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New High-Rise In Dallas Arts District Will Include 52 Affordable Lofts For Artists

Courtesy of Stantec
Atelier will stand between the Meyerson Symphony Center and the Nasher Sculpture Center at Pearl and Flora Streets in downtown Dallas, Texas.

Ground was broken Friday on another high-end, residential high-rise in downtown Dallas near Klyde Warren Park, but this one is different: It's designed with its neighbors in mind.

The new tower, called Atelier — French for "studio" — will stand between the Meyerson Symphony Center and the Nasher Sculpture Center at Pearl and Flora Streets. The building will include more than 360 luxury units.

Traditionally, ateliers were the cheaper, top-floor apartments that painters in Paris used for their access to sunlight. (They were cheaper because this was before elevators.) 

In fact, alongside Atelier’s 41-story-tall tower, there’ll eventually be 52 affordable loft apartments for artists, called Flora Lofts, developed by local architect Graham Greene.

Lily Weiss, executive director of Dallas Arts District, calls it “a game-changing tower.”

“Not only will it be a mixed-use luxury residential building, but it will be the home of Flora Lofts, which is much-needed affordable housing for artists,” Weiss said.

Atelier has been designed to fit with its artistic neighbors. It’ll be next door to Museum Tower, which became infamous for its glare. The building’s shiny glass sparked a long-running dispute with the Nasher over whether reflected sunlight damaged the museum’s landscaping and artworks.

In contrast, Atelier’s windows are pushed back from the building’s facade and angled to reflect sunlight away from nearby buildings. And the tower has a notch, or setback, as it rises. This prevents even its shadow from falling on the Nasher.

Greene owns the parking lot where Atelier will rise. He’s pushed this project for more than three years, which included getting the tax credit for affordable housing.

“We came up with a solution that respects its neighbors, adds street life and a mix of uses that vitalizes the district into a real neighborhood,” Greene said.

Atelier, developed by Orlando-based Zom Living in partnership with Daiwa House Texas Inc. and Itochu Copr., is expected to open in two years.

Jerome Weeks is the Art&Seek producer-reporter for KERA. A professional critic for more than two decades, he was the book columnist for The Dallas Morning News for ten years and the paper’s theater critic for ten years before that. His writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, American Theatre and Men’s Vogue magazines.