All Around Their Town
By Deb Silverthorn
Janet and Jeffrey Beck have spent 49 years of marriage building a close family and a community. They are creating legacies that are rooted in every way.
The latest family venture is Dallas Midtown, a wide-ranging urban district on the site of the former Valley View Mall.
“I’ve always had in mind a dream to build something that would allow me to work with my children and now I’m living the dream,” said Jeffrey, the family patriarch and advisor emeritus with Beck Ventures.“They’re bright, hard-working and take nothing for granted.”
Scott Beck, CEO and president of Beck Ventures, gave an update to the Dallas Jewish community in a Zoom call hosted by Israel Bonds last month.
“We believe we’ll be on target to open as planned, and we expect to be part of the economic upswing we know is coming,” he said of mid-2022’s planned opening date.
When completed, the $20 billion 450-acre district, with 100 acres at the former mall site, will create an urban renaissance of more than 2 million square feet of office space, restaurants, luxury hotels, multifamily residences, an AMC movie theater, boutique shopping and a Lifetime Athletic and Wellness facility.
Hike and bike trails connecting to White Rock Lake, other parks and open spaces are planned, as is a trolley system to nearby Galleria Dallas.
Beck Ventures has worked with the city of Dallas on a rezone of the land between the Dallas North Tollway and Preston Road and from LBJ Freeway to north of Alpha Road.
“It took a unique partnership among the City of Dallas, the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, our company and neighborhood and property owners,” the younger Beck said. “We have so many roads leading to the north and we wanted to create a beacon to keep the tax base inside Dallas.”
He said the infrastructure is in progress and pavement is being poured for new roads. He’s confident the project will open on time.
The rise of Dallas Midtown comes on the heels of the completion of Beck Ventures’ Trophy Club Town Center. Although it is 90 percent leased, only 25 percent of its businesses have been able to open during the pandemic.
“We have worked with our lenders and tenants and have appropriately leveraged our business,” said Scott Beck, also confident in that project’s future. “Growing up in this business, we have learned from our father’s success.”
Scott was joined in the Zoom session by his father and his brother, Jarrod, Beck Ventures Managing Partner and United Texas Bank CEO. The family was introduced by Israel Bonds Southwest Regional Director Karen Garfield and its Dallas Chapter Chair Dr. Zev Shulkin, with a question and answer session moderated by Israel Bonds New Leadership Dallas co-chairs Daley Epstein and Joshua Prywes.
Long devoted to Israel Bonds, the elder Beck, a Miami native who moved with Janet to Dallas in 1973, spoke of his passion for building his community at home and in Israel. The family’s first donations were inspired by Holocaust survivor Mike Jacobs, of blessed memory.
“Mike, ‘Mr. Bonds,’ never made us feel that what we gave wasn’t important. The amount didn’t matter but participating in the program so vital to the strength of the State of Israel did,” he said. “The $100 bond we bought then was a big deal to us,” he said. As they have been able to increase their gifts over the years, it is still “the intention that matters.”
“My parents’ passion and understanding of the need to link Jews in the Diaspora to those in Israel has definitely passed to the next generations,” said Jarrod Beck. “The Israel Bonds part of United Texas Bank’s portfolio is a strong general investment but also an investment in the land and its people.”
In addition to buildings large and small, the Becks built their family, which includes sons Jarrod (Shiva) and Scott (Amanda), daughter Michelle Beck (Jamie) Green and grandchildren, Joshua, Jonathan, Lily, Sadie, Libby and Judah Beck and Zane, Judd, and Ellis Green.
Locally, the Beck family has long been affiliated with Congregation Shearith Israel, and in Austin the Green family is involved with Shalom Austin and its Generations Campaign. Service to the Jewish community is always at the family’s core.
“They understand what it means to give,” said the proud papa Jeffrey Beck, “and the responsibility we all have to give back.”