I made a quick trip back to the Lone Star State over the weekend. A direct flight from Peoria to Dallas on American Airlines is only about 2 hours. It drastically cuts down on the 12 hour drive (+2 more with dog) and makes things tolerable. For a person who likes to travel, I hate time in the plane, train, or automobile.
A funny thing happened while I was there. I finally realized why everyone is obsessed with their cars. It has to do something with the fact that in order to do anything in the DFW area, you absolutely need a car. So, you are caught in the riptide of having to own a high revving Japanese sports car, something that is German engineered, or a Big F^#*ing Truck with dualies. Admittedly, I too, got swept away in car fever while I lived there.
Much has been written on this subject so I won’t go any further. It’s not walkable. It’s hardly bikeable. But there are parts. There are glimmers of hope and I wanted to point out one. In Addison, there lies Addison Circle. It’s a mixed-use development that fully embodies Live.Work.Play. Addison is only 4.4 square miles in size. Beg your pardon? Yes, and that includes a small airport within city limits as well.
So, with limited real estate and being landlocked from expanding by adjoining other cities, how are you supposed to grow your population and increase economic productivity? Build things with multiple uses. Enter Addison Circle, a Post Properties, Inc. development [LINK]. At first glance it seems that they just built some apartment complex off the Dallas North Tollway. But after further review, they have created an actual town. One that doesn’t just say it is vibrant, but one that is.
Certainly, Addison Circle has gotten called everything from upscale to uppity all the way to Dallas Douchey. I may not be able to change those perceptions but I hope I can illustrate that this is a development we need more of – especially to infill places that are otherwise car-tastic.
Blueprints at Addison Circle is a steel piece of artwork inside of a roundabout. It not only catches your eye from various parts of town, but standing in its shadow you can really see there is more than meets the eye.
Lower level storefronts make you feel like your some place special. Awnings, brick sidewalks, outdoor seating, and trees add a dimension to this development that otherwise gets left off the list due to “cost prohibitive reasons.”
Parks, greenspace, and other open areas to make you feel more comfortable living without a yard.
The key component in all of this is residential living space. Apartments in the upper-story, and townhouses along the street allow for a true 24/7 people presence.
…and then there are many little things that all add up to make this a significant place.
It’s not to say that there isn’t an abundance of cars here. From people working there to dining there to going to their homes, people still drive – A LOT. This little urban sanctuary is a blip on the map of the Metroplex, but nonetheless, one that is refreshing to stumble upon.
It can be a lesson of what to build. It can be a lesson on what our communities should invest in. It makes you wonder how this got here, but makes you wonder why more things like this aren’t here. It’s very perplexing.