Today, our friend and colleague (and downtown dweller) Krista Nightengale tells us about her recent tour of 400 North Ervay, a new residential project. Every day, while walking to work, I pass by the old Post Office/Courthouse on Ervay. Until this week, I had never gone inside. But from the photos I had seen, I knew there’s a lot of great potential in the building. After a friend told me that the management is ready to start leasing apartments, I decided it was time for me to go check it out.
The building is gorgeous. It was built in the ’30s and developer Shawn Todd has made sure that the original lime, marble, and hardwood floors still exist after the updates. He has 78 units to lease, starting at $1,300. (Well, originally, he had 78 units. Several have already been spoken for.) The third floor is 6,000 square feet of amenity space, including a room for a residents’ lounge (which was the first permanent home of the United States Tax Court), a small gym, and a magistrate lounge, where Todd hopes to host Sunday brunches for residents (you lease here and you’re called a resident, not a tenant). He hopes to have either office space or a culinary store on the first floor. And all of this should be finished by the end of November, with the residences being finished in October.
Though the building is progressing smoothly now, Todd, a fellow Okie who reminisces about “dragging Main” on the weekends, has had several obstacles since buying the property in 2007. “It’s been very humbling to me in that these have been very challenging economic times,” he says.
From what I saw on my tour, Todd has overcome these obstacles. I loved the marble countertops, deep sinks, and pendant lighting. I know my husband would love the wireless surround sound system that easily connects to your phone or TV. There are a lot of little touches that make these apartments very updated, but then you walk out into the hallway and are greeted by the carefully updated and maintained original pieces from 80 years ago. One of the best parts of the building is the rooftop terrace. It is sheltered from the heat by the surrounding buildings, yet still offers some pretty good views.
I’m excited to see what the addition of these 78 apartments will do to downtown, and so is Todd. “I hope it brings to downtown Dallas a continuation of the story that started several years ago of the redevelopment of downtown Dallas,” he says. “The vision that was cast of downtown, it’s working. I hope it serves as an encouragement to others to take a risk and spend the time to work on a historical redevelopment.”
Todd’s first historical (and residential) endeavor has taken him four years. But he says he already has his eye on another historical property. I, personally, can’t wait to see what he does next.