Mike Ablon Featured in Dallas Business Journal

August 30th, 2016 by Jessica MacDonald

From dallasbusinessjournal.com

Special Report: Fixing Dallas’ Highway System

Proposed Fair Park redevelopment shows potential benefits of I-30 upgrade.

Taking a side

When Mike Ablon began buying up properties in the Dallas Design District, he knew accessibility to the artsy neighborhood fronting the Trinity River was paramount.

It took time, but, with the help of city and community leaders, Ablon and other stakeholders helped bring greater accessibility from the Dallas North Tollway to Oak Lawn Avenue, which was an important step in connecting the Design District to the rest of Dallas.

The access also helped push the Design District to the forefront. It is now one of Dallas’ hottest neighborhoods undergoing significant transformation.

“When you put the on- and off- ramp at Oak Lawn and look at what happened to Old Parkland and the Design District, those wouldn’t have happened without that help,” said Ablon, the founding principal at Dallas-based PegasusAblon. “It’s about improving a city’s fabric and tying it together.”

By improving the city’s fabric, PegasusAblon and the firm’s investors were able to sell a large portion of the┬áDesign District to a group of investors led by Dallas-based Dunhill Partners. The partnership – which includes oilman Tim Headington and the owners of Highland Park Village – bought more than 30 acres and about 700,000 square feet of buildings along Oak Lawn Avenue, Hi Line Drive and Stemmons Freeway in November 2014.

Without the enhanced roadway access to the properties, the Design District holdings wouldn’t be as valuable as they are today and new stakeholders, such as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, may have gone somewhere else for a practice facility.

“I don’t think it’s a ‘for roadways,’ or ‘against roadways,’ situation, that’s an overly simplified notion,” said Ablon, a self-described student of cities. “It’s not being for roadways or against roadways, it’s about solutions that are appropriate in each place.”

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