Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Exclusive: Is wait over for $85M redevelopment near Dallas City Hall?

The former Butler Brothers Building sits across the street from City Hall at 500 S. Ervay St. in downtown Dallas. The exterior of the building will be completely redone.

After the contracts are finalized, the $85 million redevelopment of the historic Butler Brothers Building adjacent to Dallas City Hall could get underway by the end of the month.

"We are fully done with the abatement and we are now waiting for our final construction contract documents," developer Mike Sarimsakci told the Dallas Business Journal in an exclusive interview. 
"We are hoping to sign something after the July 4 holiday so we can start construction."

Upon the finalization of the agreement, Sarimsakci told me he planned to get underway on the redevelopment of the 103-year-old building at 500 S. Ervay St. by the end of the month. In April, Sarimsacki told the Business Journal he hoped to begin the long-awaited project by the end of May.

Sarimsakci is redoing the building through Alterra 500 South Ervay LLC, a limited liability company of Alterra International, which owns the property. The limited liability company relies on Turkish investors for the massive project through EB-5 funding, an immigrant-investor program that is helping fuel Dallas' real estate recovery.

Funding is a non-issue for the redo of the Butler Brothers Building, Sarimsakci told me.

"The money is there and it's all taken care of," he added.

The redevelopment plans for the property include a 270-room Marriott-branded hotel, 238 residences managed by Dallas-based Pinnacle and about 20,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Plano-based Aimbridge Hospitality is expected to manage the hotel.

Plans for the property's amenities include three Alterra-operated restaurants -- a Greek restaurant, American bistro and European cafe -- as well as a pool bar.

Dallas-based Merriman Architects Associates is the project architect. AMX Cos. is the project's general contractor.

The cost of the redevelopment has escalated as the developer has become more entrenched in the project.

In October 2012, the redevelopment was expected to cost $55 million and the hotel flags changed from a Hilton-branded hotel to a Marriott-branded property. Within weeks, the developer held a "groundbreaking ceremony," to mark the beginning of the abatement process to ready the property for construction.

Over the years, the 103-year-old building has served as a warehouse, a merchandise showroom and office space. It also inspired other proposed developments.

In 2006, Bismo Development Co. planned to redevelop the building into 321 residential units and retail space. But that never happened, and the company abandoned its original conversion plans.

Construction is scheduled to finish 18 to 24 months after the developer begins the project.

Candace Carlisle- Dallas Business Journal