Developer Purchases Oil & Gas Building

Real Estate

An aerial shot of the landmark Oil and Gas Building | Image by LoopNet

A Dallas-based company has purchased a Fort Worth office building with plans to redesign the site into a mixed-use development.

Local development firm Bluelofts Inc. has partnered with Plano-based Wolfe Investments to purchase the Oil & Gas building located at 309 West Seventh St. in Fort Worth.

The landmark office building, which sits at the heart of downtown Fort Worth and next to the Star-Telegram building, will be converted into a mixed-use high-rise with space for apartments and retail. The 16-story, 167,000-square-foot office tower was listed for sale in 2020 by local commercial real estate firm Younger Partners.

The historic property, constructed in 1952, is expected to be revamped to include 180 apartment units with ground-floor restaurant and retail space. In addition, the redevelopment will also have a rooftop deck, a fitness center, and a club room, according to Blueloft co-founders John Williams and Ike Bams.

Bams and Williams believe the building’s central location in Fort Worth makes it an ideal redevelopment site.

“We always wanted a downtown building,” said Williams. “It’s close to the convention center, and we have a lot of walking traffic going to Sundance Square,” he said. “Fort Worth is someplace we have always had our eye on since Ike and I started working together almost a decade ago.”

Blueloft’s substantial investment in Fort Worth plays into a growing trend, as developers from Dallas and elsewhere shift their focus to other cities in the metroplex. This move away from Dallas comes as the city’s political leaders fail to address the epidemics of crime, homelessness, and vagrancy.

Bluesoft Inc. plans to seek significant tax credits from the city to help fund the project’s construction, according to Bams.

“We aim to start work this year and complete construction within 24 months,” said Bams. “The average unit will range between 650 square feet and 1,000 square feet for a two-bedroom unit.” 

Blueloft had previously experimented with a modular-style construction concept in Dallas to transform empty office floors into apartment and coworking centers. However, Blueloft says construction on the Fort Worth office tower will utilize traditional building techniques.

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