Friday, May 16, 2008

Every Building You Spare an Angel Gets Its Wings

In Thom Hartmann's book, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, he suggests our current living arrangement (Predicament) and economy are essentially subsidized by sunlight (energy) that has fallen on the Earth for Billenia, in the form of cheap, bountiful, sweet, yummy oil. In a previous post, I mentioned the stored wealth in the reuse of buildings, so it seems like a good time to market the building where I live and the one where I work.

The Interurban Building was built in 1916 as a train terminal to accommodate 35 trains at a time. In the 1950s, after the successful collusion to replace public transit (and its infrastructure) with private transit (and its requisite infrastructure), it became a bus terminal which was then vacated in the 80s when Greyhound bought the trailways bus service that had been operating it.

In 2004?, it was renovated into residential lofts with ground floor flex/office space that currently houses the leasing/management office, a hair stylist, and a recently vacated marketing company. There is also a bar and cafe in the ground floor called the Urban Cafe and a 20,000 sq.ft. grocery store called the Urban Market (I can't even begin to explain the joy of this convenience).

The grocery store, which was often seen as a chicken/egg dilemma with downtown residential, was being subsidized by the city (one of those necessary kickstarts to make Downtown Dallas livable once again), until recently it broke even for the first time (from what I understand - no link to confirm) and they have plans to expand into the Lofts at Southside on Lamar in the Cedars area redevelopment.

(I'm sure their recent success has to do with my frequent visits and alcohol purchases.)

My four block walk...

which passes the original Neiman Marcus...

the Wilson Building, one of the few gems that was spared the wrecking ball in favor of certainly much more valuable surface parking lots. Each day, I walk past and can say hi to Demi the owner of Porta di Roma, a little italian restaurant, and his staff.

And two blocks away, I arrive at our office, which takes up the first three levels of the Republic Bank Building. RTKL moved into this space about 7 years ago, sparing it from becoming a parking garage if we didn't move in, in part to demonstrate their commitment to Downtown Dallas and downtown revitalization in general.
Within the past year, the second tower opened to new residents as our interior renovation work finished.