This is the second installment in a two-part series looking at loft living in historic downtown Dallas buildings. You can read the first post here.
Dallas has a rich history in downtown, with many beautiful structures from the early 1900s. We’re looking at 11 of those buildings, which have been converted, usually after years of abandonment, into hip urban loft living.
Moving to the urban core is part of experiencing a ‘walkable city’ trend, particularly among Millennials, who value the live, work, play lifestyle, says Ashley D. Stanley*, owner of Ashley’s Apartments. Stanley is a long-time downtown loft dweller with her young son, an expert on the area, and apartment locator for downtown Dallas apartment rentals.
“I live in the Wilson Building and I love being close to public transportation, the urban core, so many restaurants, and downtown businesses,” Stanley said. “A lot of my clients for whom I find apartments are looking for an urban experience and they find living in downtown Dallas to be a vibrant, exciting thing.”
Last week, we looked at six historic Dallas buildings where you can rent a loft: the Wilson Building, 1900 Elm Historical Lofts, American Beauty Mill Lofts, the David Building, DP&L Flats, and the Butler Brothers Building.
This week, we’ll look at the final five and you can learn about each structure’s unique place in Dallas history, price per square foot**, and amenities.
The building at 400 North Ervay used to be the Post Office and Court House and has a rich history in downtown Dallas. The structure was renovated for the Postal Service by BRW Architects and Turner Construction. In 2011, the upper levels were converted to 78 residential loft units. Original public spaces were restored for common use and a rooftop terrace was added to the building. U.S. Postal Service remains a tenant on the ground floor.
Today, rents average $2.08 per square foot and building amenities include an executive lounge/theater, fitness studio, dramatic views, and a residents’ lounge. Inside the lofts, you’ll find preserved historic details, antique fir hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling steel case windows with solar shades, ceiling heights of 10 to 13 feet, full-size or stackable washer-dryer included in every unit, large walk-in closets, and granite countertops in the kitchens with stainless steel appliances.
On February 15, 1926, Republic National Bank held its first open house at what is now the Davis Building. Architect C.D Hill, who also designed the Municipal Building, Houston’s Warwick Hotel, and Fair Park’s Coliseum, was never able to see his creation due to his death in January of that year. By 1954, the bank had outgrown its space and was moved to the Republic National Bank Building at 300 North Ervay St.
In 1991, the Davis Building was used in part of the set for the movie Touch and Die, featuring Martin Sheen. Hamilton Properties purchased the property in 1997 with plans for renovations into lofts. The conversions were complete in September of 2003 and residents began moving into this historic building.
Today, the Davis Building is home to 183 converted loft spaces and 65 unique floorplans, with an average rent of $1.61 per square foot. Every loft has great views, whether looking down Main Street or out past North Oak Cliff. Units have expansive windows with solar shades, exposed brick, concrete accents, granite-enclosed garden tubs and showers, historic Terrazzo tile flooring, and preserved historic plaster. The building offers a 24-hour fitness center, restaurants and retail on site, direct access to the Dallas tunnel system, and a dog park.
DP&L Flats is housed in an Art Deco 18-story building, built in 1931. This structure was the first electrically welded building west of the Mississippi River, with a black marble base, and brick and terra cotta trim for rest of the facade. For years, it was home to the Dallas Power & Light Company, later Texas Utilities (TXU).
In 1980, DP&L bought the Continental Supply Co. building next door at 1512 Commerce St., built in 1903. Hamilton Properties Corporation bought both buildings and renovated them into apartments, retail, and a conference center, opened to tenants in 2005.
Today, DP&L Flats has 158 units and an average rent price of $1.51 per square foot. The building’s amenities include a 12,000-square-foot roof garden, resort-style pool and hot tub, 24-hour fitness center, and spectacular city skyline views. In individual units, you’ll find polished concrete or Terrazzo floors, stainless steel appliances, built-in kitchen islands and granite counters, and full-size washer-dryer hookups.
The Butler Brothers Building sits on South Ervay Street next to Dallas City Hall. The structure was built in 1910 for Butler Brothers, a Chicago based wholesaler, to serve as their warehouse for the Southwest. Initially, this warehouse serviced all Butler Brothers clients, but eventually, it served as the main warehouse for the Ben Franklin Stores, a five-and-dime franchise owned by Butler Brothers.
In 1960, the facade changed when ceramic tile and aluminum fins were added. It was remodeled again in 1982-83, donated to the city in 1994, and renovated for loft living in 2016.
The building is now operating as a mixed-use space, after a $90-million renovation, with 238 luxury lifestyle apartments, two Marriott Hotel hotels, restaurants, and shops. Rents average $1.91 per square foot. Building amenities include yoga and fitness studios, community lounge, game room, chef’s room, karaoke room, Playstation room, cinema room, art room, music room, tanning salon, pet grooming space, two pool terraces, and multiple restaurants lining their courtyards. In the units, there are original maple and concrete floors, exposed brick, quartz countertops, ten-foot ceilings, washer-dryer, keyless entry, and upscale lighting packages.
The final building in our series bring us back to the Cedars neighborhood, south of Interstate 30 in downtown Dallas. Cedars Parks Lofts is known as an eclectic and affordable space, with rents ringing in at about $1 to $1.25 per square foot. It consists of three buildings that were converted from a movie theater, a nightclub originally managed by Dallas’ notorious Jack Ruby, and a 1923 soda bottling company rumored to dispense other beverages during the Prohibition era.
Renovations and improvements were untaken in 2003 to transform these buildings into 19 individual open lofts for live, work, and storage, preserving much of the building’s original architectural textures and character. Lofts here range from 800 square feet to 1,955 square feet and have raftered ceilings and brick accent walls. Some have original hardwoods, and others have reclaimed hardwood floors from a skating rink or basketball court. Building amenities included a courtyard, gated uncovered parking, and a parking garage.
* Special thanks to Ashley Stanley for her research assistance with this series.
** All rent prices are approximate, provided by Smart Data.