The iconic 49-story I. M. Pei-designed Energy Plaza skyscraper in Dallas, once headquarters for Arco’s oil and gas division and then electricity provider TXU, is becoming updated offices and 293 luxury apartments. Dallas-based Todd Interests has completed several similar conversions in the city since 2007. One, whose first phase opened in 2020, helped turn the 51-story First National Bank Tower into a mixed-use property with several restaurants, a hotel, offices, and 324 upscale apartments. Such “adaptive reuse” projects have soared nationally as the Covid-19 pandemic emptied out offices. Last year, more than 20,000 US apartment-conversion projects were completed, nearly double the number of conversions in 2020 and 2019 combined. Experts say that revamping such old buildings may be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than ground-up construction as the building’s shell is already in place and carbon emissions from the creation of new materials can be reduced.

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