Iconic Office Tower Converts to Apartments

Office Tower
The office tower at 211 North Ervay St. | Image by Tagvenue

A local office tower known for its brilliant azure and aquamarine façade is set to undergo an office-to-apartment conversion.

Plano-based private equity firm Wolfe Investments plans to redevelop Dallas’ landmark 211 N. Ervay office building into a sprawling residential tower with 238 multifamily units, according to a rooftop announcement by CEO Kenny Wolfe via YouTube.

“Hey guys, we’re here at 211 N. Ervay. We just bought this property. As you can see, we are right smack dab in downtown Dallas,” Wolfe said in the video announcement. “It’s going to be a beautiful asset. We’re taking an office building and converting it to 238 residential units right here in the heart of Dallas.”

Construction is expected to last approximately 14-16 months, according to a development timeline provided by Wolfe Investments.

Residential units will include studios, one bed/one bath, and two bed/two bath floor plans, featuring a contemporary aesthetic and modern amenities. Local architectural services company HKS will handle design work on the residential conversion, while Dallas-based Andres Construction will serve as the general contractor on the project.

The 187,000-square-foot office building has been a landmark site in downtown Dallas since its completion in 1958. However, despite its design and eye-popping exterior, the historic building sat vacant for almost 20 years until about a decade ago.

While widely recognized for its colorful 1950s aesthetic, not everyone appreciated the building’s historical and architectural value. In 2004, Dallas Mayor Laura Miller expressed displeasure with the building’s inability to attract tenants, calling the tower an “eyesore” and advocating for its demolition, according to Dallas Innovates.

Preservationists prevailed, however, and the building was eventually purchased in 2012 by Alterra International Holdings. The company poured $14 million into renovating and upgrading the building before opening it in 2014 as a modern coworking space for business startups and entrepreneurs.

Now, the current owner, Wolfe Investments, envisions a new life for the old building that goes beyond that of an ecosystem for businesses and entrepreneurs.

With a history in the adaptive reuse market, Wolfe Investments believes that converting the office space into residential units will revitalize the area. The tower’s proximity to major employers, restaurants, and entertainment makes it a prime location for future residents.

One of the firm’s other adaptive reuse projects is the Star-Telegram building in Fort Worth, which will be converted into a mixed-use community with 88 rental units. The neighboring Oil & Gas building will also undergo a similar mixed-use conversion.

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