Tuesday, July 19, 2016

City-block project on Ross Avenue on track to get underway soon in downtown Dallas

A city-block development project meant to transform downtown Dallas' Ross Avenue adjacent to Trammell Crow Center is on track to get underway by early 2017, with plans to unveil the design of an upscale boutique hotel, ground-floor retail and an apartment tower this fall.

The major project planned for 2000 Ross Ave. will shape one of the last city blocks in downtown Dallas left untouched by high-rise development.

Trammel Crow Center hasn't been altered since it was originally designed in the 1980s.

"We haven't seen the entry of a lot of good retail on Ross Avenue and there hasn't been a lot of good retail space built on Ross Avenue," Ramsey March, managing director of Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners, told the Dallas Business Journal.

"The 2000 Ross site is an opportunity to meet the market demand for retail on Ross Avenue," he added. "Thus far, there's been a strong interest level from retailers."

March said the development group recently completed a study of the immediate area and determined there's a total of 6 million square feet of office space with a daytime population driven by employees totaling 16,000 people.

Stream Realty is the master developer of the project on behalf of the ownership group 2000 Ross Avenue LP out of New York, which is a fund advised by JP Morgan Asset Management. The fund also owns Trammell Crow Center.

By developing 32,000 square feet of new space for restaurants and retailers, March said there's an opportunity to transform the Ross Avenue corridor. Plans for the ground-up development includes a 200-key upscale boutique hotel and a 350-unit apartment tower with each tower sitting on a podium of 2,600-stall parking garage and the retail space.

The hotel developer and residential developer have yet to be named, with an official announcement slated for this fall. Dallas-based HKS is designing the ground-up project on the 2.6-acre tract. HOK is the architect designing the renovations at Trammell Crow Center.

The new mixed-use development is in the design process and is being dual-tracked with the renovations at Trammell Crow Center, a 1.2-million-square-foot office tower. Upon completion, Trammell Crow Center will have 10,000 square feet of added retail space to the ground floor of the building.

"This will be a real comprehensive renovation of Trammell Crow Center, which has never been altered in a meaningful way since its original design in the 1980s," March told me. "We want to do something there and expect it to be a dramatic design intervention."

Construction on the dual-tracked projects — the tower renovation and ground-up development — is expected to begin in early 2017.

Dallas-based Retail Street Advisors' Aaron Stephenson and John Giesler have already begun marketing the retail space to potential tenants.

The new construction will help bring office tenants to Trammell Crow Center, which has two big tenants, PwC and Vinson & Elkins, expecting to leave in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The two tenants are leaving to help anchor two new towers in the Uptown vicinity.

Trammell Crow Center recently signed 86,000 square feet of new office deals, which include a renewal for Trinity Hunt Management LP and Raymond James & Associates Inc. The building is being marketed for $24 to $26 per square foot, triple net.

Meanwhile, new construction rents are pushed $35 to $40 per square foot, triple net. March said the renovations and new development adjacent to Trammell Crow Center would bolster rental rates in the building.

A brand consultant is in the process of being hired for 2000 Ross, which is the working title of the project. March declined to share the name of the agency until the deal is finalized.

"We are focused on adding the amenities and the 21st century building improvements," he told me. "We are in the best starting point in the market in an unmatched location in the middle of the Dallas Arts District and a block away from Klyde Warren Park."

Written by Candace Carlisle/Dallas Business Journal