Construction on what will be the streetcar gateway to the Bishop Arts District is underway — with an official ceremony slated for next week — that will bring more apartment homes and retail shops to this part of Dallas.

“We are moving full speed ahead and it’s not just demolition, but the entire project,” Wade Johns, vice president of Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan told the Dallas Business Journal.

“We have already begun digging out the parking garages and we will go two levels below grade,” said Johns, who said he’s unaware of any below-grade development that’s happened before in this part of Oak Cliff.

The Bishop Arts District is a neighborhood within Oak Cliff with more than 60 independent restaurants, bars, boutiques, coffee shops and art galleries.

This $57 million residential and retail development will be the first ground-up project in the Bishop Arts District. The project, called Bishop Arts Station, underwent scrutiny by neighborhood stakeholders to ensure it would fit into the surrounding neighborhood.

“We had a lot of community interaction with dozens of meetings to get a design that everyone was pleased with,” Johns said.

Plans for Bishop Arts Station include the development of 209 apartments and 25,200 square feet of restaurant and retail space at the northwest and southeast corners of Zang Boulevard and W. Davis Street in the Bishop Arts neighborhood.

The project also includes a new streetcar plaza replacing the canopy currently being used for the streetcars that connect downtown Dallas to the Bishop Arts District.

The mixed-use project has received an incentive agreement with $11.25 million in tax-increment financing funds.

Dallas-based GFF is the architect of the project. Andres Construction is the general contractor.

This is the first new planned mixed-use development to get underway near the Bishop Arts District.

Other plans include Crescent Communities’ redevelopment of the Dallas County Schools property adjacent to Alamo Manhattan’s project and the Nazerian family’s plans to redevelop about 12 acres of property into hundreds of apartment homes and thousands of square feet of retail space.