For those interested in what’s going on in Dallas’ West End district – an early model for Bricktown – here’s the latest from a poster at Dallas Metropolis Online:
“Despite the WE Marketplace being vacant the West End is actually thriving from a commercial aspect. The Awalt and Moline buildings are 100% occupied, Landmark is at95% and is about to close on the last space, The Oil Well Supply building just renewed the lease and increased the space of Turner Construction, Higghambotham Pearl Stone is at least 75%, and having hired a new leasing agent Market Ross is on it’s way back up having just passed the 55% threshold. If you go down there at lunch the restaurants are pleasantly full and it’s hard to find a parking meter.
I had lunch with an employee of E-Com Realty who owns the Marketplace (and about 40% more of the buildings down there) and he said that they have no intentions to sell the building or to lease the space out as retail. They just completed an interior demolition of all the floors (removing all store front glass, etc.)and are just going to wait the market out and try to land a 100,000 sq.ft. tenant. Last year they did accept bids from 15 companies to see what they would offer to buy it and the WE Parking Garage. Bids came back, they narrowed it down to three offers, borrowed everybody’s renovation estimates and then decided not to sell. I talked to a guy with Colliers International who was on one of the three “finalist” teams and he said they offered $14 mil for the two structures and estimated another $13 mil for renovation. He said it would take a cool million alone just to undo the movie theater! So basically they just gutted the building and are going to let it be until they can land a large tenant then dump the moolah for renovation. Looks like we’ll be looking at a sad dark building for a while.
I think we need to quit thinking of the WE as an entertainment district and think of it as a commercial district with some restaurant/retail. Clearly Victory has done nothing for entertainment.”