The Continental Gin Building

Client Name: Common Desk

Dallas, Texas


  • Permitting 
  • Parking Study

Project Description
The Continental Gin Building is a historical building in Deep Ellum, located on the east side of downtown Dallas. Once the largest manufacturer of cotton gins in the world, this iconic building will now serve as an office, retail, and neighborhood destination. The building is currently home to popular workspace, Common Desk, a future restaurant tenant, and a yoga Pilates studio. 


  • The plans and all documentation, submitted by a previous permit expeditor, were submitted to the city incorrectly making it difficult for the city to review. 
  • During the first round of reviews, the city had numerous comments about land use, parking, legal build site, and more. 
  • Masterplan completed a parking analysis that showed the site was under parked by 45%. This deficiency was further supported by city zoning comments. 

    Strategies Used

    • Acted as point of contact between the city and all parties involved with the project. 
    • Followed up with plan reviewers on behalf of the client 
    • Minimum of weekly check-ins with the client to provide timelines and updates 


    • Permitting: Taking over the finish out permitting for Common Desk, Masterplan started with a clean slate. Everything that was previously submitted to the City of Dallas was deleted from the system and started from scratch to ensure every piece was accurate. Working with the development team, every single comment was addressed and corrected to meet the city requirements. Common Desk needed another permit for their expansion, which would allow for an additional 1,400 square feet of space on the first floor. With all the initial documentation corrected and in place, the second permit was quickly issued.   
    • Parking: After completing the parking analysis, Masterplan worked with the team to develop parking solutions which ensured all the issues were rectified before submitting to the city for final approvals.   
    • TIF: Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is an economic development program through which funding is available from the City. Our team worked to get all of the permitting and documentation necessary to meet the TIF deadline. With the support of TIF funds, the building owner was able to get a great tenant for the building, and keep the rent at an affordable rate.   


    The contractor, Hill & Wilkinson, was able to keep the construction schedule on track. Permits all met the TIF deadline to ensure funding for the owner. 



    Kiesha Kay
    Senior Consultant

    Ms. Kay joined Masterplan in July 2019 after a long career working for the City of Dallas as the Chief Planner for the Sustainable Development and Construction Department. Her experience with the City of Dallas and her graduate-level education from Texas A&M University bring new ideas and insight to Masterplan. She has several years of proven experience working for local governments and serving community organizations, development professionals, architects/engineers, and others engaged in urban planning and development.