We all know it’s finally open and the coolest thing to hit Dallas since central air, but you might want to partake of the full five days of extravagant celebrations from Monday, February 26 thru Friday, March 2, at the Statler Hilton downtown.

Festivities are promised to be over-the-top (best kind), open to the public, and feature themed parties, unique performers and mouth-dropping entertainment. The Statler displays vintage ’60s autos in the port cochere, I can hardly wait to see what they have THIS week.

Of course, Statler mascot Llinda Llee Llama will be live in person each night for photo ops. Cuddle up.

Here then, is the schedule:


Photo: Google Maps

1401 Elm as it looks today. Even though developers started some work on the skyscraper, redevelopment efforts ground to a halt last week and lenders are forcing a foreclosure auction. Photo: Google Maps

Last week, we told you about the mess happening at 1401 Elm, a landmark $240 million redevelopment deal in downtown Dallas facing forced foreclosure after a developer pulled out.

The city of Dallas had committed $50 million in economic incentives to further progress. But with of the departure of New York-based Olympic Property Partners from the project, early lenders, who shelled out $53.5 million in loans to start redevelopment efforts, are forcing a foreclosure sale Dec. 1.

Rendering courtesy of Olympic Property

City leaders say they’re still committed to the redevelopment of 1401 Elm. Rendering courtesy of Olympic Property

But city officials say they feel compelled to try and help the skyscraper. The deal is considered to be a major milestone in downtown Dallas’ forward progress, and they reiterated their support for the planned mixed-use redevelopment project, which was supposed to create a combination of commercial space and apartments.

“We are absolutely committed to the redevelopment of the 1401 building, but will need to see how the ownership situation shakes out before making a specific recommendation to the city council,” Karl Zavitkovsky, directory of the Office of Economic Development, told Steve Brown of the Dallas Morning News. “The good news from the city’s perspective is that almost all the environmental mitigation and interior demolition is completed. Redevelopment of 1401 Elm remains a high priority for the city.”


Photo: Google Maps

Photo: Google Maps

Downtown Dallas’ 1401 Elm was once touted as the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, with 52 stories and 1.5 million square feet of office space.

This Central Business District skyscraper, formerly the First National Bank, has stood depressingly vacant since 2010. Plywood boards and “keep out” signs mar the once-impressive edifice.

Rendering courtesy of Olympic Property

Here’s what the redevelopment of 1401 Elm was supposed to look like. Will a foreclosure sale make these plans go down the drain? Rendering courtesy of Olympic Property Partners

Plans were underway for an encompassing $240-million redevelopment until this week, when the New York-based developer leading the deal announced it was pulling out. Because of that, 1401 Elm is now slated for a foreclosure auction to meet the demands of lenders, who shelled out $53.5 million in loans to start redevelopment efforts.

To add a layer of drama for the landmark deal, another real estate investor based in Chicago is suing the current owners of 1401 Elm, claiming it was kept from buying the property through fraud.



Update Nov. 9: This must be a new retro trend — the live music venue! I’m told the developer refurbishing the At. Anthony Hotel in downtown St. Antonio also has plans to re-vive a ballroom and live music venue on the rooftop. Seems that, in the 1940’s and ’50s, folks would go down to the St. Anthony and dance to live bands while local radio stations broadcast the music. Perhaps this is what Mehrdad has in mind? (ce)

We love Mehrdad Moayedi, whom we’ve dubbed “Saint Stoneleigh.” Steve Brown at the DMN wrote yesterday what we wrote a month ago: Moayedi is buying downtown Dallas’ iconic Statler Hilton with plans for a residential conversion with unique amenities.

But 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 — including parking and other abatement concerns — some of which have stymied successful developers such as Jack Matthews of Matthews Southwest.

But Moayedi’s Centurion American breathed life back into the Stoneleigh, is well equipped to revive the 19-story Midcentury stunner of a hotel on Commerce Street. We also love that Moayedi want’s to bring more amenities to downtown with this project, including a movie theater and a grocery store. There’s also been talk of a live music venue. Wonderful ideas, and all sorely needed downtown.