Developer Scott Rohrman Transforms Deep Ellum While Respecting Its Roots
There is no one in Deep Ellum as busy as 42 Real Estate developer Scott Rohrman. After acquiring nearly 30 buildings and parking lots in the area, he is a transformative force. However, unlike many developers grabbing up large tracts of Dallas real estate, he tries to keep his projects true to the area, rooted to Deep Ellum’s past.
42 Real Estate is in the process of buying two properties contiguous to a property he already owns, and he’s having to turn away tenants, Scott tells us. He’s looking for the right tenants and a good mix. He could have leased out some of the properties 10 or 15 times already, but he’s passed.
It’s a luxury. He can afford to be selective.
One of the new properties is 3,500 SF with a rooftop deck. The other, about 7k SF, will potentially have one of the biggest patios in the Dallas area.
Last year, Scott bought 2626 Mockingbird Lane, a potentially historic property near Love Field that had been vacant for years. He’s putting together plans for a remodel, but he’s in no rush, he tells us.
He doesn’t really have an acquisition strategy, he says. He looks for assets he understands. With Mockingbird Lane, he liked the fact it was close to Love Field and lots of cool new developments. But it still wasn’t a no-brainer. He wanted to buy in an area where there was a critical mass of people who care about people. He likes good neighbors—and wants to be one.
So what’s next? Scott says he needs to understand DART. He wants to learn whether the light rail is being used to create a walkable urban core, something he clearly supports.
Scott also wants to understand the issues around affordable housing. He's still studying the issue but believes greater diversity in education will lead to better outcomes for affordable housing. Having a mix of educational backgrounds should create an environment of learning, he says.
Specifically, he wants to see a development that isn’t solely built for profit but for a long-term future to benefit a neighborhood.
Scott’s love of the Deep Ellum neighborhood is obvious, particularly with his recent “42 Murals” project. Deep Ellum is a great place for art, Scott says, and he wanted to give artists an opportunity to showcase their talent through murals painted on the buildings in the neighborhood. He didn’t have a marketing plan, he says, but he got 225 submissions.
The result has been a rousing success. Several people have started giving tours of the art, and you’ll often see people taking photos of the murals. Scott has left his mark, literally, on Deep Ellum.