Voyage Dallas: Q & A with Jen & Trey

Published June 5, 2019

Meet Jen and Trey Johnson of Yoga Art Music in Lake Highlands

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen and Trey Johnson.

Jen and Trey, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

On our 19th wedding anniversary, Valentines Day 2018, we had the idea of combining a yoga studio with an art gallery, and music venue. We thoughts this would be a cool way to add to our community while bringing three things we both love together.

I had opened one of the first yoga studios in Dallas in 2001, and Trey has always had a passion for music. Art was just something we both had been enjoying together for 30 years, locally and across the states. We bonded over art at the Kimball art museum in Fort Worth, and the DMA.

In addition to feeling like Lake Highlands needed a community-based space, we both wanted to help yoga teachers, artists, and musicians in Dallas. What also added to the decision to start this business was that our kids are growing up. We thought a family-based business such as this would provide countless opportunities for our family to hang out and grow.

Has it been a smooth road?

It’s been a very smooth road, the fact that our life has allowed us to do this is amazing. Although, the redevelopment of the Lakeridge Village has taken much longer than anyone expected, so that’s been rough, We worked hard to stay patient. And I am so thankful that all of our yoga teachers stuck with us through the delays!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Yoga Art Music – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.

Bringing yoga, art, and music together in Lake Highlands sets us apart. Having a community feel and has been one of the first to sign a lease in the Lakeridge redevelopment also adds to this unique journey.

We offer 27 accessible yoga classes each week starting as early as 5:30 am and late as 8 pm.

I have been all around Dallas taking classes, and this is a beautiful community for yoga, so many amazing teachers. I was looking for a certain vibe and comfort from teachers prior to asking if they wanted to be a part of YAM. Every teacher we have is easy going and positive, great with beginners, as well as seasoned yogis. I also think our message that we truly wanted this to be a “happy place” resonated with each of them, I believe and hope clients will feel this when they walk into the space.

As it relates to the music, we hope to create an environment for music lovers. A place where people can interact with the musicians in an intimate setting, and enjoy a studio designed by the distinguished studio designer, Bob Suffolk.

Our art will be locally sourced, and include artists who have shown around the world. It is curated by both of us and will reflect pieces we both love, We will also make sure the pieces work well together, and in a yoga studio environment.

We are also able to accommodate workshops, special events, and parties. The space includes a 98-inch high definition television for screenings, presentations and watching parties.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?

Both born and raised here, we love the people and the pace.

We would love more local businesses, I think all change starts locally.

Half-century-old Northeast Dallas retail village is getting a new look

by Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor, Dallas News

The Lakeridge shopping center in Northeast Dallas is getting a major makeover.

The Lake Highlands center, which was built in the 1960s, is surrounded by thriving neighborhoods that have lacked nearby restaurant and retail options.

A $26 million renovation of the more than 100,000-square-foot retail project at Audelia Road and Walnut Hill Lane should be finished by this summer.

The city of Dallas is kicking in more than $4 million in economic incentives to overhaul the dated buildings.

“The city viewed this as a potentially transformative project, and we certainly agree,” said Daniel Fuller of Shop Cos., which is leading the redevelopment. “The center was so dilapidated that the neighbors are excited to see something happening.”

Shop Cos. and partner North American Development Group began working two years ago to restore Lakeridge.

The retail buildings were previously owned by an out-of-town investor and were covered with gray paint and faux metal roofs from the 1970s.

“We stripped away the old mansard roof and have taken the buildings back to a cleaner, mid-century design,” Fuller said. “We are installing a new heavy-gage steel canopy with a warm wood soffit under it and steel strapping — details you wouldn’t normally see in a neighborhood shopping center.”

Parts of the parking lot will be paved with decomposed granite, which is softer gravel.

And a green pocket park with children’s play areas is being built in what was previously a sea of concrete.

“We are really proud of the park feature in the middle,” Fuller said. “It will be a gathering spot for the neighborhood.”

Lakeridge Redev YAM in Dallas News

Some of the new tenants on the way include Vector Brewing, which will have more than 8,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space.

“We’ve created a number of oversized patios for dining,” Fuller said.

Taco Joint restaurant and the Store in Lake Highlands — a longtime neighborhood gift and clothing merchant — have signed leases, too.

“The idea is this will be merchandised predominately with local, East Dallas-based tenants,” Fuller said. “The neighborhood that supports this center really wants that local offering.”

The area around Lakeridge is gentrifying, with more than 65,000 households within three miles of the center with an average income of more than $78,000.

“As good as the demographics are, they are getting better by the day,” Fuller said. “This has been a terribly underserved area of town for retail.

“We hear people are tired of having to leave their neighborhood,” he said. “The tenant interest has been huge.”

One of the newest tenants is RM 12:20 Bistro, an eatery that opened last month.

Owner Erin Willis said the response so far has been good, even with the ongoing construction.

“We are getting a good mix of neighborhood people but we’re also getting a lot of people from Lakewood and Preston Hollow,” Willis said. “The neighborhood has been super supportive.”

Other tenants in the works at Lakeridge include a yoga studio, a coffee shop, a children’s barber and a wine bar.
A. Gruppo Architects and TGB Partners designed the renovation.

The Lake Highlands center is one of two northeast Dallas redevelopments Shop Cos. is working on. The retail real estate firm is also overseeing renovations to the landmark Casa View Village shopping center on Gus Thomasson Road.

“We would like to do more in East Dallas,” Fuller said. “There is a real energy here.”

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