Return to Case Study Briefs

The Shops at Park Lane

Landscape Performance Benefits

Environmental

  • Sequesters approximately 2,770 lbs of atmospheric carbon annually in 43 newly-planted trees. The tree canopies also intercept 11,453 gallons of stormwater runoff annually.
  • Reduces roof runoff for the cafe by 37% for a rain event with an intensity of 2 in per hour through an extensive green roof system.
  • Provides 24% shade over non-roof areas during the summer months through tree canopy cover and shade structures, compared to 6% pre-development.

Social

  • Promotes the perception of a safe and secure environment for 90% of 60 survey respondents, primarily through lighting, visibility, the presence of others, and security personnel.
  • Improves perception of the Park Lane District for 87% of 60 survey respondents and is perceived favorably by 86% of respondents.
  • Improves quality of life for 83% of 60 survey respondents primarily as a place to be outdoors, reduce mental stress, and meet people.

Economic

  • Contributed to high occupancy rates of up to 95% for retail and multifamily and up to 100% for office in the newly-added 550,000 sf of mixed use development and adjacent buildings.
  • Contributed to the position of most of the national retailers in The Shops at Park Lane in the top 10% in sales of their respective chains by increasing customer dwell time in the area.

At a Glance

  • Designer

    TBG Partners

  • Project Type

    Mixed-use development
    Streetscape

  • Former Land Use

    Greyfield

  • Location

    8080 Park Lane
    Dallas, Texas 75231

    Map it

  • Climate Zone

    Humid subtropical

  • Size

    32,000 sf

  • Budget

    $3.75 million

  • Completion Date

    2015

The Shops at Park Lane is the centerpiece of Park Lane Development, a mixed-use Transit-Oriented Development on 33 acres at a prime intersection of multimodal urban activity in Dallas, Texas. The Shops at Park Lane replaces 4 acres of surface parking and vacant land with live, work and play options while activating the larger urban setting and supporting regional economic growth. Located less than 5 miles north of central Dallas and adjacent to a traditional shopping mall, The Shops at Park Lane creates a human-scale destination adjacent to retail, office and multifamily housing, and helps anchor existing development with an outdoor plaza, amenities, and pedestrian-friendly shopping, dining and entertainment. The plaza serves as a central multipurpose green and includes a promenade of spray jets, outdoor dining terraces, and a series of water walls, encouraging visitors to gather and linger. Traffic circulation and flow are improved with new streets, streetscape elements and curbless pedestrian paths to enhance walkability.

  • The at-grade interactive water features, water walls, and central lawn area create a destination for families with children. Program elements that are geared toward children, such as the linear water feature with spray jets at the north end of the central lawn, generate a longer duration of stay for visitors, economically benefiting the adjacent retail and restaurant areas. 
  • The central lawn and green roof system reduce impervious coverage by replacing the previous surface parking lot.
  • The extensive green roof system, which covers 56% of the roof of the one-story cafe building, is composed of 6-in deep modular trays planted with blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis), Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima), and woolly stemodia (Stemodia lenata). The green roof provides stormwater control and reduces heat on the rooftop in comparison with typical urban roof types and also provides aesthetic value to the adjacent residential and office development.
  • 23 plant species are planted on the green roof and in landscape areas, 4 of which are Texas native species . 
  • 5 tiered granite fountains frame the east side of the plaza, conveying a much-needed sense of physical and psychological relief from the hot Texas sun while also mitigating vehicular traffic noise from the adjacent street.
  • A mix of permanent and movable furniture seating for up to 50 people is located on the restaurant and cafe patios, with additional movable furniture and lawn seating in the central plaza. The use of movable furniture optimizes opportunities for social activity, interaction, and programmed events/entertainment.
  • Light-reflective stone and concrete pavement mitigates urban heat island effect and produces less heat during hot sunny days in comparison with other materials such as asphalt.

Challenge

A challenge for the design team was to create a comfortable outdoor space for year-round use, specifically considering hot North Texas summers. Additionally, children visiting the area needed to have a buffer and a flexible space to keep them away from the adjacent roadways on the east and west sides. The team was also challenged to specify plants to accommodate heavy pedestrian use and, for the green roof, survive and flourish as part of an extensive roof system that could withstand the Texas summers and drought.

