Perkins+Will, a global architecture and design firm, announced on Tuesday the relocation of its Dallas office into the historic Dallas High School building at 2218 Bryan Street in the downtown Arts District.
Tom Reisenbichler, managing director of the firm’s Dallas office, said the new location continues Perkins+Will’s legacy of leading in the design profession. Perkins+Will is the architect for a 10-story office tower that is part of The Epic Deep Ellum project.
Lewisville-based developer Matthews Southwest acquired the property in 2015 from another private owner. The Dallas Independent School District maintained it as an educational facility from 1907 to 1995. Architecturally, the classic revival style landmark is known for its high ceilings, a necessary feature in the days before air conditioning.
Matthews Southwest entered an agreement with Perkins+Will to have their lease space ready for occupation by October.
Perkins+Will came aboard as the building’s first major tenant, occupying more than 39,500 square feet of the total 105,000 square feet. The architects’ space includes the entire third floor and part of the second floor in a three and a half story building.
For the overall makeover, Matthews Southwest retained the services of historic restoration specialist Merriman Anderson/Architects, also the lead architect on The Statler project. The high school building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Perkins+Will is planning a grand opening and 30th anniversary celebration in its new home sometime in early 2018, architect spokesperson Ashley Roberts added in a prepared statement. Established in 1988, the firm employs more than 180 architects, interior designers and planners.
Perkins+Will directed some of the basic tenant finish-out of its section of the renovation, according to Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation records, at a cost of about $1.1 million.
“The reuse of its interior spaces is a highly sustainable design approach, which supports Perkins+Will’s focus on sustainability, environmental performance, and health and well-being. Perkins+Will’s new design studio is among the first offices in north Texas to pursue three third-part health and wellness certifications: LEED Platinum, WELL and Fitwel,” Roberts said.
The developer invested about $50 million in the overall restoration. In addition to office space, Matthews Southwest reserved 10,000 square feet on the first floor for restaurant/retail tenants. New amenities will include a sunken garden and patio to the west of the building.
The Old Dallas High School had ample grounds for outdoor recreational activities, land that is currently remains undeveloped. The educational facilities occupy a 1.3-acre lot. There is an adjacent 4.1-acre lot that has no structures, something that the developer expects will soon change.
Another advantage of the site is its proximity to the DART rail system. Tenants can walk from the broad stairs of the front entrance directly to the Pearl/Arts District DART light rail station.
“The historic building will be in the heart of a 6-acre, mixed use transit oriented development,” Matthews Southwest claims in its marketing media.