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. 



    Mario Amador

    Mario Amador is an accomplished permitting project manager with extensive experience handling all aspects of permitting for challenging projects. He has demonstrated exceptional project management capabilities, overseeing projects of varying scales and timelines.  Mario is well-versed in collaborating with architects, engineers, municipal staff, and project managers, providing valuable consultation and fostering effective communication among stakeholders. His expertise lies in navigating the intricate web of approvals, permits, and licenses required for developments, from initial application to final approval.