Lender acquires Comerica Bank Tower that’s a third vacant

Could continue Woods Capital’s plan to convert part of tower into apartments

Lender Acquires Comerica Tower in Dallas With Mixed-Use Plans
Slate Asset’s Blair and Brady Welch with Comerica Bank Tower (Slate Asset Management, Google Maps, Getty)

A downtown Dallas landmark previously targeted as a prime office-to-residential candidate is back in the hands of its lender.

An affiliate of Slate Asset Management has obtained full ownership of the 60-story Comerica Bank Tower, at 1717 Main Street, the Dallas Morning News reported. It’s unclear how the Slate affiliate acquired the property — whether previous ownership surrendered the asset via deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or it was a standard sale. 

The office tower was previously owned by a venture of Dallas-based TriGate Capital and Woods Capital affiliate Pacific Elm Properties, which bought it last year. The building was part of Pacific Elm’s broader plan to convert nearly a quarter of its 6.5 million square feet of office space in Dallas’ urban core into approximately 1,100 residences.

Slate appears to be moving forward with Pacific Elm’s vision, as it aims to repurpose the building as a “mixed-use destination,” although the firm didn’t mention residential specifically. Slate has tapped Stream Realty Partners to help spearhead the redevelopment and handle leasing.

More than 535,000 square feet of the 1.5 million-square-foot tower is vacant, reflecting the troubled state of Dallas’ office sector, which is grappling with 26 percent vacancy and distress amid the remote-work era and high interest rates. 

Dallas’ office struggles are especially apparent downtown, with companies fleeing the plethora of outdated office buildings in favor of flashy, new developments elsewhere, particularly in the Uptown area. 

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To combat downtown office vacancies, office-to-resi conversions were thought to be the “secret sauce,” Downtown Dallas Inc. president Jennifer Scripps said last year.

Pacific Elm has been at the forefront of the office-to-resi movement in Dallas. The firm converted part of the 50-story Santander Tower into 291 apartments. It acquired the Comerica tower and Bryan Tower, at 2001 Bryan Street, with similar strategies in mind.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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