Thursday, August 20, 2015

Another empty old building in downtown Dallas is being revamped into new apartments

A New Orleans developer has bought a vacant Dallas office block that will soon be the latest residential address downtown. HRI Properties acquired the nine-story 411 N. Akard building after a year of negotiations and planning.
The 50-year-old blue metal and glass building will be converted into 215 apartments and retail space, complete with a swimming pool on the rooftop and restaurant and retail space on the ground floor.
“We closed the sale last week and started construction the next day,” HRI Properties development project manager Richard Allen said. “We anticipate opening the property prior to year-end 2016.”
Built in 1965 as the Mayflower Building, the property originally housed insurance company offices and parking for the Sanger Harris department store across the street.
HRI bought the building from the California State Teachers Retirement System, which uses the underground garage as parking for its Ross Tower office skyscraper nearby.
Ross Tower will continue to use the basement garage space.
HRI will add parking for the apartments on the first three levels of the building. Floors four through nine will be used for apartments.
An atrium will be cut down the middle of the building with skylights on top.
“It’s a big building that takes up an entire acre downtown,” Allen said. “We are going to have a significant amount of retail — 14,000 square feet.
“In what used to be a bank lobby, we want to have a restaurant,” he said. “We are going to clean up the area in front of the building and have a nice, open patio.”
Most of the apartments will be one-bedroom units and the average size will be about 750 square feet.
The top floor, which includes surrounding terrace areas, will be used for 15 penthouse apartments plus the outdoor pool.
“We have great views and a great location for the pool,” Allen said.
The property will go back to its original Mayflower Building name.
Dallas’ Merriman Associates architects and Andres Construction are handling redevelopment of the building. That’s the same team HRI is using in its renovation of the 32-story LTV Tower on Elm Street.
The LTV Tower is becoming a combination of a hotel and apartments and is scheduled to be finished later this year.
The 365,000-square-foot Mayflower Building was designed by noted Dallas architect Thomas E. Stanley. He also did the nearby First National Bank tower, which is being renovated as well.
“This is HRI’s 80th deal” around the country, Allen said. “We love these adaptive reuse projects — each building has its own character.
Steve Brown/Dallas Morning News