Friday, July 17, 2015

Developer Granite Properties has completed its purchase of the historic West End Marketplace in downtown Dallas.  
he new owner plans to renovate the 113-year-old former bakery and warehouse complex into office space with restaurants on the first floor.
The 7-story, 237,000-square-foot building at Market and Munger streets has been empty for almost a decade.
Granite plans to repurpose the buildings as unique office space for creative and high-tech firms.
The developer has seen successful office projects in historic warehouse and manufacturing buildings in markets including Boston and San Francisco, said Granite chief operating officer Greg Fuller. “We have witnessed a resurgence of creative space.
“The brick and timber space in those markets gets a premium over the standard brand new office building,” Fuller said. “In this market there isn’t a lot of this type of space to be had.”
Fuller said Granite has been in talks to buy the West End buildings for about a year.
He said the Plano-based commercial real estate firm is already talking to prospective tenants.
“We have been run over with people wanting to see it,” Fuller said. “We talked to companies that would love to have this unique, employee friendly atmosphere.”
Granite is renaming the building Factory Six03.
Construction will start this summer to redevelop the complex, which previously housed retail space, a movie theater, restaurants and nightclubs.
Granite plans to build an eighth floor addition to the building that will house a rooftop entertainment space and amenity deck.
“On the top floor where the water towers are we will have conference center space and some unique office space,” Fuller said. “There will be a 360 degree deck where you can see all of downtown.”
Inside there will be a community lobby, coffee bar and about 10,000 square feet of restaurant space.
The basement will be converted to parking. Granite also has parking available in a garage located a block away on Lamar Street.
The building will reopen in September of next year.
Architects GFF and ArchiTexas are doing the design work on the project.
Originally constructed in 1902 for the Brown Cracker & Candy Co., the West End complex once housed more than 1,000 people making cookies, chocolate bonbons and peppermint sticks.
In 1986 the buildings – which are on the south side of Woodall Rodgers Freeway – were redeveloped as Dallas’ first festival marketplace retail center. An interior atrium was built and a 10-screen cinema occupied part of the building.
Planet Hollywood nightclub and restaurant was on the ground floor.
But the building was shuttered after business lagged. The cinema closed in 2000 and Planet Hollywood left 2001.
Since then the property has sat vacant. Several reuse plans for the building as a university, a hotel and office space never got off the ground.
Terms of Granite’s purchase of the property were not disclosed.
“We are going to put all new mechanical systems in, including air conditioning, elevators and electrical systems,” Fuller said. “The building is in great structural shape and was refinished to a high quality in the ‘80s.”
Granite Properties is one of North Texas’ largest and most successful developers. The company built the 17Seventeen McKinney Avenue office tower in Uptown and it is developing the Granite Park office campus in West Plano.   
Steve Brown/ Dallas Morning News