Apartment tower in the works next to historic Dallas High School downtown
The developer who saved downtown's historic Dallas High School is working on a new project next door.
Developer Jack Matthews just completed the $50 million conversion of the more than a century old school at Pearl and Bryan streets into first-class office space. Architect Perkins + Will and other businesses will occupy the landmark.
Now Matthews and his partners are working on a plans to build a high-rise apartment that would include homes for moderate and low-income residents.
The $70 million, 16-story building at 2400 Bryan will have 230 apartments — 110 of which are reserved for residents earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area's median household income, according to filings with Dallas' office of economic development.
"The project also includes approximately 400 parking garage spaces and 10,000 square feet of retail," the economic development filing says. "The project will break ground in early 2019."
Developer Matthews has already done one very successful workforce housing apartment community in the downtown area — the $24 million, 164-unit, 5-story apartment community on Belleview Street in the Cedars neighborhood.
"Our strong belief is that downtown really needs more housing options and this could be a great addition," Matthews said. "Having teachers and police, etc., living in the city is a great thing."
Kourtny Garrett with Downtown Dallas Inc. said more affordable residential is needed in the central business district. Average rents of new apartment projects in the downtown area are more than $1,500 a month.
"The workforce housing conversation is definitely a priority for us," Garrett said. "In terms of long-term sustainability for downtown you want that diversity. You want downtown to be for everyone."
Garrett said 20 percent of the employment downtown is blue-collar workers who need more housing options.
"We have learned lessons from a lot of other cities where the downtown housing prices have peaked," she said. "Your workforce can't afford to live close to where they work. It can deter corporate relocations."
Matthews is one of the most successful developers in the downtown area.
He built the 1,000-room Omni Dallas convention hotel, which opened in 2011. And Matthews is developing the South Side neighborhood on Lamar Street with apartments, condos, a hotel and redevelopment of the historic Sears Roebuck and Co. building.
Matthews bought the old Dallas High School property in 2015, which includes the old school and surrounding development land.
Matthews' 2400 Bryan Street LP is applying for 9 percent low income housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to support the planned apartment project.
The building will have 10 floors of rental units on top of a 6-level parking garage.
"A sixth-floor amenity deck proposes a swimming pool, community room, dining area with warming kitchen, theatet and library, covered pavilion viewing deck and children's playscape," Matthews said in an email.