Chad Cook, founder of Quadrant Investment Properties (quadrantinvestments.com), is leading the charge on expanding the Design District in a thoughtful manner—and attracting exciting new tenants along the way. Here, he discusses his most exciting new acquisition.
Quadrant founder Chad Cook PHOTO COURTESY OF CHAD COOK
Congratulations on the acquisition of The International. Can you share what changes might be made in the near future?
Thank you! We are extremely excited about the opportunity to own The International. We have always appreciated the redevelopment Jim Lake Jr. performed in 2005, but we do plan to focus on activating some of the common areas, along with a pretty aggressive update to the landscaping and facade. We are also planning to add a 5- to 10-square-foot upscale casual restaurant concept on the corner of Irving and Turtle Creek where Allan Knight is giving back a small portion of their space.
One of the areas we will focus on most is the center of The International, where we plan to enhance the tenant and visitor experience but also create a connection from The International to the adjacent 2.5-acre parcel we acquired separately at year’s end. On that site we have designed a five-story creative office building that will offer several fast-casual food and beverage concepts, while activating the rail spur that runs from Irving Boulevard all the way to Levee. It is one of the more unique opportunities we have found in the Design District.
What do you think are the missing puzzle pieces that you’d like to fill in in the Design District?
Our goal, whether in the Manufacturing District, at The International or in any of the other projects we have in the Design District, is to create a modern, walkable mixed-use environment with ample parking and modern amenities our tenants have come to expect in any of our projects in Uptown or the Arts District. We can offer this space at a significant discount to Uptown, where we have seen rates rising to the levels that the creative class is getting priced out in the last several years.
An aerial view of his stamp on DDD. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHAD COOK
Do you have any predictions for real estate trends in the new year?
We believe there is a significant amount of pent-up office demand from local users who delayed real estate decisions during the pandemic and new users migrating to Texas from California, New York, Chicago, etc. We are already seeing a significant increase in activity that we believe will build in the coming months.
What is your forecast for the district in the future?
We see an opportunity in the Design District unlike any other DFW submarket. We see an opportunity to provide more affordable space for Dallas’ office users through highly amenitized adaptive reuse, low-rise and in certain pockets high-rise office space.
Do you have a hand in what new businesses, restaurants, shops, etc., open in Quadrant spaces, and what do you look for in a tenant?
We always believe it is extremely important to curate the tenancy early in the process for our projects. RewardStyle was a great example of this at the Centrum. They were the first sizable tenant we signed very early in the renovation. Overnight, they completely changed the tenant profile of the building. We are working with several very exciting groups that would have a similar impact in our Manufacturing District assemblage. We are also talking to several F&B concepts about different levels of partnership that will accelerate the brand awareness.
What is the most exciting new development in the area that Quadrant has been working on?
Each of the developments are very different, with their own personalities. We joke that they are like our children—all of them are different, and it is impossible to favor one over any of the others. Having said that, the opportunity at The International, our two new-construction office buildings and the 5 acres we assembled on Manufacturing Street are all uniquely exciting. We are excited to see these projects deliver in the next 12 to 24 months.