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Commercial Real Estate

A Look Inside the Next Era of the Quadrangle

The Quadrangle was Dallas’ first mixed-use development when it opened in 1966. Now over five decades later, Stream Realty is charting a new course that still shares similarities with what came before.
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Stream Realty

In 1965, the Dallas Morning News announced a new project coming to Routh Street in what is now Uptown. The Quadrangle would “introduce a new kind of merchandising to Dallas,” the report read, “something of a Southwestern bazaar.”

It opened in 1966 as the city’s first mixed-use development, one that “house[d] a collection of 35 or 40 specialty shops and stores where the ‘different,’ as well as the best, in the world of merchandising is brought together,” developer Morris Spencer told the News. (Its tenants didn’t quite match its developer’s ambitions. Reflecting on the project in 2016, fellow Quadrangle developer Philip Henderson told the paper that the shops wound up attracting “mostly old ladies with blue hair.”)

Now 56 years later, its scale seems quaint. But for the time, it was revelatory. The Quadrangle, which spreads four acres at Howell and Routh streets, is getting another overhaul by Stream Realty Partners, which bought the property in 2019. The company broke ground on the project it’s calling The Quad earlier this month, which will bring another office tower, more outdoor space, and five “retail bungalows” aimed at attracting local hospitality tenants. Each of those will have patio access.

“The Uptown market is the heart of office demand, particularly for professional service, legal, and financial service companies,” says Ramsey March, Stream’s managing director. “Dallas is a top-five market right now in the entire country … that was really all we needed to know.”

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In his interview in 2016, Philip Henderson told the News that “it was the first round of increasing density for the area.” This was Oak Lawn back then, a property surrounded by homes and empty lots, not office towers and restaurants like today. In came a series of stucco buildings and courtyards that connected to those 40 or so shops. In some ways, the Quadrangle sketched a path forward for new uses here. And five decades later, Mayor Eric Johnson and members of the City Council were on hand to turn dirt during the groundbreaking for the Quad earlier this month.

The 1980s brought a new 130,000-square foot office tower at the property’s northwest corner, which March says is “about 100 percent leased to about half a dozen clients.” That’s staying put, but Stream is putting up a new 12-story tower that will add another 335,000-square feet of office space. That will replace the structures that held the BBC bar, CrushCraft Thai Eats, Tacos and Tequila, and the Segal’s liquor store.

CrushCraft is the only restaurant to remain, relocating near Theatre Three on Laclede Street around the rear of the property. Dream Café moved last year, Tacos and Tequila closed up, and the Ginger Man was bulldozed. Last week, Stream mowed down the structures that held these tenants. That’s where the new office tower will be.

March says Theater Three will get new signage on the north side of the property, as well as a new entrance. The theater has been located in the Quadrangle since 1969; it bought the property in 1985. March says keeping it intact was a priority.

“We realized, gosh, these guys are kind of buried on the site right now,” March says. “How can they be positioned better so the neighborhood can be aware of that artistic resource?”

The office tower will feature 11-foot drop ceilings, about a foot higher than standard, March says. Stream plans to replace one of the old structures on the campus with a quarter-acre pocket park. Buildings will cover about 60 percent of the property, with the rest being open space that will be available to both tenants and the community.

Open space has always been part of the Quadrangle’s strategy. The News report from 1965 noted a 4,000 square foot courtyard that had room for about 350 people, who could dine and relax under 40 native trees.

Stream is putting in a below-ground parking garage and received a zoning change that allowed it to lose about a quarter of its parking spots. Stream studied parking use to argue the decision to the city, finding garages were often filled with empty floors even during peak hours.

“Let’s explain to tenants that this is all they need and that if we build more parking, it’s going to show up in their rates,” March says. “So why build more? That turned out to be a winning argument. … I think if you’re interested in good design and building a project that’s going to succeed, you should be interested in burying the parking.”

The new office building is set to open in 2024, about a year before other major projects around Uptown come online. Stream is bullish about its appeal, particularly with amenities like a penthouse club that features a rooftop patio, the retail options, and all the outdoor space. Not to mention the hospital air-grade filters that were installed as a result of the pandemic.

“We believe when we deliver in 2024 we’ll be one of the very few Class A new builds available in urban Dallas,” March says.

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Matt Goodman

Matt Goodman

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Matt Goodman is the online editorial director for D Magazine. He's written about a surgeon who killed, a man who…
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