setting up shop as the neighborhood lemonade stand. All it takes are a sleeve of Dixie cups and a few scoops of Country Time mix in a pitcher of water to put these elementary school entrepreneurs in business. After you’ve ponied up your 50 cents to support local business, consider grabbing a sixer of Martin House Brewing’s Salty Lady to drink in solidarity with those pint-sized startups.

The Salty Lady is a gose, which, along with the Berliner Weisse, is the most summer-friendly of sour beers. Faithful to traditional recipes, Martin House includes salt and coriander in its brew, but the final result recalls nothing so much as Vietnamese salty lemon soda. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s sour, it’s bitter — and, at 5.2 percent alcohol by volume, it won’t slow you down if you’re called on for some lemonade stand consultation.

If you love the Salty Lady, you’ll especially love Martin House’s latest release: the Imperial Salty Lady, which it describes as the “same great beer, just amped up the ABV to 9 percent.”

Rahr’s Dadgum IPA, released in April, is Rahr’s take on a West Coast IPA.

Cuss-free completion of dad jobs: Dadgum IPA (Rahr & Sons)
Father’s Day has just passed, and after receiving a new tie and 24 hours of appreciation, dads will once again be tasked with those thankless household chores. Clearing gutters, edging the yard, taming the chaos of the garage — that’s freaking hard work, man, especially if there are little kids around and Pops is doing his damnedest not to drop some profanity in the process. Give the old man in your life some extra props for carrying off his duties swear-free and pour him a Dadgum IPA from Rahr & Sons, which released this juicy new brew in April.

Rahr bills the Dadgum as its take on a West Coast IPA. This ale delivers the juicy, citrusy hop profile of that style (thanks to a combination of Eureka, Citra and Lemondrop hops) along with a respectable 6.6 percent ABV, but it drinks much more like a mellow session IPA than a Cali palate-wrecker. With the aroma of the pine with which Dad will someday build that deck, Dadgum is the best toast you can offer your favorite paterfamilias.

If you’re gonna hop in a body of water — and obviously you should — you’ll need this blonde ale brewed in Rockwall.

Hanging out in a body of water: Lakeside Cerveza (Woodcreek Brewing Co.)
While we advise against trying to tube in the Trinity, you can’t beat North Texas’ many man-made bodies of water to keep the heat at bay. Be it kiddie pool or Lake Ray Hubbard, spending hours under the beating sun calls for beers that skew light, low-alcohol and local. Rockwall’s Woodcreek Brewing Co. has crafted the Lakeside Cerveza to satisfy those requirements.

A blond ale billed as a “Mexican-style beer,” the Lakeside Cerveza manages a few curve balls for a poolside chugger. Despite being a crystal-clear pour, the Lakeside has a heftier mouthfeel than other, wispier riffs on Mexican styles. It also presents an unexpected creaminess and a malty oomph that belie its aggressively filtered appearance. Overall, it drinks more like a hearty, refreshing Kellerbier than some macro-micro compromise. Don’t forget your waterproof koozie.

Screw your summer palate and go hard with DEBC’s Dreamcrusher.

Keeping your sanity on the Fourth of July: Dreamcrusher (Deep Ellum Brewing Co.)
Given our current political climate, the temptation to skip out on the family’s Fourth of July barbecue, hole up with microwaved hot dogs and repeat viewings of Independence Day instead is strong. If that’s not an option, well, it might take some of the strong stuff to get you through any sociopolitical conversations with the fam. We suggest Deep Ellum’s Dreamcrusher.

Dreamcrusher is a double IPA brewed with a dash of rye and some patriotic-sounding hops — Liberty, Apollo, Columbus, Representational Democracy. (We might have misread that last one.) It pours waves-of-grain amber and, at 9.5 percent ABV, drinks with the power of Captain America punching a thousand Hitlers in the face. Sip or shotgun, depending on your situation, and hold out for the desirable kind of fireworks.

If a double IPA is a little too intense for you this summer, check out DEBC’s new Summer Mix Pack, a mixed 12-er filled with Dallas Blonde, Deep Ellum Lager, Neato Bandito and the new Deep Summer, an ale made with hibiscus, lemon peel and chamomile flowers that you can only snag in the pack.

Crank the AC and go hard on Tupps’ Black Ale.

Thermostat at 60 and chill: Black Ale (Tupps Brewery)
Let’s be real: If you’re even remotely close to a sane person, you’ll be spending your days in the iceberg embrace of Texas-strength air conditioning. Perhaps as you point and laugh at the poor, sweaty souls staggering outside from the comfort of your living-room igloo, you will relish the chance to drink something wildly seasonally inappropriate — something like Tupps’ Black Ale.

This sweet stout is equal parts roasty and sweet, like burnt toast soaked in the leftover milk from your Lucky Charms. It’s got a lighter body and lower ABV (just 5.4 percent) than other stouts on the local market — a summer-weight stout, if you will — so you can drink a few over the course of an afternoon-into-evening as you cuddle beneath a blanket and thank your lucky stars for the thermostat. Just don’t chill the glass. That would be overkill.

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North Texas Patients Blame Eye Drops for Lost Vision

DALLAS – The number of alleged victims and impacted eye centers have grown two months after the first reports of an incorrectly mixed medicine used in some cataract surgeries have left some patients without vision.

About 35 North Texans have hired attorneys, claiming they likely permanently lost eyesight due to an incorrectly mixed solution used in a routine procedure.

