NEW YORK — When phase two of Ross Perot Jr.’s mixed-use urban development project is completed in downtown Dallas in 2006, its 72,000 square feet of retail store space will be home to several European-based retailers who may not be well known to U.S. consumers.
The mission of the six-building Victory Park project, which is owned by Perot’s real estate company, Hillwood Capital, was to attract what Hillwood president Jonas Woods described as emerging fashion brands to a compelling retail environment. To that end, roughly 20,000 square feet of Victory Park’s retail space will include a two-floor retail concept called Lift, where J. Lindenberg, Ted Baker of London and Adriano Goldschmied will lease boutique-like storefronts inside a larger marketplace.
Freestanding retail stores, including Fred Perry, G-Star, Quicksilver and Future Sports, are also expected to open.
“I don’t think anyone has ever come into a retail project of this size with the sole focus of signing tenants that are unique or new to the market,” Woods explained during a recent interview. “Most people need their national credit tenants, probably 40 to 50 tenants that everyone tries to get when they decide to do a retail project. Our approach was quite different. We didn’t really want any of those tenants; we may pick up some here or there. We’re tying to create a distinct form of a retail development that is not the same old thing.”
The stores within Lift — which Woods described as a “fashion terminal,” and whose design he likened to that of Barney’s Co-op — will also be accessible via street entrances, to enhance Victory Park’s overall “city within a city” format.
Inside, “the look of the [Lift] store, the racks of apparel will … have their own sections,” Woods said. “The store format allows you to kind of move from little boutique to boutique.”
Victory Park will also include 108,000 square feet of restaurant and entertainment space, which Woods expects to generate a large percentage of the site’s pedestrian traffic. In addition, a W Dallas Victory Hotel & Residences, a high-end grocery store and 120,000 square feet of office space will be part of Victory Park.
When completed, the $3 billion, 12 million-square-foot Victory development will house 4 million square feet of office and retail space and 4,000 new residences over 75 acres. Phase one construction included the $420 million American Airlines Center entertainment complex, which opened in 2001 and is owned by the city of Dallas.
“What makes [Victory] important for Dallas is that it will create a real regional destination for people — people from surrounding cities, from cities in Texas and surrounding places — to come to Dallas, and an alternative location to get some unique goods,” said Woods.