Construction has started to bring a high-profile tollway tower into the 21st Century.
New owners of the 24-story Occidental Tower at LBJ Freeway and the Dallas North Tollway are spending up to $9 million on the first major overhaul of the high-rise since it opened in 1985.
The tower early this year sold for about $95 million to Dallas’ Encore Enterprises and New York Life Insurance.
Now the 570,000-square-foot building is getting a makeover and a new name – Pinnacle Tower.
Leasing agents with Stream Realty Partners are betting that interior upgrades and an eye-popping outside lightshow will bring the tower attention from businesses looking for office space.
The building until recently was mostly occupied by a division of Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, which sold the property.
“We have a building that was off the radar for many years because Occidental was the owner and primary occupant,” said Stream Realty’s Sara Terry. “The building had not been toured by the brokerage community for many years.
“We have a really great building with great bones but it feels like a 1980s building.”
The dark stone and glass tower is getting a bright modern lobby and other cosmetic improvements.
“A new lobby is great but without the amenities that go with it you are missing the market,” Terry said.
That’s why the renovations will include addition of a large fitness center, a new tenant lounge area and upgraded restaurant facilities on the ground floor.
“We are creating a really big outdoor lounge as well,” Terry said.
Dallas-based Entos Design planned the new building features.
California-based food service firm Guckenheimer will create and operate the building’s new café. “They bring more of a restaurant quality to a traditional building café,” Terry said.
Construction on the remodeling project started this week and the first phase of the work will be finished in March. In February redevelopment of the tower’s second floor conference facilities will start.
Terry said the building is currently about 85 percent leased.
“Occidental gave back the top five floors – about 100,000 square feet,” she said. “There are incredible views. You can see all the way to downtown.”
To bring attention to the exterior of the tower lighting will be added including an LED strip along the 24-story tall knife-edge on the front of the high-rise.
“We are having starburst lighting installed on the side towards the tollway to make it pop out,” Terry said. “As you drive by now you don’t really notice it because it’s very dark.
“We are very visible coming up and down the tollway,” she said. “With the renovation of the building we think tenants in the market will see a lot of value.”
By: Steve Brown
SOURCE: The Dallas Morning News