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Rocky Roads: Knox-Henderson’s Struggle To Stay Correlated

Rocky Roads: Knox-Henderson’s Struggle To Stay Correlated

Time heals all wounds, all construction fiascos, all empty stomach and in some cases, the clotheshorses looking for the trendiest pieces of the season. But just how much time? Henderson Avenue, known as the other side of the high-traffic and luxurious Knox St. since they share a road intersected by North Central Expressway, has been under construction for the past year with the end in sight up to five years away.

Open Realty, the property management corporation overseeing all of Henderson Avenue, began a development plan to turn Henderson Avenue into an equal to its other side last summer. Knox’s appeal spans from trendy bars, upscale restaurants and a range of furniture stores from local to international acclaim. To match, Open Realty began tearing down abandoned properties (Peaceful Mind Spa, a massage parlor that did not last two years) and opening new attractions (The Eberhard, a neighborhood restaurant that turns into a dominating nightclub at night). They drew ideas of more retail stores, and brought Vancouver-based Technical CashmereTM Kit And Ace to be part of the family last summer. Where Macklin Cleaners existed in a prime spot with a private parking lot sits Texas-based women’s boutique Esther Penn. Tex-Mex favorite Hacienda on Henderson was torn down to be a Mellow Mushroom in the future, and the urbanite bar Gin Mill was shut down after too many noise complaints to the City of Dallas. There are still several For Lease signs plastered on the avenue, with the property managers crossing their fingers that an upscale partner will take over.

Knox Street has a clear target market. It’s catered to the affluent shopper, high-class eater or families who do not have to look at a price point before sealing a deal. Henderson Avenue is quite the opposite, with the most prosperous aspects of traveling there are rooted in the restaurant scene. The shoppers are much younger, some of them teenagers, usually with their parents to visit the boutiques that established themselves as the only destination to their clients years ago. The charm stems from the dive bars, like dancehall Beauty Bar and the eccentric Whippersnapper. However, the foot traffic cannot compare to the plethora of options reflecting against the construction zones surrounding the street. Where Henderson lacks, Knox makes up for and then some. The question is, who is Henderson Avenue’s target market? And when they realize that, The apartment complexes surrounding the area are filled with mid-20s young professionals who spend more on their bar tabs than the shirts on their backs and the view from the balcony is undeveloped land taped off to provide a glimmer of hope for what’s to come.

Five years cannot come soon enough, so here’s to the Mellow Mushroom opening later this year. 

By Travis Wright