Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Downtown Dallas’ historic Statler Hilton hotel will soon fly Hilton flag again

Hilton Worldwide will once again be operating hotel rooms in Dallas' historic Statler-Hilton.  ( Kye R. Lee / The Dallas Morning News )
Hilton Worldwide will once again be operating hotel rooms in Dallas’ historic Statler-Hilton. ( Kye R. Lee / The Dallas Morning News )
Downtown Dallas’ historic Statler-Hilton hotel will soon be flying the Hilton flag again.
Centurion American Development Group and Hilton Worldwide said Tuesday that Hilton will represent a new luxury hotel in the building after it is converted into a mixed-use project.
The 19-story Commerce Street landmark has been empty for more than a decade. It opened as a Hilton hotel but operated in later years as the Dallas Grand.
Centurion American is redeveloping the building into hotel rooms, apartments, retail, entertainment and other uses. The renovated building will be called the Statler Hotel and Residences.
Centurion American CEO Mehrdad Moayedi said getting the Hilton label on the new hotel is a boost for the project.
“It’s very important to have Hilton there businesswise,” Moayedi said. “It will be a four-star quality hotel.”
Hilton will market the hotel portion of the project when it’s finished as one of its Curio hotels – a new chain of historic and luxury hotels.
“Known as the first modern American hotel, the Statler not only made hospitality and Dallas history, it is a vital chapter of Hilton Worldwide’s story,” Hilton’s Dianna Vaughan said in a statement. “We are so excited to see the redevelopment of this magnificent property and welcome it back to our family.’”
The thousand-room hotel was one of the largest in the world when it was started.
Originally the property was to be the Hotel Statler.
During the construction of the $15 million project, the Statler and Hilton hotel chains merged.
“At the time Conrad Hilton bought Statler for $111 million it was the largest real estate transaction ever done in the U.S.,” said Centurion American partner Frank Zaccanelli, “We are going to put a small museum about the hotel in the lobby.”
Centurion American $175 million project will convert the 59-year-old Statler Hilton into 161 hotel rooms on the lower five floors and 219 residences on the top 11 floors. The project also includes meeting space, retail and office space, four restaurants and a hotel lounge.
Dallas architect Merriman & Associates is planning the redo to keep the building’s mid-century modern style.
“We are trying to take it back to the same design it had before,” Moayedi said. “We are focusing on restoring the exterior right now – a $10 million contract.”
Plano-based Aimbridge Hospitality has been chosen to manage the hotel.
The project is set to open in the fall of 2016.
“For the last 12 months we’ve been cleaning the building out,” Zaccanelli said.
Centurion purchased the Statler Hilton last year and the City of Dallas is providing $46.5 million in financing incentives to redevelop the historic property.
“The Statler was one of the most glamorous hotels in the world when it first opened in 1956, and we plan to restore its position as a destination for not only travelers coming to Dallas but also as a place to live and work,” Moayedi said.
Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning News