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New Plans For Old Crozier Tech

Concept rendering
Concept rendering

A Dallas developer wants to turn old Dallas High School, also called Crozier Tech, into downtown apartments. KERA’s BJ Austin says the developer also wants a tax break from the city.

When the Dallas School District sold the historic Dallas High School/Crozier Tech, alumni and preservationists waged a campaign to get landmark designation for the city and save it from the developer’s wrecking ball. They got it, and the school’s been boarded-up for more than a decade.

The 100 year old building faces the DART rail station at Pearl and Bryan. It’s owned by a California company now apparently ready to sell. Clyde Jackson, CEO of Wynne Jackson now has the property under contract, and is seeking a 90%, ten-year tax break from the city to help secure financing for the 50 to 70 million dollar downtown residential project. Dallas Economic Development director Karl Zavitkovsky says that would be a good deal.

Zavitskovsky: The fact that we’re preserving a historic landmark; that we’re putting 510 new units downtown. It’s a TOD project, right on the door step of the DART station, near the bus station.

TOD is transit oriented development, and the bus system’s east transfer station is right behind the school. Developer Clyde Jackson plans three newly constructed apartment buildings on the site, and he says the exterior of the school would be restored to its original architectural design. Inside, he plans 81 apartments with 15-foot-high ceilings. And he says he’ll keep the auditorium.

Jackson: It’s quite magnificent. We are going to restore that. It has 30-foot ceilings and some very interesting work in the ceilings. It has faux columns all around the auditorium with open books; very interesting and wonderful. So we plan to restore all of that.

Zavitkovsky told the City Council Economic Development Committee the project won’t happen without the tax break. Committee members agreed and are recommending the full council approve the tax break next month.

Dallas HS-Redevelopment

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.