NewcrestImage plans $200M facelift for historic Magnolia building

Reportedly in talks with Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria for hotel in downtown Dallas

Magnolia Building Getting $200M Facelift
The Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Dallas with NewcrestImage's Mehul Patel (Google Maps, NewcrestImage)

A landmark building in downtown Dallas is poised for a major makeover.

NewcrestImage is planning a $200 million renovation of the 29-story Magnolia Building at 1401 Commerce Street, the Dallas Morning News reported

The plan, presented to Dallas’ Landmark Commission recently, calls for the addition of a three-level wing on the east side of the 100-year-old building, and a glass entry canopy over the Commerce Street entrance. The project would also restore the exterior of the Beaux-Arts style structure. Gensler is leading design.

A street-level loading dock would be converted to meeting space and a ground-floor restaurant, adjacent to the three-level addition. 

The renovation would decrease the number of hotel rooms from 325 to 270; it’s expected to take two years to complete. The owners are reportedly in discussions with luxury hotel operators, including Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria.

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The owners plan to seek historic tax credits and economic incentives. 

Grapevine-based NewcrestImage has a track record of restoring historic downtown buildings. It previously converted the Mercantile Commerce Building and the Allen Building to hotels in 2017.

The Magnolia Building, designed by British architect Sir Alfred Bossom, held the title of “tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi” when it opened in 1922. The building’s rooftop Pegasus sign, a symbol of the Magnolia Oil Company since 1934, recently faced repairs authorized by Dallas’ city council. The Magnolia Hotel was converted from offices in the late 1990s, the outlet said.

The magnolia is not the only historic Dallas hotel poised for a transformation. Sycamore Strategies is planning a $116 million redevelopment of the long-vacant Cabana Hotel at 899 Stemmons Freeway, with plans to convert the 10-story building into 160 apartments. Sycamore is seeking $41 million in incentives from the City of Dallas. 

—Quinn Donoghue

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