A restaurant has been announced for a part of downtown Dallas that is sorely lacking. The restaurant has no name or cuisine, but chef Sharon Hage has been retained to develop a concept. The new restaurant will be part of the renovation of the Belo Building, which is now being rebranded as 400 Record.
This is the 17-story, 235,000-square-foot office tower located at the corner of Wood and Record streets, which previously served as headquarters for the broadcast firm Belo Corp. The building was purchased in October 2014 by the Hartland-Mackie family. Built between 1983 and 1985 by Dallas architect Omniplan, it's adjacent to Reunion Tower, Union Station, Omni Dallas and the Dallas Convention Center.
Global design firm Gensler has been tasked with the renovation, which will include significant upgrades to the entrances, a new glass-walled lobby, a sky garden on the top floor, fitness center and conference center. Part of that grand renovation will include a restaurant. A place to eat. An eatery.
"We are energized by the opportunity in this corner of downtown and look forward to sharing our vision with the business community," said property owner Thomas Hartland-Mackie in a release. "We're elevating a great downtown building by bringing modern aesthetics and amenities to an already great location."
Hartland-Mackie is CEO of City Electric Supply, an international wholesale electric equipment firm with 900 branches in seven countries. He gets major points for planning a restaurant on that end of downtown, where there is next to nothing other than the Cindi's Deli, across the street from Union Station, and the restaurants that are in the Omni hotel. There used to be a restaurant in the lobby of the Hotel Lawrence, but that closed a year ago.
According to the release, "Restaurant consultant Sharon Hage is currently working with the Hartland-Mackie family to bring a unique dining experience to the space."
That should be a real perk for the employees of the Dallas Morning News, locked in to that corner of downtown with few spots for lunch, and perhaps an incentive for applicants of the newspaper's newly posted managing editor job, tasked with overseeing "a reorganization and refocusing of the newsroom with an eye toward digital innovation." Cool, just like us!
Gensler's redesign of the lobby includes removing existing walls to create a better flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. The two-level lobby will be enclosed with frameless glass. A custom-designed metal canopy will create a dramatic new front door. Pieces from the Hartland-Mackie art collection will be on display, and the space will be available for private and community events.
The restaurant and bar, on the mezzanine, will appear to float in the space and will be covered in articulated bronze metal panels.
The amenity floor will include a full gym and locker room area available for tenants. The conference center, with state-of-the-art video conference technology and Wi-Fi, will serve small and large groups.
It comes with a parking lot too; the purchase of the office building included a nearby block of surface parking at Young and Lamar streets, across from the Omni.
"With the success of the convention center, the Omni Dallas hotel, the new phase two Omni construction and the pockets of downtown green space, there's great momentum here," says the hyphenated Hartland-Mackie. "It's a great location with incredible downtown Dallas views.
"We look forward to getting started this summer."