Downtown Dallas Office Buildings Are Getting a Makeover

Skyline - Dallas, Texas
Downtown Dallas skyline | Image by Sportstock

In 2022, Downtown Dallas will undergo some major changes, with three skyscrapers being redone and several high-profile properties changing things around. The developments that are in progress will add hundreds of apartment units while repositioning other properties to attract new business tenants.

“We had a lot of momentum going into the pandemic,” said Amy Tharp, the interim CEO of the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc. “We’ve been working a long time to diversify the building uses and industries downtown and add entertainment.”

Jonas Woods, of Dallas-based Woods Capital, plans to remodel two downtown office towers into a combination of residence and business space.

“We have consolidated $1 billion of downtown office space into a new entity: Pacific Elm Properties,” said Woods. “Our plan for 2022 is to convert about 800,000 square feet of that portfolio into luxury apartments.”

First, Woods’ firm is buying Bryan Tower, which is 40 stories and only about a third occupied by office tenants. The tower was built in 1973 and was one of the first modern reflective glass high rises constructed in Dallas. The developers are planning to convert half the building to luxury apartments, spending $150 million on the common-area improvements and the conversion of the upper floors, said Woods.

The developers are also redoing Santander Tower, a 50-story skyscraper located at 1601 Elm Street. Multiple floors in the 1.4 million square-foot building will be converted into housing, and the top two floors will serve as a hotel. The renovations will begin later this year and will create 550 rental units.

In addition to the developments orchestrated by the Woods firm, an Atlanta-based developer, Portman Holdings, purchased a large building site across from the Arts District on Ross Avenue to construct a combination of office and residential towers.

Dallas developer Todd Interests is eyeing a redo for the 49-story Energy Plaza, with plans to convert part of the tower into apartments.

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