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Real Estate and Juliet

Dallas-Ft. Worth
Real Estate and Juliet
It’s not your typical boy meets girl love story. We're talking aboutarchitects falling in love with aging, neglected buildings. Merriman Associates Architects feels it’s a match made in heaven. Well, beauty is in the eye of the designer.
David Masters,Jerry Merriman, and Milton Anderson
We sat down recently with Merriman Associates Architects director of architecture David Masters, prez Jerry Merriman, and VP design director Milton Anderson. (Warning: Don’t get any of ‘em started on the Texas-OU rivalry.) They spoke of a firm niche, breathing new life into historic—and sometimes dusty—properties. Milton says historical renovation/restoration work has been their sweet spot, noting that about half of the restored buildings downtown were done by the firm, including the Mosaic, the Interurban, the Mayfair, and Gulf States. In the works is the Atmos complex with anticipated construction sometime this spring. 
The Mosaic
Milton says the addition of DART downtown in the last decade has changed the face of what the city can be: “Now, we can live in Plano, Carrollton, or Garland and ride DART to work. At Merriman, we give everyone DART passes.” But Jerry says there's still demand for downtown living. (Pictured is the Mosaic.) Occupancy in the existing downtown residential projects has remained high. There's been some reduction on rental rates, but that occurred citywide. In the last three to four months, even the rents have stabilized and risen slightly, and the overall demand for multifamily is high throughout the city, he says. (He credits a plethora of young professionals.) Many of these projects also have a low-income component because of grant funding, which is also helping to keep the market strong, he says.
Ashley Claborn, Milton Anderson, Skyler Renschler, David Masters, Lauren Bryan and Jerry Merriman
Pausing in the lobby, we snapped (in back) director of marketingAshley Claborn, Milton, biz dev wiz Skyler Renschler, and David with receptionist Lauren Bryan and Jerry. Located in the old Hexter-Fair Title Co building downtown, Merriman's offices are adjacent to the Akard Station DART stop. Milton says the firm purchased the building and moved there nine years ago from North Dallas to be a part of the revitalization efforts. His goal: vibrant and alive after 5 pm. “You have to love these old buildings; they have great bones. We’ve taken a lot of time to peel them apart and put them back together and put new life in them. And then we deal with things like asbestos, too. It’s not a hurdle, but part of the program when youknow how to do it.”