Retro redevelopment

Former ‘hostess college’ for flight attendants lands on the market in Dallas

Former ‘hostess college’ for flight attendants lands on Dallas market

Former Braniff hostess college
The five-story building dates back to 1968. Photo courtesy of Marcus and Millichap

Oh, if these walls could talk. The former Braniff Hostess College — a training center and dorm for Braniff International flight attendants — has flown onto the market.

The five-story building, which dates back to 1968, encompasses 59,925 square feet on nearly 1 acre at 2801 Wycliff Ave., next to the Dallas North Tollway and near Dallas Love Field. Most recently, the property was a retirement community called ParkGate, which opened in 1999 and closed in 2014. It’s been vacant since then.

While the building originated as the Braniff Hostess College, it hosted flight attendants for just six years. It subsequently housed accounting operations and a drug treatment center.

Braniff, which took off in 1928, moved its headquarters to Dallas in 1942. At one time, it was the world’s sixth largest airline. Braniff shut down in 1982.

Pierce Lacey and Associates designed the Braniff Hostess College, where countless numbers of women underwent training to be a Braniff “hostess.”

“A sunken common area with a round ‘floating’ fireplace was known as the ‘Passion Pit’ since the women could mingle with male guests there,” according to the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

1971 article for the magazine published by the Ninety-Nines, an organization of women pilots, recounted a tour of the Braniff Hostess College by members of the group’s Golden Triangle chapter.

“They have lovely, modern facilities,” a Ninety-Nines correspondent wrote. “Sure would like to attend their make­up and hair-styling classes. Do you suppose they could make us all look like those lovely young girls?”

In 2014, the Braniff Foundation nominated the Braniff Hostess College for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. However, the property hasn’t made the list. According to a 2002 rezoning application, the building represents a “significant time” in the architectural, cultural, and business history of Dallas.

Matthew Sheard and Joe Santelli, both of the Dallas office of commercial real estate services company Marcus & Millichap, are marketing the former Braniff property as a redevelopment opportunity. Sheard and Santelli aren’t publicizing a sale price.

“This property is an incredibly rare tollway redevelopment opportunity and has very strong fundamentals for [an] infill asset,” Sheard says in a statement.

The building has been gutted to make way for new uses, such as offices, condos, or hotel rooms. On top of that, the property is able to support a 10-story expansion, meaning the building could go as high as 15 stories.

“A new investor can add their mark to this famous building or start their own legacy," Sheard says. "Either way, they have tremendous opportunities.”