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Historic Purse Building Gets New Lease on Life

The Purse Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But it was vacant for about 30 years since the Dallas County Records staff left the property. That is, until a new owner took the reins. Led by Tanya Ragan, founder and president, Wildcat Management takes on mission-driven projects and strategic public-private sector partnerships in the hopes of sparking economic turnaround and community growth.

The project is a certified rehabilitation, utilizing state and federal tax credits in order a complete restoration of the interior and exterior of the structure. During the redevelopment, Wildcat Management uncovered authentic historic features such as original pine timber floors, wooden beams, factory windows and brick walls under decaying layers of paint.

The $15 million redevelopment of the Purse Building includes a rooftop deck, retail on the highly visible Elm Street and Pacific Avenue sides of the first floor and office spaces spanning six floors. The resurrected 116-year-old Purse Building also features a floor-to ceiling mural of the late urbanist Jane Jacobs and a neon sign with her famous quote ‘new ideas need old buildings’.

The restoration of the building will attract young working professionals to downtown Dallas and its West End district. Wildcat Management has already had a surge in interest from out-of-state users.


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About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown has decades of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Coldwell Banker Residential, Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap, NAIOP, SIOR and ALM. In those positions, she worked in conjunction with chief executive officers and chief marketing officers to create corporate messaging, cohesive branding standards, strategic marketing plans and thought pieces. Brown is a frequent speaker at industry events and an editing adjunct professor for an online course. She has a master’s degree in mass communications from San Jose State University.

  • ◦Development