The all-in construction cost is still being fine-tuned, but morethan $2 million will go into the interior finish-out alone for the126-seat restaurant, according to Hogue, who signed a 10-year leasefor the restaurant spot and patio at 1717 Main St. He saysconstruction is slated to begin by November. "We are going to builda brand that will be part of Downtown Dallas and an institution,"says the owner of Hogue Enterprise Co.

|

The plan to add a high-end restaurant to the 60-story landmark'sroster has been in the making seven of the eight years that itsgatekeeper under two owners has been in charge of leasing. The dealwill light a 5,750-sf restaurant space for the first time in onedecade.

|

"We really wanted a high-end restaurant. There was some interestbefore, but not the quality that we wanted," says Don Dowell, thetower's long-time leasing agent who transitioned to Cushman &Wakefield of Texas Inc. at Metropolitan's behest after itbought thetrophy. "He [Hogue] has the right vision. He is asuccessful restaurant operator and has a really good following ofpeople."

|

Hogue's specialty fares are Dallas Fish Market, which is oneblock from Comerica Tower, and Go Fish Ocean Club, which relocatedand just opened last week near the Galleria mall in North Dallas.Go Fish launched in 2005 and Dallas Fish Market in 2007.

|

"This building itself is a trophy. What we're looking for asowner is to provide as many amenities as we can to our tenants andthat's where we add value," says Steve Korn, CFO of the LosAngeles-based Metropolitan Real Estate. "It's a true amenity byputting the Dallas Chop House into our building. It's not only forour tenants, but the Downtown as well."

|

Hogue is a local entrepreneur and self-made man who's "verycreative and qualified," Korn stresses. "We're very pleased to havehim opening in the building."

|

[IMGCAP(2)]Hogue tells GlobeSt.com that he had eight months intothe planning of a steakhouse concept when his broker, Jack Gosnell,executive vice president of locally based UCR Urban/ChainLinks, putthe Comerica tower "opportunity" on his table. "We want to growDowntown Dallas into a dining destination," Hogue says, adding theDallas Chop House's planned view of the high rise's plaza and MainStreet Garden Park had the right ingredients for hisentrepreneurial vision. And to his surprise, the name wasavailable.

|

Hogue says the new chop house will be a cut above steakhousecompetitors, featuring an aging case to produce its own prime, a"steak library" of books about the cuisine and the region's firstKosher station. It also will have valet parking and 150 designatedspaces in the tower garage. The interior design will include acustom fireplace and open kitchen while the menu will sport acatering service for the tower's high-powered tenant mix offinancial institutions and law and accounting firms. "I believethere's a built-in business in there," Hogue says. Dallas' 5GStudio Collaborative LLC is the project architect.

|

[IMGCAP(3)]Dowell says construction is being timed to coincidewith the city's completion of Main Street Garden Park, the finaltouches for Mercantile Place onMain, a Forest City Enterprises' project, and the rampingup of the University of North Texas' in-town law school. "TheDowntown had to evolve to the status it is now before this wouldreally work," Dowell stresses. "The park and Mercantile Placecoming to completion is what made it right now."

|

Dowell says the high rise's occupancy is 87%, an economic enginefueled by 60 tenants and 4,000 workers. Tenants like Comerica havebeen asking for a high-end restaurant in the building. Even thoughthere are restaurants a block away, Dowell says the Texas heat andrain can make that a challenging hike.

|

"We think it will ultimately help our leasing and tenantretention," Dowell says. "These owners are great. They understand the visionand the value to the property."

|

Putting the glass extension onto the Philip Johnson signaturedesign means the owner plans to spend "extra money to make sureeverything is in sync with the architecture of the building," Kornsays about the December 2006 buy, which topped $216 million. "We'veinvested a lot into the building and we don't want to damage theintegrity of it."

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.