Report: Dallas Metro Is No. 3 in the Nation for Office-to-Apartments Conversions

From downtown Dallas' Santander Tower, Comerica Bank Tower, and Bryan Tower to Fort Worth's Oil & Gas building, Star-Telegram Building, and the former Oncor building, office spaces across the region are being turned into apartments. Only Washington, D.C., and New York City have more such projects than DFW, according to a new report from RentCafe.

In a growing trend, Dallas-Fort Worth office buildings are being redeveloped—in full or in part—into multifamily residences. It’s happened in some of downtown’s biggest skyscrapers, like the 50-story downtown Santander Tower, which will see existing office space on 11 floors converted into 288 apartment units, and the city’s second-tallest building, Comerica Bank Tower, which will see as many as 20 of its office-space floors converted into apartments and a luxury hotel.

Both of those conversions are projects from Dallas-based Woods Capital. Mintwood Real Estate converted empty floors of Santander Tower into The Guild, a chic boutique hotel in downtown Dallas. Building on that success, Mintwood further redeveloped 11 floors of the same tower into nearly 230 modern apartments offering urban living. That earned Mintwood the Innovation in Real Estate Award at last week’s Innovation Awards 2024, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates.

Star-Telegram Building in downtown Fort Worth [Photo: Bluelofts Inc.]

Fort Worth is marking its own office conversion trend. Last January, Bluelofts Inc. acquired the historic Oil & Gas building on West 7th Street in downtown Fort Worth for an apartment conversion project. That same month, the 16-story former Oncor building—also on West 7th Street—was acquired by Chicago’s 3L Real Estate for its own apartment redevelopment. And last May, Bluelofts acquired the 19-story Star-Telegram Building on the same street in downtown Fort Worth for a mixed-use future of luxury apartments, office space, and retail.

Those are just some of the projects that have made Dallas-Fort Worth the No. 3 metro in the U.S. for office-to-apartments conversions, according to a new adaptive reuse report by RentCafe.

Comerica Bank Tower [DALLAS Commercial Real Estate file photo]

3,163 apartments are in the works in DFW office buildings

Per the report, here are some key reasons Dallas is so high on the list, surpassed by only Washington, D.C., at No. 1 and New York City at No. 2:

• Dallas is transforming old office buildings into 3,163 new, modern apartments, making up 82.5% of its upcoming conversions. The remaining 15% will come from converting hotels, and 3% from repurposing old factories.

• This is a 58% jump in the pipeline since the previous year, highlighting Dallas’ rapid growth in this niche. By contrast, New York saw a mere 18% growth.

• Standing out as Dallas’ largest project is the redevelopment of the Renaissance Tower on Elm Street, RentCafe said, with the building “poised for a real-life renaissance as it swaps out old offices for 500 modern apartments.”

• Other top projects in Dallas are the conversion of the Bryan Tower (425 units), the  transformation of the former Oncor building (330 units) and the redevelopment of the former Star-Telegram headquarters (268 units).

Part of a nationwide trend

From 2021 to 2024, the number of apartments scheduled for conversion from old office spaces increased from 12,100 to 55,300 nationwide, RentCafe said, with the trend most prominent in Washington, D.C. (5,820 units) and New York (5,215 units). 

You can see the full RentCafe report here.

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