Artists to get affordable housing in the Arts District, next door to flashy Museum Tower

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By Alex Bentley

The Dallas Arts District has seen such a boom in new buildings in recent years that it’s a wonder there’s space left for anything else. But one group has managed to find a spot, announcing plans to build Flora Lofts, which will provide 47 rental residences for artists and their families, on a site that’s currently a parking lot just south of Museum Tower and east of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

The Flora Lofts, planned for 2121 Flora St., will be a six-story, mixed-use building bracketed by Pearl, Flora and Olive streets. Along with the residences, the building will contain retail shops and underground parking.

Unfair though it may be, the price of real estate in the Arts District isn’t friendly to most full-time artists. That’s why the development applied for tax credit financing and other incentive programs. The plan is for qualified artists to pay rents based on their incomes and family size, allowing more creative types to live in the heart of the Arts District. Potential residents for the lofts will be screened by La Reunion TX, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting artists with the community.

GREENarc Corporation, the second partner in the venture, hopes to start construction on the project in early 2014. They plan to build according to LEED Gold Certification standards, incorporating such elements as a vegetative roof, rainwater collection, and water-conserving irrigation and renewable power generation.

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