Office conversions are compelling examples of transforming underutilized space into a new use. Mint House Dallas - Downtown, Santander Tower was completed in 2020 and occupies the 49th and 50th floors of the 50-story, 1.4 Million-SF office tower with apartment-style, extended-stay luxury suites with panoramic views of Downtown Dallas. Originally flagged The Guild, an Austin-based hotel brand, it was an early success story of risk takers willing to pivot and create new adaptive solutions to reposition vacant high-rise office space. Woods Capital owns the building, and Mintwood Real Estate contracted WDG for the design.
The collective output of the team can be more innovative and creative when challenges and constraints are unraveled. This was a solution that responded to new consideration of blended uses in an existing infrastructure. Changes to office leases and lenders were addressed. Building controls for security and HVAC systems were assessed. 24-hour cooling, occupant capacity, and plumbing emergency access were engineered. A new central skylight was designed where a helicopter pad existed.
Mint House engages today’s business traveler with a work-from-anywhere environment. The average length of stay is beyond 9 nights, versus an average of 3 nights for a traditional guest stay. The suites cater to those working in a home hybrid solution. Suites are large, light-filled and equipped with hi-tech amenities. There is comfortable furniture, luxurious bathrooms, marble countertops, and herringbone floors. Guests have remote key access, in-room washer-dryer, an App stocked kitchen with Euro-fridge, micro dishwasher, and stovetop/microwave appliances.
WDG was also contracted for further transformation of Santander Tower: the recently completed conversion of 11 floors (800,000 SF) of its office space into 228 luxury apartments. While the conversion concept may seem simple—convert underutilized office space to a new use—the cross-disciplinary team requires dedication, and the evaluation, analytics, innovation, and design necessary to achieve a successful repositioning. WDG is appreciative of the developers and owners willing to pivot from the conventional and endorse different projects.
Woods Capital recognized the value of transformation, innovation, and adaptive flexibility. City centers with large office markets tend to have less housing nearby, while the centrality and accessibility of business districts make the real estate quite lucrative. Compared to demolition and new construction, adaptive reuse can have a lower environmental impact, lower cost, and take less time to complete. It is a trend that developers are willing to assess and invest in to create solutions for higher yield and value return.
64-key office-to-hospitality conversion totaling 52,5000-sf in the top two floors of a 50-story office tower, with a 200-sf elevator lobby on each floor and a 1,950-sf amenity lounge.
All parties involved needed to shift mindsets to underwrite the project differently than a typical office lease. While the concept is simple, cross-disciplinary innovation requires dedication. As our world becomes less tethered, I look forward to celebrating more companies and people who are willing to pivot and create solutions that enable flexibility—of use, mindset, and lifestyle.
Principal & Founder, Mintwood Real Estate