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Al Key - DRC

At the intersection of art and history

Profile image for By Karina Ramírez / Staff Writer
By Karina Ramírez / Staff Writer
Artwork adorns the hallways of the renovated Texas Building on Thursday in Denton.Al Key - DRC
Artwork adorns the hallways of the renovated Texas Building on Thursday in Denton.
Al Key - DRC
The Texas Building’s former interior is shown in this undated courtesy shot.Courtesy photo
The Texas Building’s former interior is shown in this undated courtesy shot.
Courtesy photo

Texas Building undergoes interior transformation

In just nine months, the Texas Building has been transformed.

While preserving the integrity of the exterior of the structure at 100 W. Oak St., the team in charge of the renovations completely gutted the interior down to the concrete floors and brick walls.

The four-story, 24,000-square-foot building now includes office space on all floors. Two restaurants are expected to move into the building next year.

The first floor features photos acquired from the Denton County Office of History and Culture showing the structure through the years. The building was known as the Lacy Hotel in the mid-1800s and was later called the Curtis Building.

One photo shows the building as it appeared when it was known as the Morris Building.

“This is interesting because this was probably right before they covered the front with art-deco style, and they had cinder block around the windows,” explained Greg Johnson, CEO and managing partner of Verus Real Estate Advisors, the firm in charge of the renovations as well as working with existing and new tenants.

Verus Capital Partners, a local investment group led by managing partner Bryan Korba, bought the building two years ago and began renovations.

“The building represents the old meeting the new because it is completely rebuilt except for the floors and walls, so it is ready for another 100 years,” Korba wrote in an e-mail.

He said the goal of the project was to expose as much of the old building’s character as possible, while adding new electrical and mechanical fixtures.

The old elevator remains, as do the old granite stairs leading to the second floor.

“The floors in this building are 8-inch clay tile with concrete on top,” Johnson said. “We were able to leave that exposed on the third floor, which creates a great look and feel.”

The renovated building includes a shared reception area, a conference room and a break room that can be used by the tenants.

Of the 10 tenants that previously leased spaces at the Texas Building, five remain, including Bookkeeper Girl Inc., the Kelly Phillips’ Farmers Insurance Agency and the law firm of Jackson & Hagen, which has been a building tenant for more than 90 years.

Johnson said he received favorable comments about the renovation from existing businesses as well as new tenants, which include GSATI, a marketing firm, and Magnus Pacific, an environmental and geotechnical construction firm.

The building is 90 percent leased.

Other incoming tenants include a Subway sandwich shop, occupying about 1,503 square feet of space, and Herrera’s, a Dallas-based Mexican restaurant that will take up another 3,854 square feet. Both are expected to open sometime next year.

Julie Glover, Denton’s economic development program administrator, said Tuesday she took a tour of the renovated building a week ago.

“The renovations have retained the historic integrity of the exterior of the building while adding all modern conveniences inside,” she said. “People will be pleasantly surprised when they see the changes — it is light, airy and state-of the-art.”

Kim Pollard, owner of Bookkeeper Girl Inc., has been a tenant at the Texas Building since 2008. Her business offices moved from the second floor to the first floor.

“We love it here,” she said. “I’m very pleased with the professional look of the building.”

Stacey Lax of Stacey Lax Design put together art and furnishings and handled other interior design. Mike Ledoux, a Dallas artist, created watercolor pieces that can be seen throughout the hallways.

Korba called the project a labor of love.

“We [Korba and Johnson] want our buildings to represent our commitment to our communities,” he said in an e-mail. “We are ready and able to continue our goal of making Denton a little bit better.”

Johnson declined to reveal the final cost of the renovations.

KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is kramirez@dentonrc.com.