A developer wants to tear down the 7-story, circa 1967 building on Gaston and replace it with a mix of both retail spaces and residential units, says Rene Schmidt of the Junius Heights Historic District. The same developer also plans to purchase portions along Paulus behind the tower, including a large and mostly vacant parking lot, and build condos or townhouses.

“He seemed receptive to the idea of a bungalow court and appeared to be eager to work with the neighborhood,” Schmidt says.

Homeowners along Nesbitt Drive, which is part of the historic district, back up to the property in play along Paulus. A bungalow court denotes a multi-family development of small, low-rise homes surrounding a central garden. Schmidt says he has had only a brief meeting with the developer and is trying to arrange a community meeting in January, the same month the developer hopes to close on the tower.

Original Faulkner TowerFaulkner Tower — no longer the building’s official name but still its common moniker — originally was the Oak Cliff Savings and Loan Building, according to Norman Alston Architects, which made improvements to the building in 2007. The rendering to the right shows open balconies rather than the window enclosures the building has now.

Paulus is the street just west of the Lakewood Shopping Center; a parking lot for the currently closed Lakewood Theater has an entrance on Paulus. In our October story on the shopping center’s past and future, neighborhood architects and planners suggested changes to properties on Paulus that would make “Downtown Lakewood” more accessible to the surrounding neighborhoods.

FaulknerArchitect Eddie Maestri described both Faulkner Tower and the Jack-in-the-Box on Gaston and Paulus as obstacles, and suggested the tower be turned into a boutique hotel. He also envisioned a new multi-family complex on the west side of Paulus to be a fitting replacement for the underutilized parking lots and old office building there, and suggested the complex could wrap a parking structure that both residents and shopping center customers could use.

Architect Norman Alston and economic developer Brandon Castillo also proposed redeveloping the circa 1968 suburban-style Jack-in-the-Box as urban commercial stores, so that the style of the adjacent Starbucks, Frost Bank, etc. continues around the corner, down Gaston.