West End Marketplace May Become Office Space

HBW subscribers in metro Dallas will be excited to learn that the landmark West End Marketplace in Dallas is now under consideration for an office space renovation project catering to tech startups and small businesses. Plans to convert the space into a hotel or residence have fallen through, but this new round of development looks likely to pay off.

Granite Properties is under contract to renovate the 113-year-old property. Granite COO Greg Fuller says that the firm will close within the next few months and “renovate it with new systems and restore it to its historic relevance in the marketplace.”

The 8-story, brick and frame building was built in 1902 for the Brown Cracker & Candy Company, which at the time was the largest confectioner in the Southwest and employed more than 1,000 people. In 1986, the renovated site was opened to the public as the West End Marketplace, which was Dallas’ first festival marketplace retail center. The 10-screen cinema complex, interior atrium, and Planet Hollywood restaurant were added later.

Eventually, businesses began to lag, which led to the closing of the cinema in 2000 and Planet Hollywood in 2001. The Entire property closed in 2006, since which time the building sat vacant.

Granite, one of the largest and most profitable developers in North Texas, operates out of its Uptown office tower but will relocate to the Granite Park office campus in West Plano next year when the development is completed. If Granite follows through on its plans to renovate the building, the project will be another investment into reviving Dallas’ fin-de-siècle warehouse district.

At Houston Street and Ross Avenue, Farifield Investment Company is currently building a 267-unit apartment project for the rental market. The historic Landmark Center office building, located nearby at at Ross Avenue and Lamar Street, is also being remodeled.

John Crawford, CEO of neighborhood economic development group Downtown Dallas, Inc., says that the Granite’s contract “is an enormous step forward for downtown and the West End” Granite is a “quality developer” with a proven track record and Crawford is confident that the firm “will make the right changes to raise the profile of this neighborhood and lay the groundwork for other redevelopment in the West End.”

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