DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) -- Dallas' Valley View Mall is set to undergo a $3 billion transformation that developers say will turn the struggling retail space into a destination location.
One-time shopper Jim Flint, from Richardson, says it's about time. "This mall is dying. I don't see how this place can stay going for long… pretty empty, it's sad to see. It's just not what it used to be."
But developer Beck Ventures has a grand vision for what it can become.
"It is about time to get something done here in the city of Dallas," says Beck Ventures President Scott Beck. "We continue to lose office tenants and users to the North. It's really about time to have something—a destination, an entertainment and shopping and urban living destination here in the middle of the population density."
Dubbed 'Dallas Midtown'— the development aims to be an ultra-urban mix of condos, apartments and pedestrian friendly retail space. Plans calls for a luxury hotel, an office tower, plus a 20-acre park and a hike and bike trail that will connect to the White Rock bike trail. But, developers are especially excited about users who will move through the area and access its western bookend—the Dallas Galleria.
Beck says the development will feature a trolley system, which would be "similar to the McKinney trolley that you see today, but much more of an urban type of trolley, and then the crown jewel on top is the overhead cable car … very unique to the city of Dallas."
Funds from a 2006 Bond Election have been allocated to extend the hike and bike trail. And Dallas city leaders are thrilled to see new life breathed into the area.
"The City of Dallas has long looked at this area for redevelopment," says Councilmember Linda Koop, on hand for today's announcement. "The whole 460 acres and with the Beck's investment here, it really is the cornerstone of what we'd envisioned I'd say about 8 years ago."
Developers hope to break ground early next year with the first phase of construction wrapping up in 18-24 months— just in time for visitors to reach the area on a newly rebuilt LBJ Express.
And while Flint admits that it was curiosity that drew him to the nearly deserted mall today— the big plans announced for the area will almost certainly tempt him to return.
"Yeah, I'd come back to check it out, I think it'd be a good thing for the community."
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