A prime McKinney Avenue site north of downtown will get upgrades.
The pandemic has put the brakes on a new residential tower planned for Dallas’ Uptown area, but the project developer isn’t going to let the vacant property languish.
Rastegar Property Co. plans to revamp the existing building at 1899 McKinney Ave., where it hopes to eventually build a 26-story residential tower.
The existing commercial building – constructed in 1966 – will be renovated for new uses, said developer Ari Rastegar. A construction fence has surrounded the midcentury building since Rastegar purchased the block in 2019.
“I don’t want all the people driving by and looking at a wall for the next however many years,” Rastegar said. “I didn’t feel comfortable leaving that eyesore on a very important site in Uptown.”
Rastegar said he plans to remodel the building on the block, which over the years has been used as everything from offices to a nightclub.
“We will go in and do something – whether it’s a restaurant or coworking office space,” he said. “Several banks have reached out to us. At best we will cover property taxes and carrying costs, but it’s the right thing to do for now.”
The developer had hoped to be under construction with the planned condominium tower by now.
But the COVID-19 pandemic paused those plans, and Rastegar said he will have to redesign the building.
“Building a building of this magnitude and importance in Dallas is going to require a tremendous amount of time and money to go back to the drawing boards,” he said. “When it’s time, we will build the right building post-pandemic. I don’t know if it’s in two or three years or five years.”
The residential tower Rastegar unveiled in early 2020 for the property at Akard and McKinney was designed by Chicago-based architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz. It had a glass exterior and heavily landscaped balconies.
The McKinney Avenue tower was clad in panels with more than 40,000 plants.
Rastegar said the current building will be upgraded with new fixtures and landscaping to attract a tenant.
The Uptown project is one of several new ventures Rastegar Property has launched. It’s developing an office building in Austin. And it just launched a real estate investment trust to buy apartments in Sun Belt cities – including Dallas and Austin.
The plan is to purchase a portfolio of smaller, older rental units in prime locations.
“We look to do between three to five REITs,” Rastegar said. “This year, we are looking to raise at least $1 billion in capital. We’ll do about $4 billion in transactions over the next 18 months across the Sun Belt.”
Rastegar recently launched a $200 million private real estate investment trust offering.