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DALLAS-Gables Residential of Boca Raton, FL, has proposed a plan to redevelop the vacant Republic Bank Building in downtown Dallas into 227 luxury apartments. The project would cost about $39 million to complete, said Peter Petricca, regional VP for Gables.

The building at Ervay and Bryan is 36 stories tall and has a four-pointed star pattern on its steel exterior, with a large sculpture at the top, and was once the tallest building in Dallas. It’s been closed for more than five years.

Petricca told GlobeSt.com that discussion of the deal being worked out with the building’s investment group owners is premature. The news came out during a meeting with the downtown Tax Increment Financing Authority this week. Gables wants to acquire $3 million in tax increment funding to help build the project.

“We just gave a preliminary presentation,” Petricca said. “The city has not had a chance to go through the numbers. We wanted to meet with the TIF board to describe the project, to make them aware of what we’re pursuing.”

Gables develops, builds, acquires and manages luxury apartment homes, primarily in Houston, Atlanta, South Florida, Austin, Dallas, Tampa/Orlando and Washington, D.C. “This is not a typical project for us,” said Petricca. “We just think it’s a good opportunity.” His company is negotiating with Four Points Star LP for the building, Petricca said. “We’re in negotiations right now, we do not have a final contract or partnership agreement,” Petricca said. The investment group is in the process of leasing the Republic Bank Tower next door to office and retail tenants, Petricca said.

Larry Fonts, director of the Central Dallas Association, told GlobeSt.com that the reuse of the Bank Building makes a lot of sense. “It’s a sizable number of units, and a big shot in the arm for our in-town housing program,” Fonts said. “We’re trying to encourage the revitalization of our core city, and want to make housing convenient. Converting these buildings is great, it puts an asset back into tax-paying service without having to tear it down to make a parking lot.”

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