Businesses hunting new digs in Dallas’ Design District have a couple of shiny new options.
For decades, the former warehouse district has attracted small companies looking for unique office space near the Trinity River northwest of downtown.
More recently, the Design District has seen a wave of high-rise apartment buildings, new restaurants and a luxury hotel.
But Quadrant Investment Properties’ two office buildings that just opened their doors are the first all-new modern office addresses in the district.
“The neighborhood seems to have really embraced it,” said Quadrant founder Chad Cook. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. We’ve had some good leasing activity.”
Together, the two buildings at 155 Riveredge Drive and 1333 Oak Lawn Ave. contain less than 300,000 square feet.
The offices offer tenants two different workplace styles.
The exterior of the five-story River Edge building, which sits nearer the Trinity River, is punctuated with balconies, terraces and an entry plaza that combine for more than 14,000 square feet of outdoor space.
Two restaurants will be located on the ground floor facing Riveredge Drive.
“We had a vision and pushed the limits on what office has been,” Cook said. “It’s what people want now. They don’t want to sit at a desk all day. We always want to have places for people to work outside the space they’ve leased from us.”
The building was designed by Merriman Anderson Architects with an industrial vibe.
“We are in an old warehouse district,” Cook said. “We tried very intentionally to play to the neighborhood but also appeal to tenants in Uptown and other urban markets who are looking for something different than your traditional tall glass and steel tower.”
With multiple tenant gathering places, eye-catching artwork and postcard views of the downtown skyline and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the River Edge building is on par with Uptown’s best offerings.
The largest office floors at River Edge stretch more than 30,000 square feet with floor-to-ceiling windows.
“A lot of people think of the Design District for what it was – smaller, creative class companies that wanted to use an old warehouse,” Cook said. “We wanted to cater to those larger groups. Law firms have been very interested in this.”
Rents in the new building start at about $48 per square foot — more than a quarter less than Uptown’s newest high-end office offerings.
Commercial property firm Transwestern is leasing both Quadrant buildings.
“The reaction from the brokerage community and leasing prospects has been very positive and from a wide range of industry,” said Transwestern executive managing director Paul Wittorf. “Each building offers a truly unique opportunity for tenants to create a special experience for their employees in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Dallas. There’s really nothing like it in Dallas.”
Quadrant’s Thirteen Thirty Three Oak Lawn building is just about four blocks away from its River Edge offices but has a much different feel.
The 10-story building has five levels of office on the upper floors and room on the ground level for a restaurant. An amenity floor on level nine with a lounge, bar and fitness center overlooks Uptown and the Oak Lawn neighborhood.
Merriman Anderson Architects also designed the Oak Lawn Avenue tower.
Quadrant partnered with neighbor Erin Cluley Gallery to populate the new office tower with eye-popping artworks.
“We designed the lobby to basically work as an art gallery,” Cook said. “We are going to rotate three or four shows through a year.”
The developer obtained many of the decorative items and furnishings in the two buildings from Design District businesses. “We sourced a lot of local furniture,” said Bryan Botterman, director of development. “It’s like a nice boutique hotel.”
Quadrant made its entry to the Design District a few years ago buying up old commercial sites with partner FCP (formerly Federal Capital Partners). FCP is also a partner in the two new office buildings.
The first redevelopment turned a row of old warehouse and showroom buildings on Manufacturing Street into almost 90,000 square feet of boutique office space.
The River Edge and Thirteen Thirty Oak Lawn buildings are the developer’s first new construction.
“We’ve never done ground-up projects before,” Cook said. “We are bullish on the office market — even though it seems like we’re the only one sometimes.
“We think we are on to something that is different.”