City Hall's Giant Neighbor Has New Owners With Desire to Revive That End of Downtown

500SErvay.jpg
Photo at left courtesy the Dallas Public Library Texas/Dallas History Division
Then and now: 500 South Ervay in 1955, and a more recent photo
Back in May, at the request of a City Hall worker who's been staring at the carnage next door for far too long, we peaked into 500 South Ervay and discovered the old Butler Brothers furniture warehouse wasn't just a 500,000-square foot mess, but also one tied up in litigation with ... dunh dunh dunh ... Dallas City Hall. But David Glasscock, exec vice president at Colliers International, says all that bankruptcy stuff has been taken care of. He also says the building has a new owner, as of September 30: a California-based partnership that plans to restore and do ... something with the building. What, exactly, it's not quite sure.

"It just needs some love," Glasscock tells Unfair Park this morning of the building on the tax rolls for $2.5 million. "You can do a lot of uses with it. We're not just going to build 600 loft apartments."

He says the new owners liked the building and saw potential for that end of downtown, near the convention center and City Hall. And while there were concerns over the proximity of the Stewpot -- the same concerns that kept investors from buying nearby 508 Park Avenue for years -- in the end, the Cali-based owners decided to go for it, Glasscock says.

"There are so many great things about the building and its location," he says. "Even though the soup kitchen's close, and that's always an issue, but you go to San Francisco or other big cities, and there are soup kitchens everywhere. ... And the building's been cleaned out and cleared. There were some worries about environmental issues in there, but they were comfortable with those [after some testing was done]."

I mentioned to Glasscock that a few months back, Gail Thomas of the Trinity Trust told me she'd hope to see the building become an art school of some kind. Sure, Glasscock says with no small amount of enthusiasm, that'd be great.

"Remember when the Savannah College of Art and Design was looking here?" he says. They were looking in the West End [in 2008]. But something like that. I dunno, maybe a charter school, something that brings vitality to that end of downtown -- not just business, but something else that makes the Central Business District vibrant. You have Booker T. on one end, and it'd be great to see another school on this end. We want more and more people to live and work and play and be educated downtown."

But all that's down the road: "I don't see anything happening till the first of the year," Glasscock says of the new owners' plans. "But at least we've put it it in the hands of someone other than a less concerned real estate developer and lender. It's better to have it in the hands of a fresh owner."
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11 comments
Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson

Who are the owners of 500 South Ervay in Dallas?I heard it was bought and being restored by the new owners out of California. I  know the best commercial glass person in Texas. You can pretty much point out a building and he has sold, ordered, and put the glass in personally for a super reasonable price. They have a little shop in a small town which has lower overhead expenses, which is why he is able to do quality work in our community. Also the majority of Autozones in the United States, the glass was installed by him. Keep in mind, a Texan, well respected quality work and a Him his son and small crew are down to earth well respected people. If anyone has idea of who bought this property please contact denjon8@aol.com or 817-846-3851(Dennis Jones A&D Glass)

Lee
Lee

"Even though the soup kitchen's close, and that's always an issue, but you go to San Francisco or other big cities, and there are soup kitchens everywhere. ... "

He is absolutely tight. It is about time that people in Dallas understand what an urban environment means. If we want to be a "World Class City" or even more importantly, a major American city, we should embrace the diversity and life that a vibrant downtown includes. In New York the most exclusive neighborhoods are merely blocks from lower income neighborhoods, for example. A gut check on the level of tolerance of those among us who are not as well off is needed.

md
md

Do you know the cost of living in San Francisco and New York City?

Here's some news for you from the last census:

"New York still had a smaller proportion of poor people than many other major cities, including Miami, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Boston."

Observist
Observist

In East Dallas the most exclusive neighborhoods are merely blocks from lower income neighborhoods.   So, yes, there's a tolerance issue, but there's also a density issue.  If you have a soup kitchen line of 100 homeless people surrounded by 5000 other pedestrians, it's not a big deal.  If you have 100 homeless people outnumbering other pedestrians, it is a big deal.   Even the urban sophisticates in NY, Chicago, San Francisco don't like hanging out in places where more than x% of other people are some combination of intoxicated, unwashed and mentally ill.

AintNoSunshine
AintNoSunshine

Very well said Lee!!! The NUMNUTS at City Hall has HAD to abandon the "WHITE RICH UTOPIA" in downtown and north of I30 they so desperately/illegally worked for!!!!!!

AintNoSunshine
AintNoSunshine

Give me a break. Critical mass of all people dilutes the homeless and all others. The key was critical mass via full INCLUSION OF ALL PEOPLE, not one type of people. Critical mass could have been attained solved all problems, just as it has the true world class cities. 

NewsDog
NewsDog

Blocks? All you have to do is walk across the ally behind Swiss Ave.

RTR
RTR

Spoken like a true radical right wing, intolerant, bigot! See if you can cast an early ballot for Perry! 

md
md

We don't need more of your type. You're a dumbass.

Observist
Observist

You're right - I hate it when I miss an opportunity for oneupmanship! 

Lee
Lee

Another result of the disastrous zoning decisions in the mid 1950s when all of Old East Dallas was zoned for multi-family, ruining entire blocks and neighborhoods. It has taken years to reclaim many of them with more work to be done.

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