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July 13, 2017

Dallas Morning News /
Posh new social club will be perched atop historic Highland Park Village

The Park House private club will be on the top floor of the Highland Park Village building.

The private Park Club will occupy the top of the central Highland Park Village building on Preston Road. (Omniplan)

Affluent Dallas-area residents will soon have another location to live large.

The high-profile changes underway at the Dallas area's oldest shopping center include an exclusive club called Park House.

The private club will occupy the top of the centerpiece building at Highland Park Village on Preston Road.

Overlooking the Dallas Country Club, the high-end club is being planned and will be operated by former Rosewood Hotels CEO John Scott and long-time Dallas entertainment entrepreneur Brady Wood.

"Park House is a new private members social club atop Highland Park Village that will be home for creative and entrepreneurial patrons who come together to meet, exchange ideas, dine, dance and participate in one-of-a-kind events in a contemporary and social environment that delivers extraordinary experiences," Wood said in an email.

The members-only venue will include two private dining rooms, four bar and lounge areas, a swimming pool and cabanas, living room and library spaces and a large special event space. Outdoor terraces will have views of the neighborhood and the Dallas skyline.

There's also a shared office center for execs and entrepreneurs who need a place to work away from home or their primary business.

"People entertain, socialize and work differently today than in the past," Wood said. "Park House is a result of carefully studying this evolution of private social clubs and Highland Park Village provides the perfect canvas for delivering Dallas this new world class venue."

The operators plan to offer evening entertainment, including music, a dance floor and arts programs.

Park House is soliciting members on a website that includes details of the development. There's no mention of cost.

"We would prefer not to get into details on the membership. Those details will be released in the fall," Wood said. "The Town of Highland Park and the neighbors have been great to work with -- everyone is excited about the project."

The construction of the club and other upgrades to the building will cost more than $30 million, he said. Dallas-based Droese Raney Architecture and Studio Collective are designing the project.

William Noble Rare Jewels is moving to the second floor of the building in brand new space.

Highland Park Village -- along with County Club Plaza in Kansas City -- is recognized as the country's oldest shopping center.

Opened in 1931, Highland Park Village is considered the first off street retail center in America.

It's complex of red tile-roofed buildings was patterned on Spanish architecture after developers Edgar Flippen and Hugh Prather Sr toured locations in Spain, Mexico and California.

Over the decades, owners have lovingly preserved the style of the cherished local landmark.

But not all of Highland Park Village dates to the 1930s.

In the mid 1960s the owners constructed a 3-story, modern-style bank building at the entrance of the shopping center. The bank -- designed by noted architect George Dahl -- replaced service stations that once stood at the entrance.

While the mid-century modern bank was altered over the years, it's now getting a complete makeover to match Highland Park Village's historic architecture.

"We are upgrading the whole superstructure of the building," said Dallas businessman Ray Washburne, who heads the partnership that's owned the shopping center since 2009. "We have stripped the façade and make it look like a Moorish castle.

"It's the last thing at the Village I needed to do to bring it back."

Dallas architecture firm Omniplan designed the building's exterior.

The ground floor of the one-time bank building houses retail tenants including Starbucks and Chanel.

"Park House is excited to be part of this exciting redevelopment project," Wood said. "The end result will be a spectacular addition to Highland Park Village and buzzing with activity."

The site of the 3-story building with the club on top was originally a service station. (Highland Park Village)

Written by: Steve Brown
Originally posted in Dallas Morning News.