Tony Collins Art to Relocate Its HQ to Historic Downtown Kaufman Square

Tony Collins Art makes custom lighting, art, and metal work for restaurants and skyscrapers, and is known for building the rotating structure for the 1934 ExxonMobil Pegasus at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

After spending years in Dallas' highly urban Cedars neighborhood, TCA is moving 34 miles southeast to Kaufman's former city hall, fire station, and senior center property. And just in the nick of time—what could become a key city attraction was slated to be a parking lot.

Tony Collins Art is relocating its headquarters from Dallas’ Cedars neighborhood to the historic downtown Kaufman Square after buying the former Kaufman City Hall, fire station, and senior center property. The new HQ will be located at 112 S. Jackson St. in Kaufman, 34 miles southeast of Dallas.

Tony Collins Art makes custom lighting, art, and metal work, and is best known for being commissioned to build a custom, rotating structure to showcase Dallas’ original 1934 ExxonMobil Pegasus at the Omni Dallas Hotel. In 2015, the company relocated the original enamel sign that had been put into storage in 2000.

Collins’ company said it plans to renovate the property in Kaufman to its original historic façade. Renovation completion and an opening are expected by mid-2024.

Tony Collins [Photo: Tony Collins art + home Facebook]

“We’re really looking forward to our future in Kaufman,” Collins said in a statement. “We love working on restoration projects and can’t wait to bring some life back into this historic building. We were so excited to find out the building was also Kaufman’s original fire department. Ronnie Davis, the Kaufman fire chief, let us scan some historic photos that date back to 1926, and we plan to display them prominently.”

In addition to the purchase and renovation of the property, Tony Collins Art will provide a piece of custom public art that will be displayed on the downtown square.

Collins’ works featured in many restaurants, as well as in Dallas skyscrapers

Tony Collins Art has operated in the Cedars area of Dallas since 1996, and has completed work across the country for many restaurants including Chili’s, Uncle Julio’s, On the Border, and Dickey’s BBQ.

Several of the company’s custom light features hang in some of Dallas’ most prominent skyscrapers.

Acquisition may have saved the building from teardown

What could become a key attraction for Kaufman almost got turned into a parking lot.

Stewart McGregor, executive director of the Kaufman Economic Development Corp., told Dallas Innovates he spoke with Collins and his wife Holly, who’s VP of the company, last May. 

“They looking at relocating out here, looking at real estate options,” McGregor told us. “They noticed the building that the city-owned and said, ‘What are you all doing with that?’ At the time, the plan was the city was going to knock it down and turn it into a parking lot or something.”

“It was a very fortuitous event that happened just in the nick of time,” McGregor added. “We saw the value that they would bring—not only in what they do with restaurants and with custom lighting, and what they’ve done in Dallas with the Pegasus and everything else—but also the value add that it’s going to create for our downtown and working with our building owners and our businesses and helping them in seeing ways that they can reimagine their properties.” 

McGregor believes the new Tony Collins Art HQ could “be that spark to help revitalize our downtown area, which has had some recent success” with other recent relocations and expansions of design and furnishings businesses, adding to the city’s emerging design district.

Other city leaders agree.

“It’s great to see this historic building being preserved, restored and put to good use once again,” Kaufman Mayor Jeff Jordan said in a statement. “I’m excited to see the Tony Collins group get started and I’m proud to welcome them to Kaufman.”

Kaufman City Manager Mike Slye said that the company “will be another valuable piece to our downtown square culture.”

Kaufman EDC aims to keep its downtown open later

McGregor says the Kaufman EDC has created a new incentive tool to attract more “destination-type businesses” like new restaurants, specialty retail, entertainment, and breweries to the Kaufman Square area. 

“We don’t have a brewery in Kaufman County, so a square really makes a lot of sense for something like that,” he said. “It’s up to a $25,000 matching grant, and part of the grant is used as a tool to help businesses that are interested to stay open a little bit later, too—so we can grow our nightlife scene here in Kaufman as well.

Census Bureau: Kaufman is the fastest-growing county in the U.S.

Kaufman is the county seat of what the Census Bureau has called the fastest-growing county in the nation. Kaufman County saw an 18% population increase between 2019 and 2021, the largest of seven Dallas-Fort Worth-area counties.

With its county population booming, Kaufman has seen an increase in new businesses looking to locate in and around the downtown square. As the community grows, the city said it’s working with businesses and developers that embrace a vision of sustainable high-quality growth.

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