Downtown Dallas gets massively more artsy in a few weeks when Brad Oldham moves his headquarters into the Central Business District, to a building being developed by real estate mogul and downtown Dallas champion Tim Headington.
Oldham is the nationally recognized artist-sculptor and creator of the "Traveling Man" sculptural series that has come to define Deep Ellum. He's been honored by a number of organizations, such as the Texas Society of Architects; in 2011, the American Institute for Architects called him Artist/Craftsman of the Year.
Oldham, who has been in the Dallas Design District for seven years, will set up at 1200 Ross Ave., between Field and Griffin streets, in what he says will be a larger and more accessible space that offers better interaction with the public and street traffic.
"We'll still do our fabrication and everything else that we do [in the Design District]. We're just doing it downtown," he says.
The building is a 12-story parking garage that was built in the '80s, with a goal, never realized, to top it with an office building. Headington purchased the building in 2012, as part of a series of acquisitions of land along Ross, Field and Griffin, with an eye toward creating a mixed-use development.
At the time of Headington's purchase, Downtown Dallas Inc. CEO John Crawford called it "another huge indication of the changing face of downtown" and highlighted the area's potential as a connector between the Omni Dallas hotel, West End, and Victory and Main Street.
Headington has already transformed Main Street with his Joule complex, including such shops as Weekend Coffee, TenOverSix and the big eyeball sculpture named Eye. He has also partnered with Brian Bolke to build a Forty Five Ten downtown.
Oldham is in the process of remodeling the space. He hopes to be fully operational by September 15.
"We want this building to work better for us," he says. "We'll have walk-through traffic, and we'll add some sculptures to the top that'll be fun. We definitely set it up better and did the build-out according to what we needed."
He's not the only tenant going into the space. "Right now, that downtown area is in the beginning phase of a larger project that I can't say much about," he says.
He hopes to start moving "in about two weeks," he says. "We've been in this space for seven years, and it seems like it's time for a change," he says. "It's not the first time I’ve moved, and there's a method to the madness."