Solution

The project team activated the Park Lane development with the incorporation of a ½-acre urban plaza surrounded by restaurants and retail on all 4 sides. The urban open space was sited on the east side of a 4-story office building, providing shade from the hot afternoon sun. Additionally, a bosque of trees was incorporated along with 5 water walls to provide a cooling environment for pedestrians. A live oak anchors the lawn area and provides shade for visitors. In order to create a child-friendly space, the flexible lawn was made safe through design interventions such as the use of planting barriers on the west side adjacent to a curbless road, as well as grade changes and a series of water walls on the east side. The durability and resiliency of the green roof planting was assured by specifying native and drought-tolerant plants.

A traditional roof would have cost approximately $20 per sf, and the cafe’s extensive green roof cost an additional $35 per sf. This increased cost was taken on to spur the economic success of the project and provide other benefits. The mixed-use buildings adjacent to the plaza are 100% occupied, and the cafe is one of the highest revenue-generating stores in the region, indicating a potential connection between investments in landscape and positive economic outcome.

  • Although green roof systems are desirable and sustainable design responses as compared to traditional roof systems, their use in some instances, especially on shops with outdoor seating, may have unintended consequences for the users. The incorporation of drip irrigation instead of a spray head irrigation system on extensive roof gardens not only reduces water consumption but also mitigates any overspray to pedestrians and users below on the ground level.
  • Strong development strategy and management is a key to success. The ½-acre plaza with its newly-added human-scale buildings creates a desirable outdoor room and a destination within the development that was previously perceived as megalithic and soulless. Engaging the landscape architecture team early in the site planning process, and strategic siting of the plaza along with the new buildings created the necessary orientation and human scale to provide a comfortable outdoor environment for visitors. As a result, the space can be programmed year-round, adding value to the community’s experience of the mixed-use development.
  • The inclusion of open space can almost be considered a prerequisite to successful mixed-use development. This open space in particular has become the heart of the Park Lane development. Third places like the plaza create economic gains, social density, quality of amenities, and enhance the quality of life for local and surrounding communities.

Stone: Cactus Canyons Quarries, Coldspring Granite, DAL-Tile, WAUSAU Tile Inc.
Lighting: Bill Galvin Architectural Lighting Associates
Edging: JD Russel Co.
Concrete: Davis Colors
Drains: NDS, ACO
Pavers: Pavestone, WAUSAU Tile Inc.
Furniture: Landscape Forms, Quickcrete
Drainage material: TremCo Global, Invisible Structures
Grass Pavers: Grass Pave2 by Invisible Structures

Project Team

Client: Northwood Retail
Landscape Architect: TBG Partners
Structural and Civil Engineer: Raymond L. Goodson
MEP Design-Build: Brandt Companies
Contractor: Beck Company
Water Feature Contractor: inCon-trol Corporation
Architect: Gensler – Houston
Irrigation Consultant: Seth Heidman
Extensive Roof Garden Consultant: David Hopman
Landscape Contractor: American Landscape Systems

Role of the Landscape Architect

The landscape architect was contracted directly by the owner and was charged to design and develop a central hub within the existing mixed-use development to provide a community gathering space for shoppers, families, and residents. The landscape architect led the design of the streetscape, pedestrian plaza / vehicular drive, multiple dynamic fountains, the event lawn, and the artful extensive roof system.

Case Study Prepared By

Research Fellow: Taner R. Ozdil, Ph.D., ASLA, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Arlington
Research Assistants: Ali Khoshkar; Riza Pradhan; Ravija Munshi, MLA candidates, University of Texas at Arlington
Firm Liaisons: Jim Manskey, Principal; Will Jones, Managing Principal; Gabriela Weber, Landscape Designer; TBG Partners
August 2017

Topics

Stormwater management, Temperature & urban heat island, Carbon sequestration & avoidance, Recreational & social value, Health & well-being, Safety, Economic development, Other economic, Green roof, High-albedo materials, Placemaking

The LPS Case Study Briefs are produced by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), working in conjunction with designers and/or academic research teams to assess performance and document each project. LAF has no involvement in the design, construction, operation, or maintenance of the projects. See the Project Team tab for details. If you have questions or comments on the case study itself, contact us at (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

Help build the LPS: Find out how to submit a case study and other ways to contribute.