Centurion American Development Group has been working to redo the downtown hotel since 2017.
By Steve Brown — August 18, 2021
A delayed downtown Dallas historic building renovation may soon restart.
Centurion American Development Group has been working for almost four years to restore the landmark Cabaña Hotel on Stemmons Freeway.
Built in 1962, the 10-story hotel once played host to celebrities ranging from The Beatles to President Richard Nixon.
But the Cabaña Hotel closed in the 1970s, and after a stint as a minimum-security jail, the building has been empty for years.
Centurion American bought the high-rise in 2017 with plans for a $100 million redo. But the project has been slowed by everything from highway construction to COVID.
“The highway construction slowed us down about a year,” Centurion American CEO Mehrdad Moayedi said. “We are in waiting for the city of Dallas to give us a building permit.
“After the permit, it will take me about 60 days,” he said.
Centurion American has already gutted the old hotel building and has plans for about 268 hotel rooms.
The redevelopment project also suffered delays while Centurion American sought historic designation approvals for the construction.
And the rebuilding of Interstate 35E included a new freeway ramp and service road that had to be constructed in front of the building.
The coronavirus pandemic brought more building delays.
Originally the Cabaña Motor Hotel, the project was built by Las Vegas developer Jay Sarno, best known for landmark Caesar’s Palace. The Dallas hotel construction was financed in part by actress Doris Day.
Like the original Caesar’s Palace, it has an exterior covered in decorative concrete screens that will be preserved in the renovation.