Storefront on the Hyman Mall may receive face-lift |

Storefront on the Hyman Mall may receive face-lift

Janet Urquhart

Owners of the historic Kobey building on the Hyman Avenue Mall have proposed a renovation project that would restore the structure’s original storefront and create a free-market penthouse.

The conceptual plans, submitted by Michael Fuller Architects, received a generally favorable review from the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday. The proposal will be back before the HPC on May 9.

The building at 428 E. Hyman Ave. was once home to the Kobey Shoe and Clothing Co., an apparel shop for men and boys. It most recently housed the Sportstalker and has sat vacant for a year or more.

The building is listed for sale for $6.2 million with Coates, Reid and Waldron.

The owner of the property, Loma Alta Corp. of Dallas, is seeking approval to construct a free-market unit that would occupy the second floor and a proposed rooftop addition to the building. The addition would be set back about 50 feet from the mall and about 15 feet from the rear facade.

The height of the penthouse, which is close to, if not over, the city’s 40-foot limit, concerned the HPC, according to Amy Guthrie, the city’s historic preservation officer. The commission wants assurance that the addition doesn’t exceed the limit when it takes up the proposal again in May, Guthrie said.

Also proposed is restoration of the building’s original storefront facade, with a recessed entryway, larger windows and recreated historic detailing that appears in an old photograph of the structure.

“Everyone is thrilled with them restoring the building,” Guthrie said.

In the rear, a portion of the wall would be removed to create two parking spaces off the alley. Repair of the rear facade and replacement of a balcony are also proposed.

The building currently contains about 9,000 square feet in a basement, ground floor and second story. It previously housed the Sportstalker on the bottom two floors and other businesses and a residence on the top floor.

The owners are seeking a 500-square-foot floor-area bonus to build the penthouse in exchange for restoration of the facade. The mixed-use building would house commercial uses in the basement and ground-floor levels, with the residence above.

The applicants do not have to provide any affordable housing as part of the redevelopment because the building is an historic landmark, according to Guthrie.

“They have the right to one free-market unit without any mitigation,” said Guthrie, who has recommended the HPC give the project conceptual approval.

The proposed modifications are “an excellent effort to restore the building to its original character,” she noted in a memo to the HPC.

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