Colorful 1950s Office Tower Slated To Be Downtown Dallas’ Next Residential Conversion

211 North Ervay is an azure and aquamarine standout in a downtown piled high with glass and granite. It was slated to be torn down as an "eyesore" in 2004, but now it's about to get a whole new life thanks to Plano-based Wolfe Investments.

In 2004, then-Dallas Mayor Laura Miller called 211 North Ervay an “eyesore,” and a city plan called for it to be demolished to make way for a park. But others prized the colorfully quirky 1958 tower for its historic and architectural value. Well, the prizers and preservationists won because it’s still standing there. And now it’s slated to get a whole new life as a residential building.

Plano-based Wolfe Investments, a private equity real estate investment firm headed by CEO Kenny Wolfe, announced this week that it’s purchased the 18-story midcentury office tower, which underwent a major renovation in 2014. Details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Two agents from Rogers Healy and Associates Commercial, Pejman Zahmatkesh and Philip Askeroth, provided representation to both the buyers and the sellers in the transaction

Wolfe says it plans to convert the building’s existing office space into Class-A multifamily living with 238 units including studio, 1 bed/1 bath, and two bed/two bath floor plans “with a contemporary aesthetic.”

The redesign will include new amenities including a fitness center and business lounge, Wolfe added. Construction is expected to take 14 to 16 months.

Stands out brightly due to its azure and aquamarine panels

The 18-story building stands out brightly in downtown Dallas thanks to its exterior panels of alternating azure and aquamarine porcelain spandrels. Another thing that catches your eye is its unusual size. It’s built on a lot that’s only 50 feet deep and 200 feet wide, so from the side it looks exceedingly narrow compared to most downtown Dallas towers.

You can see an intriguing look at the life of the building in this AIA Dallas “Lost and Found” profile. It notes that Thomas Stanley of Hedrick & Stanley designed the tower, and even in 1958 the building stood out from its “granite and glass neighbors.” 

Blue panels built by same company that made the famed Pegasus atop the Magnolia Building

The building’s blue panels were created locally by the Texlite sign company, the AIA Dallas article states. That’s the same shop that built the famed Pegasus atop the Magnolia Building, as well as panels for The Statler, another iconic 1950s downtown building.

Wolfe was one of the buyers of Fort Worth’s Oil & Gas Building in January

Three months ago, Wolfe Investments partnered with Dallas’ Bluelofts Inc. to acquire another historic tower for residential conversion—the Oil & Gas building in downtown Fort Worth. The 16-story, 166,000-square-foot tower is adjacent to the 19-story Star-Telegram building. Bluelofts plans to convert it to 180 luxury apartments with ground-floor retail.

Transforming the two cities’ office tower downtowns into mixed-use neighborhoods where people live night and day is a growing trend—one that’s slowly becoming a real game changer.

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