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HIGH TECH: IT DOES A BODY GOOD

Dallas-Ft. Worth
HIGH TECH: IT DOES A BODY GOOD
General Datatech's J.W. Roberts

General Datatech (one of the largest Cisco Value Added Resellers in the world) renovated a 50-year-old 95k SF former dairy plant (going from white to green) into an ?advanced working laboratory" for its routing, switching, communications, and security solutions business and data center. It's located at 999 Metromedia Place (near the intersection of West Mockingbird Lane and I-35). Above, it's GDT founder/CEO J.W. Roberts on top of his newly renovated HQ building in front of a section of the 100-KW electricity generating photovoltaic system. It's one of the largest private commercial solarimplementations in Texas. J.W. says it can be monitored in real-time for the amount of power used versus generated. GDT?s seekingLEED Gold certification.

GDT exterior

J.W. tells us he's always had a love for the historic buildings of Dallas and hated to see so many of them torn down. GDT?s rapid growth drove the need for a facility to house the company's sales, engineering, logistics, and project management staff in one location. The customer support center (on six acres) has 65k SF of renovated space and 30k of newly built warehouse and staging facility. The 18-month long project, designed by Edwin Brantley Smith & Associates, has already been named the recipient of the 2011 Award for Best Adaptive Re-Use of an Existing Building by the Stemmons Corridor Business Association (special thanks to Steven Vaughan Photography for the interior and exterior photos).

GDT interior

GDT?s building was a processing plant for Foremost Dairies and satempty for years after the dairy closed, until it was partially renovated for an advertising firm. The property eventually went into foreclosureand was empty until GDT purchased it in 2009. (Fun fact: the building was used for several episodes of the TV show Prison Break.) J.W. says he's a bit of a masochist in remodeling an old building and there's a reason there aren't more projects like this: brokers and architects know better! The biggest surprise in the project was the10% renovation tax charged by the City of Dallas. ?There is a big incentive to tear down buildings rather than renovate them,? he tells us. "It takes someone passionate about history to do what we did.? Taking next generation technology and morphing it into an older building is a nice blend, he says. Other bells & whistles: a 30k-gallonrainwater collection system, an indoor gym, a workout room, and a theater.