Developer Vanston buys Dickson-Jenkins, Branch Smith buildings on Fort Worth's Near Southside

Fort Worth developer Eddie Vanston — whose credits include restorations of the Supreme Golf Warehouse, Markeen Apartments, Leuda-May Apartments, and LaSalle Apartments on the Near Southside — has purchased a historic property on the Near South Side and plans to renovate it into residential and commercial lofts and condos.

Vanston confirmed he and longtime business partner Tom Reynolds have closed on the property  at 120 St. Louis Ave. that includes the three-story, 44,550-square-foot Dickson-Jenkins Building and 12,756-square-foot Branch-Smith Building that was part of the original Branch-Smith printing plant. The property is commonly known as Branch-Smith, which bought the Dickson-Jenkins building in 1983, but Vanston and Reynolds plan to name the property the Dickson-Jenkins Lofts.

They plan commercial condos on the ground floor of the Dickson-Jenkins Building and in the Branch-Smith warehouse. They plan residential lofts on the top two floors of the Dickson-Jenkins Building.

“Given the mess of apartments coming online here (on the Near Southside), there’s very little that’s going to be for sale,” Vanston said.

There will be about 20 residential lofts and 24,000 square feet of commercial, 12,000 each in both buildings, Vanston said.

There will be about 20 900-1,500-square-foot residential lofts, priced at $199-$229 per square foot, Vanston said. He and Reynolds will have a 50-50 mix of commercial space for lease and sale, with rent rates of $18-$19 per square foot, and white box commercial condos for sale at about $150 per square foot.

The Dickson-Jenkins was constructed as a two-story factory in 1927, with the third floor added in 1929. The building is recognizable for its large window openings.