Urban Renewal

Renovation of historic building in downtown Dallas earns City Hall an award

Building renovation in downtown Dallas earns City Hall an award

Butler Brothers building
Butler Brothers building in all its glory. Photo courtesy of ECO-Patskin

The City of Dallas won an award for its hand in the renovation of a vintage building in the Central Business District.

The project recognized was the Historic Butler Brothers Building, across the street from Dallas City Hall.

The award was for a Mixed-Use Redevelopment Project in the category of Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse, and it was given to the city's Office of Economic Development. The honor was presented at a ceremony on October 2, during the IEDC Annual Conference in Atlanta.

The 750,000-square-foot Butler Brothers Building was constructed in 1910 as a mercantile warehouse and had been long abandoned when Alterra International purchased it in 2011. Given its historic status and deteriorated condition, redevelopment would be costly.

The city deployed its PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Program, a financing program that gives money to developers when they incorporate energy and water-saving measures into projects such as this. The PACE program was established in 2016.

Courtney Pogue, director of the Office of Economic Development, says in a statement that the PACE program was key.

"This project shows how PACE financing works well with historic buildings, as it makes it possible to incorporate energy-efficiency upgrades that would otherwise be impossible to do," she says.

PACE can offer commercial, industrial, and large multifamily property owners a voluntary way to obtain up to 100 percent financing for water conservation, energy-efficiency, resiliency, and distributed generation retrofits. It's a low-cost, long-term alternative to equity partner financing, which can get expensive.

The Butler Brothers Building is the third largest PACE project in the country and the largest in Texas, and includes residential, retail, and the dual-branded Fairfield Inn/TownePlace Suites by Marriott.

Aside from creating new jobs, it will reduce annual electricity use by more than 6.6 million kilowatt hours; remove over 3,500 metric tons of CO2e; and save almost 700,000 gallons of water each year.

Its taxable value after completion will increase by nearly $60 million.

The building is also home to the Butler Brothers Bar, a casual bar-restaurant on the ground floor serving burgers, fries, and cocktails to downtown diners as well as guests at the hotel.