Thursday, July 31, 2014
Developer Jack Matthews is eyeing a redo of downtown’s landmark Dallas High School
A languishing downtown Dallas landmark may get another chance at redevelopment.
The more than century old Dallas High School at Pearl and Bryan streets has been empty since the 1990s.
Several attempts to restore the downtown landmark as part of a larger development have failed.
But now one of the Dallas area’s most successful real estate developers is taking a swing at that ball, according to property brokers.
Jack Matthews – who built downtown’s new Omni Hotel and developed the thriving South Side neighborhood – is in talks to acquire the historic school complex, real estate agents say.
The six-acre property with its historic building has been offered for sale for more than a year by a California investor, which has owned the property since the late 1990s.
A development group that included developer Trammell Crow Co. had planned on turning the derelict school buildings into an apartment community with more than 500 units. But that deal fell apart months ago.
Since then the owner has been working to resolve environmental problems with the property, which is across the street from a DART light rail station.
The Old Dallas High School has long been considered one of the most threatened landmarks in downtown Dallas. It’s also one of the few historic, vacant properties in the center city that hasn’t already been converted into a new use.
Matthews of course knows all about reusing old buildings.
In the late 1990 he and his partners acquired the mammoth Sears, Roebuck & Co. buildings just south of downtown and converted them into loft apartments.
He’s also renovated other historic buildings in the same area, which is called South Side.
So far Matthews is being mum about his plans for the Old Dallas High School and there’s a lot left to be done.
He’s first go to buy the building, come up with a redevelopment design and work with the City of Dallas to make it happen.
But his track record in Dallas already gives him an edge in the game.
By Steve Brown- Dallas News