BY STEVE BROWN | DALLAS MORNING NEWS | – Legacy Dallas lawfirm Jackson Walker LP will be renting just over 100,000 square feet of space in a new office tower going up in downtown Dallas.
Jackson Walker will join accounting firm KPMG and UMB Bank as lead tenants in the 18-story, 500,000-square-foot high-rise that is being built by Hall Financial Group. Hall – a Frisco-based real estate and investment firm – will also move its headquarters to the project.
Work has already begun on the tower, which will be called KPMG Plaza.
“We actually started construction this past Monday,” developer Craig Hall said Wednesday at an event kicking off the development. “We expect to complete the first building by March 31 of 2015.
“We will have some tenants moving in very shortly after that.”
KPMG Plaza is the first phase of the 3-building Hall Arts complex at Ross Avenue and Leonard Street.
A 30-story condo tower and another large office high-rise are also planned.
“Ultimately there will be around three quarters of a billion dollars of construction when we are done,” Hall said.
The next tower in Hall Financial’s development is already in the works, and will likely contain a combination of condominiums and hotel rooms.
“We are talking to some hotel partners that would own and operate the building – that’s what we are after,” Hall said. “If we find the right hotel partner that’s what we are doing.”
Hall has been working on the project since 1995 when he bought the strategically located downtown development site for $10.5 million.
Since then the developer has considered multiple plans for the property.
“We designed a lot of buildings,” Hall said. “I always wanted to start and get going. But you need a market, you need money, you need tenants.”
With the just signed leased with Jackson Walker, the building is now more than 60 percent leased, “which is something we didn’t expect,” he said.
Jackson Walker – which recently celebrated its 125th anniversary – is moving from the Bank of America Plaza on Main Street where it has had its office since 1985.
“It represents an investment in the future for our lawfirm,” said David Moran, managing partner. “In choosing a new address for the first time in 30 years for Jackson Walker, we looked at a lot of choices.
“From the start we’ve been committed to Dallas and the central business district.”
Jackson Walker negotiated its new office lease with the help of CBRE Group’s Jeff Ellerman, Phil Puckett and Michelle Donaldson. Kim Butler with Hall Financial represented the developer.
Jackson Walker has about 260 employees in its downtown office which will move to the Arts District in the Fall of 2015. Design firm Gensler has been hired to do the company’s new offices.
The entire Hall Arts project is being planned by Dallas architect HKS. Turner Construction is the general contractor.
Weitzman Group is renting the more than 20,000 square feet of retail space on the lower two floors of the project.