Mehrdad Moayedi is nearing the end of his three-year, $230 million renovation of the historic Statler Hilton in downtown Dallas. He bought the iconic hotel in 2014 with $46.5 million in TIF financing and has almost completed making it into a totally glam live-work-play-stay destination again. What does Mehrdad need now?

Another project! And the one where the Beatles stayed when they visited Dallas!

So his company, Centurion American, has their eyes and about $8.1 million on the old Cabana Motor Hotel, the 55-year-old midcentury relic on Stemmons Freeway.

Mehrdad plans to gut the 10-story hotel building and bring it back to its original glory. Place has been vacant for years. Well, it housed a county detention center before it was shuttered and put on the market by Dallas County as surplus property. A few sex offenders might still be there. The hotel, right across Stemmons from Victory Park, has seen better days, but the potential is huge.

This could be really great news for the county, since previous developers did not pan out, including a deal to turn the property into a data center (a hotel is a much better use).

And, according to Robert Wilonsky,  it’s a steal (hell yeah)!

The motel once owned by Doris Day, the landmark where Raquel Welch once worked as a cocktail waitress and where Jimi Hendrix used to stay when he came to Dallas, is now available at the low, low price of $7 million — which is just $1 million more than it cost to construct the “super-plush” joint back in 1961, according to our archives. That’s also a few million lower than the market value as set by the Dallas County Appraisal District, which says it’s worth $11,289,460. And, for what it’s worth, it’s also far less than the $9.2 million Dallas County paid for the property in 1985 — and not much more than the additional $5 million the county spent transforming it into a jail that wound up housing some 1,000 male and female inmates.

Hmmm. A $7 million price tag, Mehrdad’s paying $8.1? Who is bidding up that price? According to Steve Brown, who broke the story, Mehrdad says, thankfully, he really wants to preserve the century modern jewel:

“The hotel is going to stay a hotel,” Moayedi said. “We are going to give a big emphasis on a pool. It’s going to be like a Las Vegas pool.” (more…)

Cabana hotel full

A storied property near the Dallas Design District that fell from a swinging night spot and hotel for rock stars in the 1960s to housing for county prisoners and sex offenders in the 1980s and 1990s may be on the rise again.

According to this Dallas Morning News story first reported by Robert Wilonsky, the Dallas County Commissioners Court sold the old Cabana Motor Hotel / Decker Detention Center yesterday to Lincoln Property Company, the third largest residential property manager in the U.S. The property, located at 899 N. Stemmons Freeway, is 399,000 square feet sitting on 3.275 acres of prime real estate northwest of Downtown Dallas. Lincoln paid $8.7 million (half a million less than the county paid for the place in 1985).

While no one from Lincoln or the county will confirm plans for the property, rumor has it that Lincoln intends to create a residential tower and data center. (more…)