1980s landmark Solana campus gets reboot for modern businesses

Drivers on State Highway 114 know when they get to Solana — even if they don’t know what the heck it is. Brightly colored towers and buildings with angular architecture line the highway running through Westlake and Southlake. But there are no signs saying what companies are in the buildings or even the name of the northeast Tarrant County office park. That’s one of the first things Solana’s new owners plan to change as they pump more than $50 million in fix-ups into the 233-acre development.

“It’s a very unique office campus, and we love the bones of this project,” said Brian Driesse, a director of asset management with Equity Office Properties. “We just feel like it needs to be updated. What we have is something you don’t find even in the new office parks going up in Dallas-Fort Worth.”

When Solana was started in 1986, the business park was on the edge of North Texas’ urban growth. Today, the project is between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Alliance Airport in one of the fastest-growing areas of the region. Solana was envisioned as a campus in the country and built by high-tech giant IBM and California developer Maguire/Thomas. Award-winning Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta designed the campus with its eye-popping architecture. Almost 3,000 IBM employees were housed at Solana when it opened in 1988. The development has eight office buildings, a hotel, a shopping village and a fitness center. There are still about 100 acres of land that can be developed with additional projects, Driesse said.

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