Is Something About to Happen With the Old Statler Hilton Downtown? Um, Maybe?

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Justin Terveen
At some point this morning I happened onto the Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum -- specifically, the most recent Urban Development page related to the Statler Hilton downtown. And there I espied this posting from yesterday: "A deal has been made, a design team and contractor has already been hired and a press conference will be held within a week or so. I have seen some activity around the building already. I think after 20 or so deals falling apart it has finally happened!" Well.

But, of course, we've been down this road before. So I called Tom Keen -- the Plano attorney who counts among his clients the Hong Kong-based owners of the old hotel -- to find out if this was true.

"I am not allowed to say," he told Unfair Park this morning.

We talked for a while -- meaning, I asked him a bunch of questions, and he tried to answer them as best he could without saying too much. When I asked if this was looking like a done deal, he said, "I think so." When I asked if this was another tease or something more tangible, he said, "I think we're further along this time than we have been in the past." And though he wouldn't say with whom the deal was being done, he did say, "A number of people have looked at the property in the past, and this is one we've talked to -- I am just not sure how visible they've been."

He insists, you'll be the first to know if something happens: "If we get there, there will be a formal announcement." He just won't say when. Or with whom. Or where. Or ...
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13 comments
Kwikshot123
Kwikshot123

Noah, the continental building is going slow because it is being done by Forest City (grin), as for parking, I like the idea on gutting the library out. The adjacent parking lots mentioned at Jackson and St Paul wont work because they want about 150% of what it would take to build a new one and the one to the east is to small.

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

With Main Street Garden the neighborhood is completely different than it was just a few years ago; it's gone from a neglected corner of downtown to a vibrant residential neighborhood. I look at this building outside of my apartment window every day and never tire of the view; it's the most talked about structure in downtown's east end. As more and more surrounding properties are redeveloped (the Atmos Complex, UNT School of Law, etc) there will be increasing pressure to make a viable project out of this structure. On a side not, why is the Continental Building project going so slow?

dallasmay
dallasmay

I can't imagine anyone actually wanting this building for much of anything. For one, it's too expensive. Two, it has every remediation problem you can imagine ->meaning, even more expensive. Three, the ceilings are too short and don't appeal to modern tastes. And you can't fix that. So, even if someone bought it, and even if they spent all of the money necessary to renovate it and remediate it, AND they fixed the parking problems, how are they going to market it? There are plenty of other very nice condos and apartments in downtown, uptown, and mid-town with much more modern tastes.

amber
amber

I really hope they are able to revitalize this into something grand. I love, love, love that building.

Jgreenan
Jgreenan

I've been told that making Elm and Commerce two-way streets wreaks havoc with the on-off ramps to the freeways, and that in order to do so, all the freeway entrances would have to be rebuilt.

For that reason, Elm and Commerce aren't likely to be two way again until those ramps are ready for replacement--a long time into the future.

Unfortunately.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

That makes sense, but it won't stop someone in City Hall from paying six digits for a "consultant" to study the issue and come up with the same result.

NotTheSuburbs
NotTheSuburbs

Not sure what you can do with that building since they tore down the parking garage to build the park.

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

The parking garage (removed for Main Street Garden) was across the street, separate from the hotel. For something similar, there's still a garage across the street to the west (Continental Building with 1,200 spaces), southwest (Mercantile Jackson Garage) and an empty lot across the street to the east.

Downtowner
Downtowner

The library should be torn down (maybe save the facade) to make room for a garage and pool deck.

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

Since it's a contributing structure in the Harwood Historic District, I don't think the George Dahl-designed library can be demolished without a fight; more likely the owners will allow it to deteriorate to a point that there's no option but demolition by neglect.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O...

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