Legacy coming alive in massive redo of historic Dallas skyscraper

August 9, 2016

The Drever family legacy could be a longtime part of downtown Dallas' future if a more than $240 million redevelopment expected to revitalize an entire city block in the city's central business district comes to fruition.

The 52-story skyscraper at 1401 Elm St., a longtime vacant property that was originally known as the First National Bank of Dallas, will be renamed The Drever.

This will ensure property is a legacy for Maxwell Drever's family and the generations to come and will signify the long-term commitment the family is making in downtown Dallas.

"We have a responsibility to bring this beautiful building back to what it was built to be; the center of a vibrant and growing urban core," said Drever, chairman of California-based Drever Capital Management, in a statement.

The Drever, which totals about 1.4 million square feet of real estate, is in the midst of abatement and remediation work that will lead into construction work this fall. Completion is expected in 2018.

The local developer for the project, Bryan Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Dallasbased BDRC Partners, said the Drever family is carefully investing in the property for the long haul.

"They are committed to this building, which will have quality materials and will be around for the long term," Dorsey told the Dallas Business Journal.

The marble exterior of The Drever will be restored and reused throughout the building, Dorsey said. The 8 acres of marble, which had originally come from a battlefield in Marathon, Greece, will adorn the building's hallways and common areas.

"We want to restore as much as we can to restore it to its former glory," he told me. "Once the marble is cleaned up, I believe when the lights come on it will light up this full city block and this part of downtown Dallas."

At completion, the more than $240 million redevelopment will include:

An eight-story base with 44,000 square feet of Class A office space; lobbies for a high-end hotel and luxury apartment community; a grand ballroom; about 27,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and shop space. A spa and wellness center on the ninth floor. A restaurant and venue space on the 10th floor. A 236-room, high-end hotel on floors 11 to 22. A 348-unit luxury apartment community on floors 23 to 48, with an average apartment size of 1,100 square feet. A restaurant and hotel event venue on floor 49, which was once the landmark. Dallas Petroleum Club. A wrap-around observation deck on floor 50

Dallas-based Merriman Anderson/Architects are the lead designers for the redevelopment. Architectural Arts Co. is the fine arts consultant for the building. Andres Construction is the general contractor.

Jack Gosnell and Amy MacLaren of CBRE-UCR are marketing the retail portion of the building. Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. was selected to lease and manage the apartment community within The Drever.