DALLAS—Construction is underway on The Epic, a mixed-use transit-oriented development in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. The project, which will feature an office building, residential tower and boutique hotel, will transform the western end of Deep Ellum on land Westdale has owned for more than 20 years. The office tower, Pythias Hotel and the residential tower are slated for completion in late 2019.
“The Epic will complement Deep Ellum and provide state-of-the-art office space, residential and hospitality to the neighborhood, further contributing to Deep Ellum’s resurgence and sustainability as Dallas’ most unique urban neighborhood,” said Joe Beard, CEO, Westdale.
The value of the project is estimated at $72 million, according to BuildCentral. The Epic will be developed on an 8-acre site which is currently occupied by the historic Union Bankers Building located at Good Latimer Expressway and Pacific Street, adjacent to the DART Deep Ellum Station.
KDC is developing the 250,000-square-foot office tower, which will have average floor plate of 25,000 square feet on 10 office floors–each with unobstructed views of Downtown Dallas to the west and Deep Ellum to the east. Amenities include a rooftop café and amenity deck with a fitness center. Retail space will line the ground level of the office building, along with the first floor of the future multifamily tower in a pedestrian-oriented streetscape similar to the existing scale in Deep Ellum.
Perkins + Will is the architect for the office tower and Balfour Beatty is the general contractor. CBRE’s Dennis Barnes, Tommy Nelson and Kenzie Killgore will lease the tower.
“Set in the heart of Downtown Dallas with an urban vibe, this transit-oriented development will be ideal for companies looking to meet the needs of young, creative employees,” said Ron Stelmarski, design director for Perkins + Will. “Tenants will have direct access to major highways and a DART station within walking distance, not to mention several retail options in the same building.”
The new Pittman Hotel will be built within the existing Union Bankers Building, a century-old registered landmark that was once the Knights of Pythias Temple and originally designed by noted African American architect William Sydney Pittman, son-in-law of Booker T. Washington. Completed in 1916, it doubled as a life insurance company and provided office space for many of Dallas’ African American doctors, dentists and professionals until 1939, GlobeSt.com learns.
The building was owned by several entities until 1959 when the building was purchased by the Union Bankers Insurance Co. The company painted over its red brick exterior with white and turned the interior into offices, so the grand ballroom was no longer grand, many believed. Then in 1989, the Landmark Commission voted unanimously to designate the Knights of Pythias Temple a historical site, according to photographer James Johnston.
Fast forward 30 years, and it will finally be brought back to its original elegance. The 164-room boutique hotel will be designed to reclaim and evoke the unique history of the location and keep its Beaux Arts structure with tall arched windows, neo-classical façade and ballroom on the fourth floor.
“Considered one of the most distinctive buildings in Deep Ellum, we have been careful to keep its integrity intact as we adapt the space for 21st century needs,” said Jeff Cohen, CEO, Vine Street Ventures Inc. “After sitting vacant for 20 years, we are honored to have the opportunity to bring this building back to life while keeping its rich history at the forefront so that guests can appreciate its transformation.”
The Epic will also include a 300-unit residential tower developed by general contractor, StreetLights Residential. At 20 stories, it will be the second tallest building in Deep Ellum. Craig Henry from Looney Ricks Kiss is the architect and 5G Studio is the interior designer for the residential tower.