At the end of April, Key-Whitman Eye Center announced several patients had worse vision after receiving a common medication following their cataract surgery. The common medication was mixed at a local compounding pharmacy. Dr. Jeffery Whitman identified the pharmacy as Guardian Pharmacy Services. The surgeries happened between Jan. 31 and Feb. 21, 2017.

Guardian Pharmacy Services is in Dallas, and not affiliated with the national Guardian Pharmacy services headquartered in Atlanta.

WFAA has learned a second center, Tylock-George Eye Care in Irving, also confirms that it used the same solution in a small number of its cataract patients. One of them is Julie Shipp of Lewisville.

“I can’t drive. I can’t see at night very much, and there are no lenses that can correct me and nothing can be done,” she said.

Patients reported extreme sensitivity to light, flashing and vision loss in the eyes that underwent surgery. Guardian Pharmacy Services provided the solution used in those surgeries.

“It’s two kinds of emotions. One, you’re relieved that you know what happened,” said Shipp. “The other emotion is you are angry that someone injected a drug into your eye that was poison.”

Shipp is one of about 35 North Texans who have hired legal representation. Attorney Andrew Sommerman represents Shipp and 19 others.

“This is an epidemic that didn’t need to happen,” said Sommerman. “I believe there are over 100 folks that have been affected by this at a number of different centers.”

Sommerman says he continues to get calls from other potential victims three to five times a week. Many, like Shipp, want retribution for what they’ve lost.

“I would like the Guardian pharmaceutical company put out of business for mixing this drug that changed all of our lives,” said Shipp.

WFAA contacted Guardian Pharmacy Services for comment and were directed to an attorney who is representing the business. He has not yet returned our calls for comment.

Billy Dunnill, attorney for Tylock-George Eye Care sent WFAA this statement:

After becoming aware of retinal issues that did not appear to be related to surgical technique, we were greatly concerned to learn that a post-surgical antibiotic medication, formulated by a supplier, might be responsible. We are working with each of the affected patients and doing everything possible from a clinical standpoint to help them and support their recovery.

© 2017 WFAA-TV

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North Texas Home Sales, Prices Broke Another Record in May

G.J. McCARTHY/Staff Photographer

North Texas home prices are still on a hot streak.

In May the price of preowned homes sold in North Texas surged another 10 percent from a year earlier.

At a median price of $255,000, area home prices have never been so high and show no signs of a cool down.

As long as demand for homes in the area remains strong, Dr. James Gaines, the chief economist with the Real Estate Center, sees not stop in the price growth.

“As long as shortage persists there’s no end,” Gaines said. “Rate of change might vary, but it’ll still be significant.

“Demand continues to outpace supply.”

North Texas real estate agents sold 10,939 single-family homes last month, according to the latest data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

May’s home sales were 15 percent higher than in the same month last year.

“The North Texas housing market continues to have a shortage of home listings, especially under $300,000,” said Ted Wilson with Dallas-based housing consultant Residential Strategies Inc. “.With demand far outstripping supply of ‘starter’ and ‘first move-up’ homes, it remains commonplace to see multiple offers at or above asking price for these more affordable homes as the come to market.

“The challenge is that, with all the growth and in-migration of households stemming from our robust job growth, there simply is not enough housing stock for those households seeking lower-priced, well-located homes.”

Neighborhoods that saw some of the biggest year-over-year homes sales gains in May include Duncanville (up 73 percent), Fairview (59 percent), Wylie (50 percent), Oak Cliff (46 percent) and North Dallas (38 percent).

Through the first five months of 2017, area real estate agents have sold a record 40,592 houses – up 5 percent in sales from the same period in 2016.

Another 11,311 home sales were pending but not yet closed at the end of May.

One of the biggest increases in sales so far in 2017 has been North Texas properties priced at $1 million and more. As of May 663 million dollar homes have traded – 37 percent more than in the first five months of 2016, according to the Real Estate Center.

There is finally some sign that the huge shortage of homes for sale in North Texas is easing. In May there were almost 20,000 homes listed for sale with real estate agents in the more than two dozen counties included in the survey. That’s a 10 percent gain in homes for sale from a year ago.

Even with that increase, there is still less than a 2.4-month supply of area houses in the real estate agents’ multiple listing service.

On average it took only 37 days to sell the houses that traded in May.

In 2016, North Texas real estate agents sold a record of more than 100,000 houses.

And median home sales prices in the area have shot up by more than 50 percent in the last five years – one of the biggest such gains in the country.

Paige Shipp with housing analyst Metrostudy said as long as the difference between prices of existing and new homes remains high, preowned values will continue to rise.

“We are seeing a slowdown in price appreciation for new homes, but the median is still $315,000,” she said.

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Thursday Storms Bring Heavy Rain, Cooler Weather to North Texas

It felt a lot nicer outside Thursday after a heavy round of storms moved through North Texas.

Last month was one of the driest Mays on record, but the first day of June brought scattered thunderstorms and a hail threat. Some areas got less than an inch of rain and others got more than 2 inches, meteorologist Jesse Moore with the National Weather Service.

At DFW International Airport, only .15 inches was recorded. Dallas Love Field measured .45 inches. But a city of Dallas rain gauge at Skillman Street and Southwestern Boulevard saw 2.21 inches, he said.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for parts of Dallas County that was allowed to expire. Some flights were delayed a few roads experienced flooding.

The rain did do a nice job of cooling things down. DFW reached a high of 87 at 1:39 p.m., but three hours later the temperature was down to 74 degrees.

“It’s June 1 at 5 in the afternoon and the temperature is 77 degrees,” Moore said. “Who’s going to complain about that?”

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