The Academic

Contact: Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards


Nominated by: Leon Multifamily
Location: Dallas, TX
Developer: Leon Multifamily
Architecture Demarest
General Contractor: Wade Construction Group
Interior Designer: Design62
Project Website:

Project Statement

Preserving the authenticity and historical elements at the intersection of Ross & Washington was a challenge originally set forth by the Dallas Office of Historic Preservation and the Dallas community at large. The goal: to revitalize the block, to pay homage to what was the former Dallas Independent School District headquarters, and to embody the flavor of the surrounding Dallas Arts District.

Utilizing the full potential of the four-acre site, Leon Capital Group (LCG) resurrected a 24,000-square-foot structure with a 364-unit, five-story residential wrap and multilevel parking garage, 18,000 square feet of amenities, and extensive courtyard. From the pedestrian corridor, walkable streetscape flanked by distinctive public art displays showcase local artisans. This, along with dynamic integrated building lighting and lush landscaping, allows for The Academic to serve as a prominent beacon and cultural capstone within the community.

Recognition of the site’s unique attributes allowed for a first of its kind in Dallas and crafted a community that could never be replicated or reproduced. LCG negotiated a zoning ordinance written to protect the building’s historical façade and its setbacks, encouraging a pedestrian-friendly environment within an otherwise dense urban setting. The team embraced the art-deco architectural style of the existing building and sought to incorporate similarities within all future site developments. Without limitations to modernize the interior, LCG breathed new life into the 50-year-old institutional, utilitarian structure.

Additional site optimizations incorporate grounding overhead powerlines and protecting more than half a dozen significant and mature trees, including an iconic centennial oak. The ideation behind The Academic is to pay respect to the past while providing a taste of today and locking in a story for generations to come and serves as home to those who embrace history and change the future.