First Look Inside Factory Six03
West End Marketplace was a hopping night spot in the ‘80s with Planet Hollywood, a movie theater and assorted merchants and clubs. Then, hard times hit and the old 1900s warehouse went dark. After 10 years of sitting empty, Granite Properties bought it and has started redevelopment into a trendy, modern—with just a touch of the old—office building. We got a behind-the-scenes tour yesterday from Granite COO Greg Fuller, one of the featured speakers at Bisnow’s Dallas State of the Market event on Jan. 19 at Lake Highlands Tower (formerly Abrams Centre) at 9330 LBJ Freeway.
Granite acquired the old factory-turned-night spot in July and immediately started design work to return the old cracker and candy manufacturing building to its origins with hardwood floors, brick walls and exposed ceiling beams. Greg (left, with Granite development manager Aaron Bidne) gave us insights on how Granite plans to transform the seven-story, 237k SF building in the Dallas CBD into office and restaurant space.
Granite renamed the building Factory Six03, a nod to its address at 603 Munger Ave. The idea to redevelop the site was born out of extensive travels and study of the real estate markets in San Francisco and Boston, he says, where creative office space has been an emerging trend for office users like tech, co-working, design firms and more. Really, he says, it could suit any company looking to attract the younger workforce, which prefers amenity-rich space with residential, retail and nightlife components. Greg says similar projects in LA and San Francisco are leasing for premiums—even higher than new construction.
The building will have about 216k SF after adding an eighth floor of office space and outdoor entertaining areas. (This rendering shows the additional space.) The silos atop the building (which are nightly neon icons for West End) will remain in some fashion to preserve the history of the building, but will be rehabbed.
The building was built in 1903 with an addition in 1906 and then a third phase in 1923. Greg tells us few all brick and timber buildings remain in Dallas, which is not an old city to begin with. In the 1950s, most buildings like this one were demolished in favor of new construction. This redevelopment will create a Class-A asset that feels like new, but with a historical aspect, Greg says. All of the building systems are being replaced, as well as the windows.
With the demolition of the escalators, Granite will create a five-story atrium and add a new skylight. The basement will feature about 50 executive parking spaces. Additional common areas will include a community lobby, conference facility, maybe a coffee bar and probably two ground-floor restaurants, Aaron tells us.
Whenever possible, efforts are being made to save historic aspects of the building like this one-ton scale, which was in Phase 3 of the original project, which incorporated cast concrete construction with mushroom columns. GFF and Archi-Texas are the project architects, and DPR is the contractor.
This original item from the factory is a mystery, Aaron tells us. (Anyone out there know what it is?) On the ground floor, there is a space with double-height ceilings that may make a good showroom or retail space, he tells us. Because the building is still a work in progress, Greg says, it’s hard to say how the tenant mix will shake out. Featuring large floor plates of 30k to 40k SF, it could be used by a large single tenant, but it has a multi-tenant feel to it, as well. It's being pre-leased by Granite’s Aarica Mims and Burson Holman and will be ready for occupancy in January 2017.
Greg tells us the plaza will be redone, as well. This week, he’s meeting with folks from Crescent to talk about their recent purchases and with city reps to persuade them that the area around the building (and near the Old Spaghetti Warehouse) should be converted into a pedestrian plaza and event space. To address parking, Greg says Granite inked a 99-year lease with the West End garage to give Factory Six03 twice as much parking as any other building in the area.
Factory Six03 is just the first step in the redevelopment of the West End. John Goff bought three buildings nearby and an investor purchased the Landmark building, as well. That means that most of West End is now under the control of institutional owners, which have the capital to invest in redevelopment, which only benefits this project, Greg says.
Save your spot to learn more about Factory Six03 among other hot Dallas projects at Bisnow’s Dallas State of the Market event on Jan. 19 at Lake Highlands Tower (formerly Abrams Centre) at 9330 LBJ Freeway. Register here.