May 15, 2018
Developers Have Flipped The Switch On Energy Squares Redo In North Dallas
Construction has kicked off on one of North Dallas’ biggest business campus makeovers.
GlenStar Properties and USAA Real Estate have spent more than a year working on plans for the reboot of the 14-acre Energy Square complex at North Central Expressway and University Boulevard.
The four-building office and retail complex is getting a $50 million-plus redo that won’t be finished until the second half of 2019. The project includes restoration of the landmark Meadows Building, one of Dallas’ first “suburban” office towers.
“The construction barricades went up two weeks ago and we are well underway on the work,” said GlenStar principal Matthew Omundson, giving a tour as workers were busy disassembling a huge wooden pergola to make way for construction.
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The redevelopment will include demolition of an old fountain and upper-level plaza area to make way for a new boulevard linking the office towers. A 10,000-square-foot, glass-covered exercise facility will be added overlooking the new drive.
“For a 1 million-square-foot campus, it’s an advantage we can provide our tenants,” Omundson said. “We are doing a top to bottom renovation of the entire property.
“We didn’t want anything to feel old when we are done. When we are done, you won’t have to touch this property for 10 to 15 years.”
GlenStar is reworking all the parking at Energy Square and has purchased a small commercial building next door to make room for more spaces.
“A lot of the work is on the interiors,” Omundson said. “We are putting a bunch of money in every building.”
Energy Square’s oldest component, the Meadows Building, was built in 1955. The other three office towers were constructed in 1974, 1981 and 1986.
GlenStar and USAA paid an estimated $150 million in 2015 for the three Energy Square towers, which were bought from a local partnership. Several months later, the investors acquired the historic Meadows Building from a West Coast owner.
“Significant capital improvements to Energy Square will further create an inviting, top-tier office and lifestyle experience for our existing and future customers,” said JLL’s Jeff Eckert, who is on the project leasing team. “Our goal is to bring a new energy of excellence and establishment to one of Dallas’ most well-known office campuses.”
Whiting-Turner is the general contractor on the redevelopment. Architects include Gensler, Architexas and Studio Outside.
Gensler just announced plans to move its Dallas regional office from LBJ Freeway to the two-story Greenville Avenue wing of the Meadows Building. The architect is taking more than 40,000 square feet at Energy Square.
Omundson said construction has already begun on the Gensler space and includes construction of two large light wells through the building. He said the firm looked at more than two dozen locations before choosing Energy Square.
“This has always been an architecturally driven project,” he said. “With Gensler, it adds even more emphasis.”