Trendy East Dallas apartments help neighborhood shift toward young professionals

At the corner of Gaston Ave and Munger Ave in East Dallas, a 50-year old apartment building is being redeveloped into a neighborhood gem called The Greenhouse. The exterior and landscaping have been spruced up with faux topiary bushes and a large silver sculpture. Inside, the 1960s units are being renovated with wood floors, marble bathrooms and high-tech fireplaces. Revamped interior courtyards showcase fountains, fireplaces, custom seating areas and swimming pools.

The former Mandalay Apartments was one of the area’s most tattered buildings.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, new apartment blocks replaced stately old single-family homes as Gaston Avenue became the center of a trendy neighborhood for Singles and professional couples, similar to Uptown today. By the 1980s, much of the area was in decline.

The redevelopment of the Greehouse by Power Properties is but one example of the neighborhood’s resurgence. Much of Gaston is still lined with aging apartment houses and a sprinkling of retail businesses, as investors slowly rehab rows of crumbling rental units. Power Properties has about 850 rental units in the neighborhood and recently completed major upgrades to some of the apartment buildings. Developer Braden Power has been redoing old apartments in East Dallas for more than two decades.

The high price of apartments in Uptown push some renters toward cheaper alternatives in other in-town neighborhoods. The boutique character of the Gaston Ave units are filling a niche in the market, and the prices are at least 30 percent less expensive.

The Greenhouse’s 55 units will rent between $885 and $1,500 when it’s finished in early 2014.

Source: Dallas Morning News, November 28, 2013.
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