Prospective tenants get sneak peek at downtown Dallas’ Lone Star Gas Lofts

The dust still hasn’t settled from construction at the new Lone Star Gas Lofts in downtown Dallas.

But the first model apartment is ready for tours in the historic buildings, and developers are already signing leases.

“We’ve been showing apartments for two days and have already leased 11 units,” said developer Ted Hamilton.

Hamilton said he’s been surprised that potential renters are showing up at the door of the former Lone Star Gas buildings, which are being remodeled at Harwood and Jackson streets.

“I don’t know how they heard that our model unit is ready — we’ve done no marketing,” he said.
Built in 1924 and 1931, the landmark former utility buildings are being converted into 123 apartments.
The almost $30 million development won’t be finished until June. The ground floor and many of the upper levels are still under construction.

“We are about two months ahead of schedule,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton Properties and its partner Central Dallas Development Corp. hope to have people moving into the first apartments this spring.

The apartments will average about 940 square feet and will feature high ceilings, stained concrete floors, granite countertops in the kitchen and deluxe bathrooms. Every unit will have its own washer and dryer connections.

The apartments will range from around 650 square feet with rent at about $900 a month to top-floor units with more than 2,600 square feet. The penthouses will go for as much as $4,800.

The Lone Star Gas Lofts will have a 270-space parking garage that’s being built on Jackson Street using new construction and an existing office building.

“Parking is one thing we have in abundance — most other downtown projects don’t,” Hamilton said.
The garage, along with swimming pool, outdoor patio spaces and exercise facilities, is shared with the first phase of the project, which opened more than a year ago in a former 1970s office building facing St. Paul Street. That phase is marketed as more affordable rental units.

“That building has always stayed full,” said Central Dallas Development’s John Greenan. “When these next two buildings are finished, we are going to have a broad range of incomes with our tenants.”

About 60 percent of the current residents in the first phase work in the downtown area.

Dallas-based Andres Construction has been the general contractor for the entire project.

Merriman Associates Architects designed the redevelopment.

“It’s gone amazingly smooth,” said architect Jerry Merriman. “I really like the way the apartment units are laying out.”

Hamilton Properties has used the same construction and architectural team on several of its projects.

The developer has renovated a half dozen downtown Dallas office and commercial buildings into apartments, retail space and hotel rooms.

The Lone Star Gas building redevelopment has been in the works for years. The buildings sat vacant on the northeast side of downtown after former owner Atmos Energy moved out.

“It always takes longer than you think to do one of these projects,” said developer Larry Hamilton. “We started working with this deal in 2008.

“Putting together the financing always takes longer,” Hamilton said. “We are getting close to the finish.”

Follow Steve Brown on Twitter at @SteveBrownDMN.