Real Estate / High-Rises

A $250 Million City Changer

New Luxury High-Rise and Hotel to Give Arts District a Much Higher Profile

BY Joe Richardson // 04.22.17

“I love the sound of construction in the morning,” Mayor Michael Rawlings says, noting the quantity of new buildings rising from Dallas. “It smells like victory.” Now, two more game-changing structures will rise in the Dallas Arts District.

The mayor, chairman and founder of HALL Group Craig Hall and executive director of the Dallas Arts District Lily Weiss gathered Friday to break ground on a new luxury hotel and high-rise tower Friday. At $250 million, the new HALL Arts Hotel and Hall Residences is one of downtown Dallas’ most expensive projects in years.

The new eight-story hotel at the corner of Ross Avenue and Leonard Street will boast 183 rooms ranging from 400 to 1,750 square feet. The hotel will also have a rooftop pool and sun deck, ballroom and fitness studio. Adjacent to the hotel in a 25-story glass tower, there will be 44 luxury condos that range in size from 1,600 square feet to a 10,000-square-foot, two-story penthouse. Most floors will only have two residences. Each condo will boast 11-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and large terrace balconies.

With this project, Craig Hall hopes to see a more vibrant Arts District with more people out and about, up and down the street.

“Right now, three million people a year come to the Arts District, but they come and they go,” Hall says. “They don’t come and stay. I want them to come and stay and walk around. I want the Dallas Arts District to be a place that’s talked about worldwide.

“I want us to be somewhere that people look at and they say, ‘That’s a reason to go to Dallas. That’s a place we all want to be.’ And I think we’ll get there.”

  • River Oaks District - MAY
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  • River Oaks District - MAY
  • River Oaks District - MAY
  • River Oaks District - MAY

Mayor Rawlings also wants to see these new residences expand Dallas’ international profile.

“To be the city we want to be in the 21st century, we need to be on the bucket list of every great artist, every great playwright, every great singer to be here in Dallas and that’s what we’re doing,” Rawlings says. “We’re building a nest that those creative birds are going to fly and land in because we have this.”

Craig Hall also assured the gathered crowd that the new hotel and high-rise would complement the existing buildings rather than obstruct them.

“We’re actually proud of the fact that we’re not going to build two big, what I would call Darth Vader looking things that would ruin the Arts District,” he says. “But we hope we’re going to be building beautiful buildings that will complement the arts district.” Further proving that this is no ordinary project to him, Hall will have his own residence in the new luxury tower.

The major players dug into the dirt for the HALL Arts Hotel and luxury tower’s big construction kickoff. (Photo by Joe Richardson.)

Dallas-based HKS Architects Inc is designing both the eight-story boutique hotel and the 25-story high-rise. Respected New York firm Bentel & Bentel is doing the hotel’s interior design, while Dallas’ Emily Summers Design Associates will tackle the luxury tower’s all-important interior design.

In keeping with making it a more attractive area for foot traffic, the same landscape architect who designed the oft-lauded Klyde Warren Park (the Office of James Burnett) is handling the areas around the buildings.

Weiss described the new hotel and high-rise as highly art oriented.

“Filled with pieces from Craig and Kathryn Hall’s collection and new pieces of artwork designed specifically for the hotel and residences, this project will be a welcomed addition to the Dallas Arts District and downtown Dallas,” she says.

The Arts District director went on to acknowledge the advantageous date of the groundbreaking.

“It is only fitting that this ground breaking ceremony should take place during Dallas Arts Month,” Weiss says. “Declared by the mayor to shine a spotlight on the dynamic Dallas arts scene and foster creative learning throughout the city.”

Before the gathered VIPs sank shovels in sand, the mayor also took a moment to comment on Dallas Arts Month.

“It is so apropos as we’ve already seen that this is just another celebration in Dallas Arts Month,” he says. “We started with the Nasher Prize on April first and we’ve gone throughout the whole city performing arts. The arts fair was a huge success and more and more local arts folks are realizing this is part of our nature.”

To that end, he introduced the vertical dance company Bandaloop. The dancers, suspended by wires several stories up the side of HALL Group’s existing building, twirled, stepped and flung themselves out away from the building before gracefully returning to glass which rippled with each impact.

Now that construction has begun, it’s expected to be a two-year-plus project. The hotel is scheduled to open first, followed a few months later by the residences in the fall of 2019.

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