Journalist of the Year Portfolio

From Henderson to Greenville

Andres.jpg

When brothers Marc Andres ’78 and Roger Andres ’77 first looked down Henderson Ave. in East Dallas, they saw more than just rows of stale duplexes.

They saw potential.

They had a clear vision: a lively neighborhood with a unique combination of trendy stores and living spaces for everyone from college-aged students to retired senior-citizens.

Today, their vision has become reality.

Near the southeast corner of Henderson and McMillan Ave., you’ll see the interlocking wooden design of Houndstooth Coffee right across from the white brick columns of CorePower Yoga.

And if you walk north along Henderson, you’ll see a massive No. 2 pencil jutting out of the roof of Warby Parker’s classroom-themed eyeglasses store.

Just beyond that, rows and rows of houses and yards dominate both sides of the road.

But then, Henderson Tap House with its bold, brick logo and Sushi Axiom with its sleek, modern look breaks the pattern.

Less than a mile away sits a plain looking building coated with two stories of tan brick. Inside that building, on the second floor, you’ll find the company behind all the variety that Henderson Ave. contains: Andres Properties.

After formulating their vision, Andres Properties started lining up their potential stores and retailers.

“We knew we didn’t want the national credit tenants,” Marc said. “Once you take those out of the mix, then you have to identify who you do want. Some say, ‘It shouldn’t matter who you put in there because they are going to either pay rent or if they fail, someone else pays you rent.’ But for us, we get really involved with the tenants. We feel like it is all part of the family.”

According to Marc, this insistence on a close owner-tenant relationship is some- thing their father, Dave Andres, taught them at a young age.

“The typical real estate investor looks at the numbers and how they can achieve dollars and profits,” Marc said. “From our dad's perspective it’s, ‘How do you make yourself successful while making the tenant successful?’”

And the success has come. The new Henderson Avenue is one that offers Dallasites more than just a home or a neighborhood; it offers them a life.

“The neat thing about the area is that you really could graduate college, live in an apartment with some friends in the area, move from that to a duplex with less friends, then go to a single family house also in the area, and you could buy a house, and a bigger house and start having kids,” Marc said. “Really all of that is in this neighborhood, which is pretty unique. Not many neighborhoods have that.”

After recently selling the majority of their holdings in the Henderson area, the brothers now hope to implement the same vision of a one-of-kind neighborhood in their new holdings in the Lowest Greenville area.

After recognizing the declining interest in Lowest Greenville, Marc and Roger now seek to revive the area to its once booming aura.

“We wanted people to remember Lowest Greenville was a great place to be, but it's not what you remember it as most recently,” Marc said. “This is the new and improved. We really have been doing what we were on Henderson.”

By stressing the importance of supporting small, new businesses, the Andres brothers have enabled many of their tenants to expand. There are more than a dozen of these first businesses like Steel City Pops, Crisp Salad and Fireside Pies.

“We had a beauty bar concept, we have Barcadia,” Roger said, “we've had people that have opened on Henderson or Greenville that have opened in Fort Worth. We have a lot of rst tenants that put people in business and have gone on to do more than one location.”

Although the brothers’ philosophy of promoting unique and dynamic neighbor- hoods directly applies to Henderson and Lowest Greenville, it also applies to Dallas as a whole.

Marc believes newly developed areas like Henderson, Greenville, Uptown and Deep Ellum are essential to people’s inter- est in the city. Having a large in uence on two of these areas, he often puts himself in the shoes of those who will live there.

“I do think it is important for our city to have great neighborhoods,” Marc said. “I think they make things interesting and exciting for young people who want to be there. Dallas historically has not really had cool areas to be in, so I see it through the eyes of guys who are seniors in college. Where would they want to live?”

MagazineKobe RosemanFeature