David Woo/Staff Photographer
The 32-story high-rise at 1600 Pacific that also fronts on Elm Street has been vacant for more than five years. It will be redeveloped for nearly $70 million.
A New Orleans-based real estate firm has completed its long-awaited purchase of a downtown Dallas skyscraper and is ready to go on redevelopment.
HRI Properties on Wednesday acquired the 32-story 1600 Pacific office tower, which it will convert into a combination of residential units and hotel space. The project will cost almost $70 million and is being partially funded with incentives from the city of Dallas.
The black glass tower, which also fronts on Elm Street, has been vacant for more than five years.
Construction will start on the project almost immediately, said Steve Nance, HRI’s vice president.
“The contractor has been in there preparing for the last few weeks, and we are ready to go,” Nance said. “Well have about a 161/2-month construction period.”
Local firm Andres Construction is the general contractor on the project. Merriman & Associates of Dallas is the architect.
Nance said the lower 14 floors of the tower will be used for parking and 171 hotel rooms.
The top of the high-rise will be redeveloped into 186 apartments.
“There will be a pool and meeting facilities for the hotel on the fifth floor,” he said. “All of the parking we will need will be self-contained in the building.
“There will be a restaurant and bar on the ground floor on the Elm Street side.”
Hotel by Hilton
The hotel will be branded as a Hilton Garden Inn.
An outdoor recreation and lounge area for the apartment residents will be constructed on top of the tower on the 32nd floor.
Built in 1964 as the headquarters of LTV Corp., the almost half-million-square-foot building is in the heart of Dallas’ financial district.
Previous owners had planned to convert the empty high-rise into a luxury residential hotel. But that development failed to get off the ground after work was done to demolish the interior.
“We’ve done four other projects like this with a mixed use,” Nance said.
HRI Properties is one of the country’s most experienced redevelopers of historic and vacant commercial structures.
The 32-year-old real estate firm has done 61 large-building redevelopments around the country with apartments, hotel rooms, office and retail space. HRI redeveloped the historic Blackstone Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.
“We see Dallas as a market that’s coming up quickly,” Nance said. “We convinced our group of investors and lenders that it was time to invest in Dallas.”
High-rises going fast
The 1600 Pacific tower is one of the last large, vacant buildings in downtown Dallas. HRI has been working on redevelopment plans for the tower for more than a year.
The 1600 Pacific sale is the fourth such transaction so far this year downtown.
In February, New York-based real estate investor and developer Olympic Property Partners closed its acquisition of the 52-story former First National Bank tower at 1401 Elm Street. Work has started to remodel the skyscraper into apartments, shops and office space.
In early March, New Orleans-based KFK Group bought 32-story One Main Place on Main Street with plans to remodel the mostly empty office building.
And late last month, World Class Capital Group of Austin acquired the 34-story KPMG Centre on Harwood Street.
Both those office skyscrapers are also due for a makeover.
“The last year, the activity level has been huge, and what we have seen in the last six months has been unbelievable with people stepping up with their money,” said John Crawford, CEO of the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc. “These are quality people who are coming in with significant experience.”
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