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Dallas developers buy Fort Worth tower for redo

January 5,2023

See full Dallas Morning News article by Steve Brown here.

A property investor and developer has snapped up a downtown Fort Worth office building for conversion into apartments.

The Oil & Gas building on West Seventh Street was built in the mid-1950s and has been for sale since 2020. It’s next to the historic Star-Telegram Building.

Now the property has traded to Dallas-based Bluelofts Inc., which plans to convert the high-rise into apartments and retail.

“It’s 16 stories tall and about 167,000 square feet,” said Bluelofts’ John Williams. “We are going to have 180 units with ground-floor retail.”

Bluelofts has teamed up with Plano-based Wolfe Investments headed by Kenneth Wolfe to purchase the Fort Worth tower.

The property has been marketed for sale by Younger Partners.

“We aim to start work this year and complete construction within 24 months,” Bluelofts’ Ike Bams said. “The average unit will range between 650 square feet and 1,000 square feet for a two-bedroom unit.”

The redevelopment will include cutting a full-height atrium through the building to provide amenity space for the tenants. There will be a rooftop deck, a fitness center and a clubroom.

“There is multilevel parking attached to the property,” Bams said.

Williams said the developers hope to attract restaurant tenants for the first-floor spaces.

“It’s close to the convention center, and we have a lot of walking traffic going to Sundance Square,” he said. “Fort Worth is someplace we have always had our eye on since Ike and I started working together almost a decade ago.

“We always wanted a downtown building.”

Bluelofts plans to seek historic tax credits to help fund the redevelopment.

A few years ago, the company explored a modular building concept to convert excess building office space into residences. Bluelofts built a test unit in a downtown Dallas skyscraper.

Bams said those European building modules won’t be used in the Fort Worth building.

“We are doing traditional construction,” he said.

Locations Mentioned: Fort Worth Convention Center, Oil & Gas / Star-Telegram Building, Sundance Square Plaza