Vacant downtown Dallas tower getting its first tenants in almost two decades


The 211 N. Ervay building, a mid-century office high-rise, has been both derided and praised for its bright blue exterior. The tower has been empty since the 1990s.

Published:Ai??12 May 2014 08:59 PM

Updated:Ai??12 May 2014 09:46 PM

Expanding entrepreneurial firms are turning the lights on in a Dallas office tower than went dark almost 20 years ago.

The companies are moving from Dallasai??i?? Uptown district to the empty 211 N. Ervay tower downtown.

Itai??i??s the 18-story mid-century office high-rise that has been both derided and praised for its bright blue exterior.

The new tenants say they are just fine with that eye-popping exterior. Tech Wildcatters and Health Wildcatters, which foster start-up firms, are taking two floors.

ai???These groups have bought into Dallasai??i?? core and are making an investment there,ai??? said real estate broker B.D. Amend. The Amend Group represented the companies in their leases of the tower. ai???The owners are scrambling to get the building

The firms and some of their related companies plan to be in the building July 1.

ai???The first time we saw the building we marked it off our list because everybody said it couldnai??i??t be ready in time,ai??? said Tech Wildcattersai??i?? co-founder Gabriella Draney. ai???But they are moving at a rocket

Draney said the companies also looked at potential locations in West Dallas and Deep Ellum before deciding to move downtown. She expects other companies seeking start-up and collaborative office space to follow their lead.

ai???It will define where the start-up communityai??i??s epicenter is,ai??? said Carl Soderstrom, one of the founders of both Tech Wildcatters and Health Wildcatters. ai???The cityai??i??s concept of an entrepreneurial village could happen in this

Not a lot has been happening at 211 N. Ervay for a long time.

Constructed in 1958 by famed Dallas developer Leo Corrigan, the building with its two-tone blue metal panels has been derelict since the 1990s.

A series of developers looked at renovating the tower for apartments or hotel space. But a lack of parking in the structure stifled those plans.

In 2012 investment group Alterra International Holdings acquired 211 N. Ervay and has been looking at a variety of uses.

Businessman Mike Sarimsakci, who represents the investment partnership that owns the building, said heai??i??s talking to other office tenants and has a furniture store retailer that wants part of the ground floor.

ai???We are working on the building and will move very fast,ai??? said Sarimsakci, whoai??i??s taking the top floor of the tower for himself.

Sarimsakci said heai??i??s arranged parking for the office tenants in nearby garages and at another property he controls a few blocks away at 500 S. Ervay.

He plans to run a shuttle bus between the two locations. ai???We are in the process of acquiring a double-decker bus,ai??? Sarimsakci said.




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