Five Smooth Stones, a development company led by Slingshot’s Owen Hannay, has acquired three office buildings in the West End. The acquisitions, which closed Dec. 10, involve 509 Elm St., 501 Elm St., and 211 N. Record Street. They total 125,000 square feet and include a 135-spot parking garage.
The purchase price was not disclosed; financing was handled by Mike Merritt of Preston State Bank.
Hannay first began investing in the West End in 2000 when he acquired the Awalt Building at the corner of Market St. and . The property had been slated for demolition due to neglect.
“There was a tree growing through the second floor wall… it was a mess,” Hannay said.
The building now houses Slingshot, his advertising agency, which occupies four of the building’s six floors.
The success of the project led him to partner with Reed Berry and form a development company, Five Smooth Stones, to take on similar projects. The 137,000-square-foot Landmark Center was acquired in 2004, redeveloped and sold in 2006. A third West End property, the former S.G. Davis Hat Building at 800 Jackson. It’s now 90 percent leased; tenants include 5G Architects.
The historic West End district in downtown Dallas is comprised of about 1 million square feet of space. It’s “a comfortable place to work and there is a lot of street life,” Hannay said. “It’s fun to be down here, and there is a human scale to the place that is welcoming.”
His newest acquisitions include the site of the Holocaust Museum, along with office and retail space that Five Smooth Stone intends to upgrade.
“There’s value in preserving the character of historic real estate while modernizing the feel of these buildings,” Hannay said. “No one wants to walk into a historic building and have it feel old.” Hannay said.
Berry said that law firms have expressed interest in the space, likely spurred by the planned opening of a new U.S. Patent Office nearby.