“Flora Lofts is essential to complete the first phase of the Dallas Arts District as envisioned at its founding in the Sasaki Plan by providing housing and studio space affordable to working artists.”
– Catherine Cuellar, former Executive Director of the Dallas Arts District and Founding Board President of La Reunion TX
Flora Lofts is a proposed mid-rise development that will add an important new dimension to the Dallas Arts District, enhancing its ambience and helping make it an even more attractive destination in Downtown Dallas.
By providing live/work space for income-qualifying artists and their families and adding numerous public amenities within the Arts District, Flora Lofts:
- Adds to the richness and vitality of the Dallas Arts District;
- Provides 43 apartment homes for income-qualifying Dallas artists and their families to live and work in this artistically diverse environment;
- Is designed to be visually compatible with and add to the ambience of the Arts District; and
- Contributes in important ways to the city for which this District is so important.
FLORA LOFTS AND THE ARTISTS
The concept for Flora Lofts is rooted in the belief that artists as residents create value within existing and emerging neighborhoods—a belief confirmed in the experience of cities across the nation.
It was also created with a goal of helping complete the original vision articulated in the Sasaki Plan for the Dallas Arts District, which included “a place where the serious artist can work and/or live” within the Arts District.
Flora Lofts is good for artists and their families, and for the Dallas arts community. It provides an important, affordable opportunity for artists to live within the creative milieu of the Arts District.
- Without it, residential space in this unique cultural district is not affordable for most artists; and
- With it, combining a mix of qualified artists in one Arts District location can fuel the creative growth of Dallas-area artists.
THE ARTIST SELECTION PROCESS
Flora Lofts affordable unit artist residents will be selected by a process developed by ARTSpace, a national developer of assisted housing for artists (w/40 properties nationwide) and utilized by La Reunion Tx. (LRTX)
In short, a marketing effort which is in conformance with Fair Housing guidelines informs the residents of Dallas County of the availability of the affordable housing units for persons at 60% and 50% of area median income.
Applications are received/reviewed/qualified by the DHA to ascertain eligibility based on income.
The prequalified applicants then make an appearance before a resident selection committee (sponsored by LRTX) comprised of a peer group—artists in the community who aren’t eligible for the housing. The selection committee will be representative of a range of artistic disciplines including visual, performance, technical, literary and education fields in the arts.
The committee will select the residents based on three basic principles (3P’s):
Portfolio: Applicant presents a portfolio of their past work in the field of art they have chosen.
Public: Applicant further explains how their work is a contributing part of the public realm.
Passion: Applicant is evaluated on the basis of their dedication/enthusiasm and expected contributions to the arts community in which they will reside.
FLORA LOFTS AND THE ARTS DISTRICT
The Dallas Arts District makes Dallas a truly unique arts destination. It is the cornerstone and catalyst for creative vitality in the Dallas area, home to the city’s leading visual and performing arts institutions, including the Dallas Museum of Art, ATT Performing Arts Center, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Nasher Sculpture Center and the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Located within one block’s walking distance, Flora Lofts integrates with these cultural assets to strengthen the social fabric of this vital Dallas community, providing a critical mix of uses and users in this vital hub.
Flora lofts will foster vitality and safety, while enhancing livability in the Dallas Arts District. Of 52 units in the Flora Lofts portion of the development, 43 are affordable for artists who would not otherwise be able to live in the Arts District creative environment.
As a mixed-use development combining artist family housing, pedestrian amenities and additional parking in the Arts District, Flora Lofts will:
- Add vitality to the Arts District;
- Expand the services available to existing residents, visitors and employees;
- Encourage more tourists to visit the Arts District and spend more time there when they do; and
- Encourage Arts District patrons to linger in the District after attending performances and visiting exhibitions, taking advantage of the new amenities Flora Lofts will bring.
Located at 2121 Flora Street, the structure will feature a mix of residences. The project includes not only Flora Lofts housing for artists, but also the 29-floor Atelier residences with XXX market rate units for Dallas families.
The Flora Lofts units, located on levels two through six, line the podium of the taller Atelier tower. The Flora Lofts levels, stepped back from Flora Street with landscaped terraces, will blend with street-level retail, offering amenities to enhance the Arts District experience … such as a café, gastropub, floral shop, technology gallery and other creative neighborhood enhancements.
FLORA LOFTS AND DALLAS
The Dallas Arts District is this city’s cultural centerpiece, an asset of immeasurable value to Dallas.
Artists as residents create value within existing and emerging neighborhoods, as has been demonstrated time and again by artist housing programs in urban areas throughout the U.S. Flora Lofts will add value to the Arts District, Downtown Dallas and, by extension, the City at large.
The myriad assets created by this development will enhance the municipal and downtown improvement area tax base and increase area property values. Flora Lofts will replace a surface parking lot with a mixed-use development that adds vitality to the District and Downtown Dallas and increases the number of public parking spaces available in the District.
SUSTAINABLE LIVING DOWNTOWN
Flora Lofts will be designed to obtain LEED Gold Certification by constructing a sustainable building that utilizes natural resources in an ecologically sound manner, minimizes maintenance requirements and performs at a highly efficient level of energy consumption. Green amenities planned into Flora Lofts include:
- Rainwater harvesting
- Water-conserving irrigation
- Energy efficient HVAC systems
- A passive solar building envelope and shading system
- A vegetative roof cover