DALLAS-The historic Belmont Hotel, situated on a bluff overlooking the Downtown, is expected to quietly reopen today after a yearlong renovation, the first phase to a $30-million “urban resort” situated on 10 key acres in North Oak Cliff. The second phase, 34 townhouses, will break ground in January.

“It’s a street that just found its time,” says Lena Liles, vice president for development company, Options Real Estate Investments Inc. in Dallas. “We’re the first to improve the street.” It’s anticipated that the certificate of occupancy will in hand today for the 68-room boutique hotel at 901 Fort Worth Ave.

Liles says five VIPs guests are lined up for the soft opening and another 30 notables from the design and film industries have reserved rooms for the weekend. “We are going to open unpretentiously and humbly serve our guests, get our sea legs and then plan a party,” she says, citing daily rates of $125 for a standard room and $575 for a two-bedroom suite with a Jacuzzi.

Liles tells GlobeSt.com that eight lot presales will kick off construction in January for the residential component “if everything goes through the city on time.” The third phase–a four-story, 32,000-sf building with retail, office lofts and penthouses–should break ground in 2007, she says. The residential component is a mix of townhouses and garden homes, ranging from 1,000 sf to 3,500 sf and tagged at $175,000 to $750,000. Jim Johnson Builders LLC of nearby DeSoto is the residential contractor.

Meanwhile, the team is negotiating with an independent restaurateur to round out the amenities roster, which includes a spa and health club. Liles says the plan is to have the restaurant up and running by May or June. Urban Hotel Management, an Options Real Estate subsidiary, has been formed to manage the property. Dallas-based Harrell Hospitality Group was the consultant for the redevelopment.

Liles says Options Real Estate, led by Monte Anderson, has applied for historic status for the hotel property, built in 1947 and designed by the late Charles Stevens Dilbeck, who’s left his architectural mark in Dallas and Tulsa. The Belmont sits at the heart of a master plan to revitalize the Fort Worth Avenue/West Commerce Street corridor and just five minutes from one of three Santiago Calatrava bridges that will span the Trinity River and forever change the Dallas skyline.

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