Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Downtown Dallas Real Estate News

Downtown Dallas Real Estate News

DALLAS (DallasNews.com) - Starting next week, potential buyers will get a peek at downtown Dallas' latest condominium project.

The 32-year-old 1200 Main office skyscraper will be redeveloped into the Metropolitan, with 283 condominiums.

"It's a little bit of a jigsaw puzzle," said Christine Lutz of Garrison Partners Consulting, a Chicago firm that's overseeing the marketing of the Main Street project.

"We are working within a framework we cannot change. At the same time, what we are doing to the building will make it totally different," she said.

Work crews are building model apartments in the empty office building and construction is complete on the ground-floor marketing center, which will open later this month. A preview Tuesday will show off the project to a list of potential buyers.

The condo prices will range from about $120,000 for the smallest one-bedroom floor plan to more than $560,000 for the largest two-bedroom unit.

Instead of industrial-style urban apartments, condos at the Metropolitan will be highly finished homes.

"We're offering an alternative to lofts, which is great," said Ms. Lutz, whose firm is also marketing a high-rise residential tower in downtown Fort Worth.

Outside, most of the thousands of brown-tinted glass panels are staying put.

"The cost to replace the fa├žade would add millions of dollars" to the redevelopment budget, which could run as high as $50 million, said Keith Walker, senior vice president of Rockwood Realty Associates, the New York-based developer of the project.

"The property has that kind of modern Mies van der Rohe look. We wanted to give it a residential feel by putting in the balconies," Mr. Walker said.

Inside, the condos will have sleek European-style kitchens and baths and oversized closets.

The Dallas makeover is part of a nationwide craze, said Garrison's Garry Benson.

"We started with the older buildings in loft style and have moved on to the '50s and '60s office buildings," he said. "We are always looking for higher and best uses of real estate assets."

AT A GLANCE

What: The Metropolitan condos are being developed in a former office tower that was built in 1972 at Main and Murphy streets.

Who: Rockwood Realty Associates of New York is the developer. Corgan & Associates architects of Dallas designed the reconstruction of the brown glass tower that includes cutting more than 160 balconies into the building's exterior.

Amenities: A seven-level parking garage to be built on the tower's east side, retail space on the ground floor, and a swimming pool and a garden on the top floor.

When: Construction will begin in August and take 14 to 18 months.

Prices: There are 14 floor plans, ranging from about 660 square feet to more than 2,000 square feet. Costs will range from $120,000 to more than $500,000.

Count the ways: When the floors are numbered, 13 is skipped, so there's a 26th floor in a 25-story building.