By Christine Perez from D Magazine
A former dairy plant-and later a filming location for the television series, Prison Break—is now home to Dallas-based General Datatech, one of the largest Cisco value-added-resellers in the world. The 50-year-old, 95,300-square-foot complex sits on six acres at 999 Metromedia Place near Interstate 35-E and West Mockingbird Lane.
The facility also serves as a working laboratory for General Datatech’s routing, switching, communications, and security solutions business. “We are excited to take the wraps off what has been a long, complex project, but one that will create new opportunities for our business,” said J.W. Roberts, the company’s founder and CEO, in a written statement. “That we were able to create such a facility out of an old dairy factory and preserve a bit of Dallas history makes it all the more satisfying.”
General Datatech acquired the property in June 2009, represented by David Cooke of Stream Realty Partners. Greg Cannon and Ward Richmond of Transwestern represented the seller, Metromedia Investments LLC. The company then set about renovating the original 65,300-square-foot building and adding a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and staging facility. Edwin Brantley Smith Associates Inc. served as architect and interior designer.
The goal was to find a space that could house General Datatech’s sales, engineering, logistics, and project management staff. Economics favored moving to a new facility in suburban Dallas, but Roberts wanted to stay in Dallas and improve an existing building; he was looking to create a space with character, dimension, and texture, he says. Also important was environmental impact. The new complex now features the largest, privately owned solar power array in the state and a 30,000-gallon rainwater collection system.
About 150 of General Datatech’s 220 employees have relocated to 999 Metromedia Place, which is designed to house an additional 100 workers. Launched 15 years ago; the company is projecting $200 million in revenue for 2011.
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