A landmark downtown Dallas skyscraper has just been bought by developers who plan to convert it into apartments and offices.
The 49-story Energy Plaza opened on Bryan Street in 1983. The 1.3 million-square-foot high-rise was designed by famed architect I.M. Pei.
New owner Todd Interests and partners will revamp the mostly vacant tower, the developer’s third such project downtown.
“You’re going to see this will be without exception be the finest office and residential building in the city of Dallas,” said developer Shawn Todd.
The upper floors of the tower will house 294 residential units. And the lower portion of the building will be remodeled into first-class office space.
The ground floor of the high-rise and surrounding plaza area will see the most changes.
“It’s going to be pretty stunning,” Todd said. “We are taking the big triangular area in front of the tower and doing a magnificent garden.
“We are putting in a 27-foot-tall seamless glass wall across the front of the building,” he said. “There will be a private entry for the office and a private entry for the residential and a restaurant on the first floor.”
Most of the exterior of the tower will remain unchanged.
Open-air balconies will be added on the corners of each triangle-shaped floor. “We are taking out those windows and opening it up for outdoor terraces on every floor,” Todd said.
Dallas architect HKS is designing the project. Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor.
The more than $300 million redevelopment is being done in a partnership with Moriah Real Estate and Zurich Alternative Asset Management, a global investor.
Bank OZK and Slate Asset Management are financing the project. Jones Lang LaSalle arranged the debt.
The redevelopment is not seeking city economic incentives.
“The entire project will be completed within 20 months — we started today,” Todd said. “We’ll move our first office tenant in within 12 months.
“We’ll move our first residential tenant in the building 14 months from now.”
Todd said about 475,000 square feet of offices will be located in the revamped skyscraper. Fletcher Cordell and Ben Davis of CBRE Group are leasing the space.
“We are getting office calls right now — demand is strong,” Todd said. “We can provide a level of luxury at dramatically less rental rates than in the new Uptown buildings.
The Energy Plaza renovation is Todd Interests’ second redevelopment of an I.M. Pei-designed downtown Dallas tower.
Starting in 2012, Todd Interests repurposed the 30-story One Dallas Center tower at Bryan and St. Paul streets, which was designed by I.M. Pei & Partners and opened its doors in 1979 as an office building. The mostly empty tower was remodeled into a combination of offices and apartments.
“It’s an honor for us to work on two Pei-designed buildings,” Todd said. “He designed Energy Plaza at the same time he was working on the Louvre in Paris.”
Built originally as a regional headquarters for oil company Atlantic Richfield, Energy Plaza was occupied by TXU Electric for years. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. also housed workers in the tower before moving to another downtown office.
Energy Plaza is topped by a tapered communications tower that Todd said will remain on the roof.
“This has been about two and a half years of work” to launch the tower project, Todd said. “We are excited to kick it off.”
Todd Interests has a track record of successful downtown Dallas deals.
The developer and his partners spent $460 million to redo downtown’s landmark First National Bank tower into a combination of retail and office space, apartments and a luxury hotel.
Reopened in 2020, the 324 rental units in the Elm Street building are about 95% leased.
Todd Interests is also finishing work on a 20-story office and apartment tower on Pearl Street on downtown’s east side.
The new high-rise is part of what the developer is calling the East Quarter — a 20-acre area sitting near Deep Ellum. Todd Interests bought up more than a dozen old commercial buildings in the area and converted them into new offices and eateries. Most of those once-vacant properties have filled up.
Energy Plaza is just the latest downtown Dallas skyscraper set for a reboot.
Another developer, Woods Capital, is currently remodeling the 40-story Bryan Tower and the 50-story Santander Tower into a combination of offices and apartments.
In 2016, downtown’s 33-story One Main Place tower was converted into a combination of offices and a Westin Hotel.