DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Downtown Dallas is experiencing an apartment building boom. To see why, people need look no further than the Main Street Garden park, where people such as Shelsea Sanchez walk their dogs during their lunch hour. They work downtown, and now want to live there too.

“We wanted to live that city lifestyle, we don’t have children yet so it was perfect for us,” said Sanchez, who moved with her husband downtown last year. They’re the residents developers have in mind for the first hotel-apartment building in downtown.

Crews are now converting the historic LTV Building at 1600 Pacific Avenue, built in 1964 into a 171 room Hilton Garden Inn and 186 luxury rental apartments. A one bedroom apartment with 700 square feet will start at $1800 a month. Rent for a two bedroom apartment with 1100 square feet will start at $2200 a month.

The hotel will be located on the fifth through fourteenth floor, and the apartments will be on the fifteenth through thirty-second floor. Pres Kabacoff’s company, HRI Properties of New Orleans, is renovating the building.
“I’m excited about it,” said Kabacoff.

Kabacoff said strong selling points include having DART rail and a park right outside the building.

“The future is to get out of the automobile. So if you can locate neighborhoods near transportation, that’s what’s good for the environment, and it’s good for people because that’s what they want.”

The developer hopes to open the doors by the end of summer in 2015. It’s a $67.5 million project. That includes $17.5 million raised from a tax increment financing district, which reinvests property taxes collected from the designated district. The money does not come from the city’s general fund.
Mayor Mike Rawlings said this and similar projects, such s the one at the old Statler Hilton Hotel, are helping to transform downtown.

“We’re right at the tipping point, ok. We’re not over it yet, we still have a couple of more projects to be done, but when that happens, the cascade of growth is going to be coming in.”

By the end of this year, 1500 apartment units will break ground or be under construction in downtown. “It is great to hear noise from construction crews in downtown Dallas, I love it,” said Rawlings.

It may be hard to believe, but back in 1999, only 200 people lived in downtown. But according to Downtown Dallas, Inc., the population grew to 3,100 in 2005, then to 7,000 in 2010. About 8,500 people call downtown home now, and the city expects 10,000 people will leave in downtown within the next two years.

Just down the street from the new apartment building-hotel, the owners of Miguel’s Cantina said they’re thrilled about this new project, and the new apartments and offices going in right across the street at 1401 Elm Street.

“We’re so excited, we’re trying to revamp the menu, the look of the restaurant, we’re hoping for a lot of updates and changes in the future with the people who are coming in,” said Chantall Ojeda, who recently renewed their lease, as did Shelsea Sanchez and her husband.

“It’s better than we expected,” according to Sanchez.

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