Bruce Willis Was Here

Vintage building in Dallas' West End makes magnificent comeback

Vintage building in Dallas' West End makes magnificent comeback

West End Marketplace
The building formerly known as West End Marketplace has been revived. Photo courtesy of 42 Floors

A century-old warehouse in downtown Dallas' West End has been remodeled into a creative workspace that still retains many of its original historical features. Called Factory Six03, it's opening in the iconic 114-year-old warehouse formerly known as the West End Marketplace, at 603 Munger St.

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and stood empty for almost a decade. Granite Properties bought the building in 2015, when the West End began growing as an innovation and knowledge district, with the plan to redevelop it into a modern workspace with a historic look and feel designed to appeal to younger generations and creative users.

Granite Properties CEO Michael Dardick says that Factory Six03 exemplifies what his company is all about.

"We saw many reasons why redeveloping Munger 603 would make the West End valuable again, ranging from its proximity to Victory Park and Uptown to its aesthetic value," he says in a release.

The original structure was built in phases, starting in 1903, when it was home to the Brown Cracker & Candy Co. It became the Sunshine Biscuit Company in 1926, and a furniture distributor in the 1960s.

It was most recently known as the West End Marketplace, which was established in 1985, when it was home to a 10-screen movie theater. Planet Hollywood moved in on the first floor with great fanfare and a celebrity-studded party in 1991. Bruce Willis attended.

The movie theater closed in 2000, Planet Hollywood left in 2001, and the building had been vacant since 2006.

Admirably, Granite kept and restored many of the building's historic features inside the structure including: the original exposed brick; a two-story biscuit brick oven from its days as a cookie maker; a one-ton scale; and the original hardwood floors.

They restored the historic metal-framed windows, and repurposed old doors found in the building into doors or beams. They also refurbished the three rooftop cylindrical water tanks which make the building identifiable from Woodall Rodgers Freeway; those are still on the roof.

They removed the interior escalators and revamped the famous Atrium that was built in the 1980s. Meanwhile, they added two floors with views of the Dallas skyline, and an eighth floor with a tenant lounge, outdoor patio, and conference center.

Other new additions include contemporary furniture, underground parking, a modern glass vestibule, an outdoor plaza, a community lobby with a coffee lounge, and ground floor restaurant space. The first tenant, C1 Innovation Lab by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, moved into the building over the summer.

The building has new plumbing, new elevators and new, exposed HVAC. It also showcases many pieces of art including a multi-color installation designed by Dallas-based End Design, a sculpture of a mockingbird designed by Texas artists Sergio Garcia and Micah Smith, and a restored Buddy Holly statue from Planet Hollywood.

All of this is great, except for the "Six03" part. Is "603" too pedestrian?

Granite Properties is a real estate investment, development, and management company founded in 1991, with offices in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Denver and Southern California.

"Factory Six03 is perfect for companies that want amenity-rich workspaces that offer a mix of experience and lifestyle to attract and retain workers," says Granite president and COO Greg Fuller. "We’re honored to have played a role in reviving the West End and plan to redevelop and restore more historic buildings in Dallas and other cities, as well."