Owners Adapting to Overcome Rising Rent in Bishop Arts District - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Owners Adapting to Overcome Rising Rent in Bishop Arts District

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    Owners Adapting to Rising Rent in Bishop Arts District

    After years of roadblocks and orange cones, progress is now easy to see in the expanded Bishop Arts District, but the challenges aren't over for businesses there. Many are using creativity to overcome high rents and property taxes.

    (Published Friday, March 15, 2019)

    With each scoop, Azucar Ice Cream Co. in the newly expanded Bishop Arts District, is hoping to build its customer base.

    "We are absolutely optimistic," said co-owner, Andy De La Fuente.

    It's a base that, lately, has seen a lot of change.

    "We're seeing tour buses come in with all kinds of people," said Julie McCullough, who owns Harkensback, a boutique on Bishop.

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    "People from downtown, people from North Dallas visit us a lot and we also get a lot of tourists and now some of the people are starting to move into these gorgeous new buildings," said Sonya Eudaley, who owns DIRT Flowers.

    The district is exploding with growth. Along with new apartments nearby, there's a courtyard complex for restaurants and retail under construction on the northeast corner of Bishop and Melba. South to Ninth Street, a multi-level, mixed use building is preparing for at least one shop to open this summer. Across from it, Tribal Café, Azucar and cured meat shop, Salumeria, are already open.

    But all that revitalization has come with challenges for longtime owners.

    "Our property taxes started going up three years ago, like doubling.. and it's been hard," McCullough said.

    After years of development and slowed sales, Green Pet had to pack up, leaving after a decade.

    Owner Leslie McKay said she was paying $700 a month in property taxes on top of rent. Bills at her new Tyler Station location have been cut in half.

    "If you don't adapt your business and kind of figure it out and how you're going to do it, then you may not survive," McCullough said.

    Eudaley said she's adapting DIRT with an event space around the corner where she can host weddings. In addition to floral arrangements, she creates mini cactus displays for tourists and also turns to E-Commerce.

    "You can order our products online so I think that that has really helped us weather the storm of having very low walking traffic," she said.

    Epiphany consolidated its men's and women's stores and new shops are going modern.

    "We use Uber, we use Caviar. You'd be surprised, people still ship out their ice cream to their homes to get it," De La Fuente said.

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