Adaptive reuse pro Proxy Properties to takes on historic Oak Cliff UMC

Could convert into mix of retail, office and residences; plans to receive historic tax credits, grants to cover some construction costs

Proxy Eyes Dallas Church For Next Adaptive Reuse Project

A photo illustration of Proxy Properties’ A.J. Ramler along with with Oak Cliff United Methodist Church (Getty, Proxy Properties, Google Maps)

Proxy Properties, a local developer with a history of adaptive reuse projects in Oak Cliff, is plotting its next project that will put its creativity to the test. 

The firm is exploring a range of redevelopment possibilities for the 45,000-square-foot Oak Cliff United Methodist Church, at 549 East Jefferson Boulevard, the Dallas Morning News reported

While specific plans for the church have yet to be established, Proxy envisions a blend of retail, office and residential spaces. It is working to rezone the protected historic landmark to allow a mix of uses. 

“Our goal is to create something special that people can walk around and is open to the public,” Proxy owner A.J. Ramler told the outlet.

Despite a struggling office market that’s been plagued by remote-work trends, Ramler sees potential in offering creative, affordable office spaces. The residential portion, if included, would comprise a maximum of 35 to 40 units.

The church, built in 1915, closed in 2015 due to unsustainable repair costs and a small congregation. It narrowly avoided demolition three years ago due to its deteriorating condition, exacerbated by an interior fire.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Proxy successfully registered two of the three buildings on the property as national historic places and later secured over 50 percent of construction costs from state and national registers, the outlet reported. The firm plans to seek tax credits for the extensive historical renovations required.

Restoration efforts will preserve features such as stained glass windows and the sanctuary’s verticality and openness. 

“There are a lot of limitations on what you’re able to do because of the historic designation, which is a good thing, because it’s also what maintains the interesting aspects of these older buildings,” Ramler said.

Community feedback has played a role in shaping the project. Initial opposition from six neighbors led to productive discussions, with residents expressing a preference for a development that mirrors Proxy’s Oak Cliff Assembly project, which turned another historic church into an event center with retail and office uses. 

Proxy is working to transform a trio of dilapidated buildings at 900 East Clarendon Drive into a mixed-use hub catering to retail and industrial tenants.

—Quinn Donoghue 

Read more

Proxy Properties Plans Another Adaptive Reuse in Oak Cliff
Proxy plots next adaptive reuse project near Oak Cliff bridge park
Stonelake Scraps Warehouse Project After Church’s Legal Moves
Stonelake scraps Oak Cliff warehouse project after church complaint
Related Group plans $120M resi project in North Oak Cliff
Recommended For You