It was first built in 1958 as the home of the Relief and Annuity Board of the Baptist General Convention. The building has a 15-story tower and a three-story side structure with a rooftop deck. It has all the hallmarks of a midcentury office building — sleek, striking, floor-to-ceiling marble panels in the lobby, panels on the facade, and aluminum windows throughout.
I had no idea about the history the first time I toured one of the penthouses at 511 N. Akard. One of the original owners, Andrew Foster, was getting ready to put his unit on the market. He took time to explain to me how the building was redeveloped by CitySquare into CityWalk@Akard.
CityWalk@Akard features 200 affordable housing units for the formerly homeless.
It’s a mixed-use building, and one of the primary uses is 200 apartments functioning as permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless. The first three stories are office and commercial, housing CitySquare’s support services for CityWalk@Akard’s tenants as well as offices for UNT Dallas, and on top of the building are six penthouse units with unique, two-story floorplans.
According to John Greenan, executive director of Central Dallas Community Development Corporation, the project was essentially a gut rehab for floors four through 15. Main contractors included Key Construction, Central Dallas CDC, Brent A. Brown Associates, and WKMC Architects.
For tomorrow’s tour (You have your tickets, right? If not, go ahead and buy them here.) four of the six top-floor penthouse units will be open, including two owned by Greenan and his wife. the third floor common areas, including the open-air deck, will be open, too.