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How Our Lighting and Technology Transformed the Iconic Butler Brothers Building into a Marriott


  • Product Specification

  • Contract Manufacture

  • Product Delivery

  • Photometric Studies

  • Project Organization and Management (Platform)


  • Hospitality Residential

Project details:

  • 510,000 total square feet

  • 5,451 total lighting fixtures


Provide energy-efficient decorative and commercial lighting packages for the entire $90M redevelopment of the Butler Brothers Building.


The Butler Brothers Building was built in 1911 as a warehouse and distribution center for Butler Brothers. Almost a century ago, the Butler Brothers company, originating from Chicago, was one of the largest wholesalers in the USA. According to the historical archives of the Dallas Public Library, the Butler Brothers Building was redesigned in 1932 and renamed the Merchandise Mart of the Southwest. Almost 20 years later, in 1953, it became the Dallas Merchandise Mart, playing a major role in the Dallas fashion industry.

The building’s original design incorporated Gothic and Romanesque Revival styles, but in 1960 it was covered in stucco. In 2012, when the building was purchased by the international developer Alterra Worldwide, the plan was to fully restore the building’s exterior. Unfortunately, during the installation of the stucco coating, the original brick had been significantly damaged. Thus, the decision was made to keep the stucco coating to avoid further damage.

The Butler Brothers Building was originally constructed incorporating a combination of Gothic and Romanesque styles (Photo source: Dallas Public Library).
The Butler Brothers Building was originally constructed incorporating a combination of Gothic and Romanesque styles (Photo source: Dallas Public Library).

Alterra decided to convert the Butler Brothers Building, located near City Hall in the Dallas Downtown Historic District, into industrial-eclectic-style loft apartments overlooking downtown Dallas. The long-vacant nine-story building needed a full redevelopment. Ultimately, with an overall budget of nearly $90M, it became a 238-unit apartment building and a Marriott hotel.

Project Scope

During the initial stage of the project, we analyzed multiple floor plans to make a professional takeoff and identify potential risks and challenges of the project. The Butler Building consists of a lobby, an apartment complex, a gym, common areas, parking, and Fairfield Marriott residences, which were also part of the lighting project. This meant that many different specifications and applications were necessary.

Overall, we worked with more than 33 different lighting fixture specifications, both commercial and decorative, with a total of 5,451 pieces in the lighting schedule. These types of projects can be overwhelming due to the large number of components and applications.

To simplify the workflow and the delivery and installation process, we used our in-house developed lighting platform. With the team, we shared full access to real-time project updates with all floor plans and information about logistics, fixture locations on the floor plan, and specifications. This helped us smoothly manage and complete the entire project from start to finish. It took us about a year to complete the project, including the manufacture of the custom-made lighting fixtures.

Clients can simply click on the smart icon on the floor plan to see the location of the lighting fixture on the floor plan, as well as the image and full specification .

Our lighting platform and smart icons were especially helpful when lighting fixtures had to be installed. The electrician could see the scheduled location of every single fixture and how it should be installed. This helped the client cut the installation time in half.

At Creates Group, we believe that a project will remain under control and be completed successfully when it is perfectly organized and planned. Our lighting platform helped us simplify the workflow and save time and money for the client, especially on the logistics and installation processes.


One of the main challenges of the project was its size, which required multiple types of lighting fixtures with different specifications and applications – in particular, industrial-eclectic style. This would create a special ambiance in the newly renovated historic building.

When the client places an order, we must act proactively to complete the project on time and as planned; we had to produce large quantities of a certain amount of fixture very quickly. To successfully complete the project, we used our lighting platform with floor plan recognition and smart icons, which saved the client 50% on the cost of the lighting package and helped improve the workflow, as well as reduce shipping and installation costs. We exclude the middleman by contracting the manufacturing of the fixtures ourselves, making them the best fit for the client’s needs and ensuring energy efficiency optimization. This helps reduce the final cost of the project.

Another challenge was finding contemporary, industrial, eclectic, and cost-effective fixtures, which would meet the client's budget and requirements.

Closely working with an interior designer within our lighting platform, we were able to choose the best option for the given budget and style preferences.

The other challenge was working on the building facade. We had to calculate all the dimensions of the building and do photometric studies to light the building outside, focusing on the dimensions of the columns. To highlight the beauty of the facade and illuminate every single column at night, the chosen fixtures had to be extremely powerful to light up the nine-story building with a very narrow beam angle. Our lighting solution keeps the building shining at night, embellishing downtown Dallas.

We were thrilled to work on this exciting and ambitious project, which turned a long-vacant building into a vital space in the historic district of Dallas.

During our work on the project, we also realized the need for takeoff automatization in the lighting business. Therefore, we decided to improve our lighting platform and create full AI technology, which will help our clients save time and money. For a large project similar to the Butler Brothers Building, it would take minutes instead of days to complete a lighting takeoff.

Learn more about Creates AI and pre-register to be one of the first users of the lighting takeoff platform completed by artificial intelligence.

For additional details, please contact us:

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