Downtown Dallas Set for a Makeover

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor Downtown Dallas continues to undergo change. Developers Todd Interests and Gables Residential have signed up for a major role in its redevelopment, with the much anticipated makeover of Dallas’ landmark U.S. Post Office and Court House. The [...]

Downtown Dallas continues to undergo change. Developers Todd Interests and Gables Residential have signed up for a major role in its redevelopment, with the much anticipated makeover of Dallas’ landmark U.S. Post Office and Court House. The 81-year-old building set at the corner of Ervay and Bryan has a unique presence and is one of the last historical buildings in the area to be redeveloped.

The property will be turned into 78 apartments, a 20,000-square-foot rooftop terrace garden and retail space. Initially, the plan was to convert the building into specialty office space, but as the office market changed, an apartment project seemed more practical.

Next in line for redevelopment is the Statler Hilton Hotel, a 55-year-old property that at the time of its opening was considered the first modern hotel in the country. The developer making the upgrade, Leobardo Trevino, is currently working on the old 1600 Pacific LTV, an old office building also known as the National Bank of Commerce, another downtown building that he bought in 2010 and is now converting for residential and office condo use. The attached Dallas Library was also a part of the purchase.

The Statler Hilton, once Dallas’ finest downtown hotel and the first choice of celebrities and dignitaries visiting the city, will get to keep its historic façade, with some minor repairs. Trevino will also address some existing problems, such as asbestos, old wiring and issues with the aging ventilation system. The long-term plans for the building are not yet set, but potential uses could include conversion to condominiums, Dallas Business Journal reported.

Some new development may also take place downtown. Representatives of giant retailer Wal-Mart have reportedly been looking at a high-profile site on the eastern edge of the downtown area, namely the former City Lights property at Live Oak Street and Good-Latimer Expressway. The three-block property was cleared in 2004 for a project that was to include a 350,000-square-foot shopping center and a supermarket—and then was extended to include retail, apartments and high-rise buildings adjacent to the freeway—but the ambitious plan was never seen through.

Although a deal for the new Wal-Mart store has yet to be signed, city officials and a representative of the property owner have confirmed the retailer’s interest in the property. Moreover, last month Wal-Mart representatives made public the company’s plan to expand in close-in Dallas locations over the next few years, allotting $200 million for the project.