Construction has kicked off on one of North Dallas’ biggest business campus makeovers.
GlenStar Properties and USAA Real Estate had spent more than a year working on plans for the reboot of the 14-acre Energy Square complex at North Central Expressway and University Drive.
The 4-building office and retail complex is getting a more than $50 million redo that won’t be finished until the second half of 2019.
The project includes restoration of the landmark Meadows Building, one of Dallas’ first "suburban" office towers.
"The construction barricades went up two weeks away and we are well underway on the work," said GlenStar principal Matthew Omundson, giving a tour as workers were busy disassembling a huge wooden pergola to make way for construction.
The redevelopment will include demolition of an old fountain and upper level plaza area to make way for a new boulevard linking the office towers.
A 10,ooo-square-foot class covered exercise facility will be added overlooking the new drive.
"For a 1 million square-foot campus, its an advantage we can provide our tenants," Omundson said. "We are doing a top to bottom renovation of the entire property.
"We didn’t want anything to feel old when we are done," he said. "When we are done, you wont have to touch this property for 10 to 15 years."
GlenStar is reworking all the parking at Energy Square and has purchased a small commercial building next door to make room for even more space.
"A lot of the work is on the interiors," Omundson said. "We are pubbing a bunch of money in every building."
Energy Square’s oldest component – the Meadows Building – was built in 1955. The other three office towers were constructed in 1974, 1981 and 1986.
GlenStar and USAA in 2015 paid an estimated $150 million for the three Energy Square towers, which were bought from a local partnership. Several months later, the investors acquired the historic Meadows Building from a West Coast owner.
Whiting-Turner is the general contractor on the redevelopment.
And architects include Gensler, Architexas and Studio Outside.
Gensler just announced plans to move its Dallas regional office from LBJ Freeway to two-story Greenville Avenue wing of the Meadows Building.
The architect is taking more than 40,000 square feet at Energy Square.
Omundson said construction has already begun on the Gensler space and includes construction of two large light wells through the room of the building. He said the firm looked at more than two dozen locations before choosing Energy Square.
"This has always been an architecturally driven project," he said. "With Gensler, it adds even more emphasis."
A central boulevard will give access to all the buildings at Energy Square.