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Just What The Arts District And Klyde Warren Need! More High-Rise Office Space!
by Jerome Weeks 18 Jun 2015

Well, there will be some ground-floor retail, so there’s that small consolation.

Over on the DMN‘s Biz Beat Blog, Steve Brown reports the corner of Pearl and Woodall Rogers — that little grassy plot with the big red Mark di Suvero sculpture — has been sold by the Dallas Symphony Foundation to the developer, Lincoln Property, the folks who own Two Energy Square and Three Energy Square and Two Turtle Creek  (they’re not real big on clever names).

di suvero1

‘Proverb’ by Mark di Suvero. Photo: Jerome Weeks

At any rate, they’re planning a 23-story office tower on that little half-acre and the sale is expected to close in September. The property had originally been acquired by the Dallas Symphony (it was a drive-in bank) with an eye toward “future expansion of its facilities.” According to the DSO’s release, the sale price was $7.2 million — and that money will go to the foundation’s endowment. “Returns on the investments of the funds,” the release says, “are expected to contribute approximately $400,000 per year to the Dallas Symphony.”

What had once been a possibility for a distinctive ‘gateway’ to the Arts District will now be — judging from the illustration accompanying Brown’s story — a big glass box butting up against the back of the Meyerson Symphony Center. The  building will be designed by HKS, the folks who gave us the W Hotel.

The release states the foundation “negotiated the right to review and approve the project architect” and the foundation’s review committee “advised and provided recommendations for the building’s design.” There’s supposed to be a restaurant on the ground floor, a fitness center, plus an “amenity deck” overlooking Klyde Warren Park. And all this will be across Woodall Rodgers from the giant tower that Trammell Crow is planning, the largest in central Dallas.

The di Suvero sculpture, by the way, always reminded me of an old-style metronome, so it seemed fitting standing next to the Meyerson. The title of the artwork is “Proverb,” which means, of course, a “pithy saying or truth.” In this case, that pithy saying would be: “location, location, location.”

Or perhaps “a historically high real-estate market makes its own future.”

Here’s the release:

Lincoln Property Plans Office and Restaurant Development for Land
at Pearl Street and Woodall Rodgers

DALLAS (June 18, 2015) – Moving to take advantage of the city’s strong real
estate market, The Dallas Symphony Foundation has signed a contract to sell a
tract of land in the Dallas Arts District to Lincoln Property Company for $7.2
million. The land was purchased in 1995 for $1.5 million.

The land sits adjacent to the back of the Meyerson Symphony Center at the
corner of Pearl Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway.

Proceeds for the sale of the land will be used to augment the Foundation’s
endowment, which helps to fund the operating expenses of the Dallas Symphony
Orchestra. Returns on the investments of the funds yielded by this transaction
are expected to contribute approximately $400,000 per year to the Dallas
Symphony, in perpetuity. The sale of the land is expected to close in September.
“The Foundation’s mission is to ensure that we maximize the return on the
investments we are entrusted to manage,” said Scott Hancock, the Foundation’s
president. “The real estate market in Downtown Dallas, and especially the Arts
District, is at a historic high, so it just made good financial sense to put this asset
to the best use for the Symphony.”

Said DSO President and CEO Jonathan Martin: “I believe that the sale of this
property is a prudent decision by the Foundation. It will help ensure the DSO
continues to have the resources necessary to maintain and enhance the
excellence of our organization.”

Lincoln’s preliminary plans for development of the property call for a 23-story
office development that will also include a large restaurant, a tenant conference
center, a fitness center and an amenity deck overlooking Klyde Warren Park. The
development is being designed by HKS Architects.

Before signing the contract to sell the property, the Foundation negotiated the
right to review and approve the project architect and the overall concept for the
development. As part of the review process, the Foundation engaged a Concept
Design Committee including Howard Hallam, DSO Board of Governors’
Chairman Joseph F. Hubach, Jonathan Martin, Brian Ratner, Deedie Rose and Sandi Pei, son of Meyerson Symphony Center architect I.M. Pei. The review
committee advised and provided recommendations for the building’s design,
ensuring that it would not detract from the Meyerson Symphony Center and the
overall aesthetics of the Dallas Arts District. Those recommendations are
included in the current design. The DSO also negotiated the after-business-hours
use of 600 parking spaces to be built as part of the project.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to develop another building along Klyde
Warren Park that is a part of the Dallas Arts District,” said David Pettle, Lincoln
executive vice president. “The Arts District location places tenants within
walking distance to Downtown and Uptown, with convenient access to many of
the City’s finest cultural attractions and amenities.”