Local Investor Buys Founders Square Building

Real Estate

The Founders Square building was recently purchased by Charter Holdings | Image by DallasBuildings.com

A local investment firm has acquired the Founders Square building in Downtown Dallas.

Charter Holdings, a Dallas-based real estate investment firm with a strong presence downtown, has purchased the historic Founders Square office building on the southwest side of the city near the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, according to reporting by The Dallas Morning News.

The Founders Square building was constructed in 1915 as a conventional office warehouse before renovations in 1984 transformed the structure into a modern office building.

With a strong affinity for the century-old building, Ray Washburne, president and CEO of Charter Holdings, says that after many months of work to strike a deal on the property, he plans to “go in and doll it up.”

“The building is stuck in the 1980s, and I’m going to bring it up to cooler standards,” Washburne said, per DMN reporting. “There is a demand in downtown Dallas for affordable, convenient office space where, as a tenant, you are not lost in a big building.”

The 7-story downtown office property includes an underground parking garage, a large central atrium, a penthouse plaza, and roughly 274,000 square feet of rental space. Approximately 75% of the office space is currently leased out, primarily to law firms, Washburne told DMN.

The Dallas Express reached out to several members of Charter Holdings, including Washburne, to inquire more about the landmark purchase and what renovations the firm has in store for the historic office building. The Dallas Express had not received a response at the time of publication.

Charter Holding’s recent acquisition of the Founders Square building marks the investment firm’s second major purchase in the area. In 2019, Washburne purchased the former Dallas Morning News campus on Young Street for $28 million, with plans to renovate it into a mixed-use development featuring a hotel, entertainment space, and residential apartment units.

However, the City’s proposal for a new convention center prompted Washburne to shelve renovation plans until a later date.

“I hit the pause button on The Dallas Morning News [campus],” he said, explaining that he has been “waiting to see what the city was going to do with the convention center,” the DMN reported.

Still, with strong demand for commercial properties in Downtown Dallas, Washburne predicts that the “whole end of downtown is going to explode in growth.”

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