Client Name: RED Development

Dallas, Texas


  • Permitting
  • Zoning  
  • Lobbying 
  • Special Purpose Sign District 
  • Abandonment 
  • Street Closure 
  • Neighborhood support 
  • Oak Lawn Committee 
  • Replat 

        Project Description

        The Union is an 800,000 square foot, two-tower mixed use development. This dynamic project is located at the junction of five city streets in Uptown Dallas and surrounded by Dallas’ premier sports, entertainment, museum, and park venues. The project was designed by HKS, Inc. and constructed by DPR Construction.  

        The LEED Gold and Energy Star-rated complex includes a contemporary 420,000 square foot, 23-story Class-AA office tower, a 309-unit, 31-story high-rise apartment building, 87,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, an outdoor central plaza with large trees in a park-like setting, and ten levels of above and below-grade parking. Amenities include a 60,000 square feet Tom Thumb grocery store on the ground floor, multiple dining options, conference centers, tenant lounge, gym, and pool deck overlooking the plaza. 


        • The Union is in Planned Development District 193, a zoning overlay for the Oak Lawn Area created in the early 1980s. The Oak Lawn Plan was drafted as a basis for PD-193 and guides the Oak Lawn Committee on future developments happening in the area.  
        • This site is not located in the downtown connector TIF district or the Oaklawn PD190 special purpose district, so we knew the city would not give any money for the project. There was also significant opposition from another property owner that routinely opposes new projects in the area. 

          Strategies Used

          • This site was zoned multiple times and Karl Crawley created special sign rules for the site.  
          • In terms of the opposition, Masterplan simply continued to work through it until everything was passed. We were able to show city council that it would be a quality project, so it was approved. The FAR on the property was 10:1, meaning there would be a lot of development in one area and several different uses in one place, which is beneficial for city growth. 


          • Masterplan worked with the Oak Lawn Committee and presented the project to its members. With the input of Oak Lawn neighbors and Dallas’ officials and leaders, Masterplan was able to successfully get the zoning approved for the Union at City Council on June 27, 2018. This was one of the largest projects of the 2010s for Masterplan.
          • In addition to presenting the case to the Oak Lawn Committee and Dallas City Council, Masterplan also presented in front of the Board of Adjustment to ask for an amendment on the landscape plan to allow sod rather than only ground cover in the plaza area. Furthermore, Masterplan obtained license agreements for streets’ right-of-way on Field Street, Ashland Street, and North Akard Street. It also obtained an abandonment for a portion of North Akard Street. 


          • The multi-use development has been wildly successful. In 2020, the development sold for a record price. Stated in the Dallas Morning News, “The office and retail space at the Union fetched what’s estimated at more than $730 per square foot – the highest price ever paid for such a property in North Texas.”   

          TEAM LEADERS


          Dallas Cothrum, PhD
          Chief Executive Officer 

          Throughout his career, Dr. Cothrum has worked on numerous politically charged and technically difficult cases. He is responsible for consulting with and advising clients on requirements for zoning and permit applications for various area municipalities. His practice includes significant experience in public presentations before community groups, municipal boards, commissions, and councils concerning zoning changes, variances, and plats.  Dr. Cothrum typically assists clients from due diligence and site selection through the entire zoning and building permit process, culminating with a certificate of occupancy.  

          Karl Crawley

          Mr. Crawley currently serves as the president for Masterplan, overseeing the operations for the firm. Karl joined Masterplan in 1998 and over the past 23 years has helped hundreds of clients across Texas with their zoning and land use needs. A resident of the Dallas area for more than 40 years and a Dallas ISD alumni, Mr. Crawley is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in urban planning.