Real estate developer Scott Rorman wants to build the next big tower in downtown Dallas


The race to build the next skyscraper in downtown Dallas is heating up.

A handful of developers have unveiled plans for new office towers in Dallas’s CBD.

Now developer and investor Scott Rorman is putting forward his idea for a 42-story high-rise project on the east side of the city center.

The complex will include a combination of the use of two towers. The buildings will have approximately 200,000 square feet of offices, 250 hotel rooms and 224 apartments. There will also be retail space on the ground floor.

“We’re not going to build this on a speculative basis,” Rohrman said. “But we’re going to put our name on the hat for office users.

“We want to pre-lease the tower or provide a source of capital that would like to build speculative construction.”

The skyscraper, designed by the Dallas-based Beck Group, will occupy most of the block on Elm and North Pearl Streets off Interstate 345. It currently houses two small buildings and a ground parking lot.

“We made 11 deals to tie all of this property together,” Rohrman said.

The construction site is at one of the gates to the city center and a few blocks from four new central business district parks.

“What we want to do is build something iconic – something that will anchor the area,” Rohrman said. “When you drive on the freeway where it turns, you see this property much better here.”

The skyscraper will be the tallest on the eastern edge of the city center, in an area that is rapidly being rebuilt.

Rohrman started buying small buildings and parking lots in the area a few years ago, and has plots five blocks away. He owns the more than a century old former Masonic and Western Union building on Main Street and the new SOVA Hotel on Commerce Street.

“When we started buying here many years ago, it was a forgotten area of ​​the city center,” he said. “We bought it because we like it.

“We really believe in the East Side of Downtown Dallas.”

The city center is now undergoing a major reconstruction of the East Quarter. And right across the highway, Deep Ellum has Epic’s new office, hotel, apartment buildings and shops.

In the area, work is underway on two new green spaces – Harwood Park and Carpenter Park.

Rohrman has a track record of buying undervalued properties in emerging areas. His 42 Real Estate began buying the first of more than 40 properties in Deep Ellum – buildings and vacant lots – nearly a decade ago.

In 2017, Rohrman sold most of his Deep Ellum assets to North Carolina-based Asana Partners. Asana Partners also owns retail space in Victory Park, northwest of the city center.

After the sale of Deep Ellum, Rorman buys properties in the eastern part of the city center and on Acard Street in the Cedars area. “We love real estate in cities and downtown areas,” he said.

Rohrman and Benton Payne of 42 Real Estate worked on plans for a property in Dallas.

Rohrman isn’t the only commercial real estate player considering building a new skyscraper in downtown Dallas.

In May, Hillwood Urban Ross Perot Jr. removed the design wrappers for 38-storey office tower proposed for the north side of downtown on Woodall Rogers and Field Street.

And Dallas businessman and real estate investor Mike Hawk and his Hoque Global have teamed up with Lanoha Real Estate of Omaha, Neb. To work on the plans. 40-storey multifunctional tower on the south side of Dallas City Hall.

Another group, which includes Kaizen Development and Woods Capital, is unveiling plans for a 6-acre project on Field Street and Woodall Rogers, which will include over 1 million square feet of high-rise offices, apartments, hotel rooms and shops.

Dallas developer and investor, Scott Rohrman's 42 Real Estate Company, is working on plans for a two-building skyscraper on Elm and Pearl Streets in downtown Dallas.  View from the street to the project.
Dallas developer and investor, Scott Rohrman’s 42 Real Estate Company, is working on plans for a two-building skyscraper on Elm and Pearl Streets in downtown Dallas. View from the street to the project.

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