Exclusive Look: Statler Hilton to Open in 2016

There's a building in Downtown Dallas that will, if you let it, take you back in time. Nestled along Commerce Street just south of the Main Street Garden sits the Statler Hilton, once an American icon.

"I think in 1956 when Conrad [Hilton] opened this hotel, this was clearly the centerpiece of Downtown Dallas. This was it," said Frank Zaccanelli, managing partner of the Statler Hilton.

Zaccanelli, who once co-owned the Dallas Mavericks and is currently Centurion American partner, has taken on the task of restoring the hotel, which has sat empty for the past 15 years.

"This is probably the city of Dallas' most important building. So when you really look at that, you take on a lot of responsibility," he said.

Zaccanelli admits every day is a challenge to clean up, restore and redevelop part of the building.

But he said his top priority is to maintain the hotel’s historical importance.

The lobby floor will stay the same, as will the staircases, original marble and overall structure of the building.

"I think the biggest challenge is taking an iconic historic building and bringing it into the 21st century and how do you do that with tremendous taste and how do you do that the right way?" Zaccanelli said.

The updated Statler will provide hotel rooms on the lower five floors and residences on the top 11 floors.

It will also house a 24-hour diner, a high-end restaurant, a two-level bar, ladies lounge, retail, office space and a rooftop pool overlooking the Dallas skyline.

The hotel's biggest claim to fame: it's second-story ballroom, which in the past featured performers such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Tina Turner.

Zaccanelli said he plans to bring concerts back in the space, as well as fashion shows, various events and weddings.

"I think it will be a place where you can live, where you can work, where you can have fun. You can spend a lot of time here, so that's the fun part," he said.

The Statler Hilton is set to open in October 2016.

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