Plano-based Granite Properties owns Cedar Maple Plaza, a swanky 2.5-acre office complex in the heart of Uptown that has enjoyed healthy occupancy rates for 35 years. Located in the 2300 block of Cedar Springs Road, south of the Maple Avenue intersection, this collection of four-story buildings is home to two bank branches and more than a score of lawyers and other professional tenants.
Granite, a real estate developer and property manager, acquired the properties in 2012, according to the county appraisal district. But the Uptown District is booming and land developers interested in the district are always reassessing the highest and best possible use of every lot — so it appears that Cedar Maple Plaza’s days are numbered.
Granite has brought in architecture firm GFF Inc. to reimagine the site, and they are proposing an office tower that could rise as high as 28 stories. That would make it the tallest building in Uptown by at least six floors. The Union tower, now under construction at Cedar Springs Road and Field Street, will be 22 stories tall.
The tower Granite hopes to build would clock in at 660,000 square feet, giving it an area more than five times that of the existing office buildings on site:
- Building 1: Four Stories and 33,597 square feet
- Building 2: Four Stories and 33,597 square feet
- Building 3: Four Stories and 54,282 square feet
- Parking Garage: Three Subsurface Levels and 117,632 square feet
Granite will have to get a zoning change to pursue the height they’re suggesting. The company hopes to strike a compromise — in exchange for the added height, Granite is considering reserving most of the ground-level acreage for a park and two small buildings intended for restaurant use only.
Cedar Maple Plaza as it stands today is already a pedestrian-friendly block with broad sidewalks between the three buildings and the underground parking; along with the mature trees lining Cedar Springs Street and Maple Avenue. A new park and two restaurant venues would be an improvement, inviting after-hours activity to the previously buttoned-up city block.
Granite’s managing director reportedly suggests that all the project’s parking will be underground. This development being within the purview of The Oak Lawn Committee, underground parking might actually be an inevitability — the committee has a consistent history of despising towers with above-ground garages.
Including the two restaurant buildings and the skyscraper, GFF has drawn up a site plan that limits coverage to just 50 percent of the total area. The project is at a nascent stage, however — office leases in the existing buildings run through 2020, and Granite has yet to meet with area neighborhood associations.