Update: As soon as I posted the item that was originally in this space, Leobardo Trevino returned Unfair Park's many phone calls. Which is why I've rewritten the item to reflect our conversation.
According to developer Leobardo Trevino, from this point forward, the old LTV Tower at 1600 Pacific Avenue has a new name: The Grand Ricchi Dallas.
"Which means The Great Wealthy Dallas," he tells Unfair Park. "Dallas reminds me of wealth. That's where we came up with the name."
Trevino says that within the next 18 months, it will reopen for business as a hotel-condo. Already, he says, he has begun to market the building to his clientele: "people from Mexico who want to have another place. That's a customer we cater to, and that's the main goal. They'll have luxury condominiums in Dallas."
According to the Dallas Central Appraisal District, Ricchi Dallas picked up the building -- which is on the books for $2.5 million -- in early October. (Only nine years ago, the building was on the tax rolls at $11,723,500.) Trevino's deal with the city, which is still working its way through Dallas City Hall, will likely include TIF incentives worth almost $13 million, including interest, for redevelopment of eight floors. Trevino, who's one of the developers behind Vantage Luxury Condominiums in Mission, says that while he's already emptied the hotel of its old furniture, and that plans are underway to begin gutting the building almost immediately, he won't actually begin building out the rooms till the condos are sold.
"We're going to do it in phases, floor by floor," he says. "We don't want to overload the building with condos. We pre-sale them, then build them. We're removing all the asbestos, putting in new elevators and redoing the lobby areas. We're keeping the bank lobby, and that'll be where the hotel operations will be based."
Of course, there have been several prior attempts at redoing the building -- most recently, California-based developer Curtis Lockey had hoped to turn it into apartments with a sizable affordable-housing component. He asked for substantial tax incentives from the city and received HUD loans. But Lockey's group filed bankruptcy in June.
Trevino says he got the building through one of his brokers, who came to him when the building reverted to First National Bank of Edinburg.
The city's Office of Economic Development is working with Trevino on a deal structure; nothing's been signed yet -- and can't be till the city council signs off on the paperwork, and the TIF board hasn't even met to discuss the deal yet. (Thursday's scheduled meeting was canceled due to the lack of a quorum.) But Trevino's moving forward nonetheless.
"We're going to remodel the building, but we're planning to preserve the original facade," Trevino says. "We'll restore it. It's very valuable for the history of Dallas. We'll restore the building outside and convert the inside. ... We've received great support from the city -- they have helped us with permits and stuff like that. We're happy to be investing there. And we're grateful to restore this piece of the history of Dallas."
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