|By Steve Brown, The Dallas Morning
NewsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 08, 2011--An Irving hotel firm is transforming a vacant downtown Dallas office building into an all-suite hotel.
The former United Fidelity Life Insurance Building at 1025 Elm St. has been vacant for more than a decade.
Earlier this year, Lowen Hospitality Management bought the property out of foreclosure and has begun work to convert it to a Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotel.
The first phase is to gut the old building and get it ready for redevelopment, Lowen officer Sanjay Naik said Monday.
"It will definitely take the rest of this year to clean it out," Naik said. "We don't have an opening date scheduled yet."
Built in 1918, the 10-story high-rise originally housed the offices of the Texas & Pacific Railroad.
In 1920, United Fidelity bought the Texas & Pacific Building located between Elm and Pacific streets and moved its office into the lower floors of the high-rise. Most of the building remained occupied by the railroad into the 1950s.
The insurance company in 1959 decided to "modernize" the classical-style high-rise with a new glass and metal exterior.
That's when an adjoining five-story parking garage was constructed facing Griffin Street.
The brown glass building for many years housed operations of First National Bank of Dallas and its successor companies.
Dallas architecture, engineering and design firm Aguirre Roden Inc. is handling the work on the renovation project.
"We are in the design phase of the renovation a well as performing some demolition work," executive vice president Gary Roden said.
The Elm street project is the third new hotel development under way in the downtown area.
Construction will be completed later this year on the new Omni Dallas convention hotel on Young Street.
And just south of the convention center on Lamar Street, development has begun on a 76-room Nylo Hotel.
To see more of The Dallas Morning News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.dallasnews.com.
Copyright (c) 2011, The Dallas Morning News
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.