Dean & Deluca, Apple, Nike, H&M and More: What Mehrdad Has In Store for the Statler

Statler.rendering jpgI had to stop myself from making yet another one of the 20,000 editing mistakes one (I) makes when blogging 3000 to 5000 words per day. I almost typed “Has in Store for the Stoneleigh” instead of Statler, as in Statler Hilton in downtown Dallas. He owns the Creeks of Preston Hollow, too. Mehrdad just has too many darned developments, I cannot keep them straight!

Robert Wilonsky, lucky dude, got hold of documents and renderings he says are “floating” around Dallas City Hall, giving us a closer look at what this amazing and deep-pocketed developer has in store for the historic hotel site that is more in need of a makeover than Mariah Carey.

mariah carey-badOr me a week ago before blonde touch up.

I recall Mehrdad telling me he had visions of a hotel-condo combo, maybe a live-music venue in the old ballroom, a fun grocery (please, someone, Oakville Grocery or Draegers of Menlo Park, but I do love Dean & Deluca) a movie theater and more. In the comments, Wilonsky said some of the other names mentioned in the proposal were super high end, like Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs, and Givenchy. High rollers, those guys, but if you bring in Armani, I’m all over the place!

Of course, we hold our (last year’s) Armani britches. This building has had previous owners and big plans before, but none that have come to fruition. There are several hoops to jump through with this William Tabler-designed building down at City Hall — including parking and other abatement concerns — and how much Mehrdad wants and gets from the TIF, or Tax Increment Financing. TIF’s started in California, but did you know that state no longer uses them because of a couple lawsuits?

Anyhow, Mehrdad wants to turn the 19-story mid century modern mecca into a “hub for downtown Dallas”, says Wilonsky.

Last week the city’s Urban Design Peer Review Panel met to review a handful of big-deal projects, among them the Statler. It’s important to note: The 38-page presentation, which filled with glorious renderings by Merriman Associates, is far from final. It’s more or less a dream journal of all the things Centurion American would like to see at the Statler — and the next-door former central library — that will need eventually the city’s OK, especially when Moayedi applies for Downtown Connection TIF District dollars in coming months.

The plans: 250,000 square feet of retail up and down Commerce Street, some in a new parking structure, some in new buildings. Sweet Jesus, someone is actually thinking of parking space. The “potential retailers” mentioned include Dean & Deluca, Apple, Nike, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, H&M.

Dean & Deluca, or another grocery store, would take up the first floor of the old library — some 19,000 square feet, give or take. Plans call for a 13,600-square foot “game area” above that, on the mezzanine. The second floor of the library would become a six-screen movie theater, with auditoriums ranging from 4,550 to 1,550 square feet, with a ticket-concession counter-bar area taking up another 1,800 square feet.

The Statler itself would have some ground-floor retail, which would be accompanied by a 5,812-square foot spa and a 14,440-square foot nightclub-slash-restaurant. Plans also call for the ground-floor spaces to interact with the sidewalks and street; at least one cafe would have a lovely view of Main Street Garden. The second floor would be given over to four meeting rooms, the catering kitchen and a 14,000-square foot ballroom.

Then the remaining 17 floors would be hotel rooms and apartments, which we need more of, underground parking and a parking garage type building.

Moayedi says the project is “90 percent likely to happen,” with an April 25 closing date penciled in for the Statler. He says financing is in place, and that city staff has been “working amazingly with us” to get this completed. He says that it should take another six months to remediate the Statler, with a year-end groundbreaking … fingers crossed.


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