PaperCity Magazine

December 2019- Dallas

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Page 49 of 83

48 I n e a r l y N o v e m b e r , B i l l Hutchinson ushers me into his offices at Dunhill Partners, the commercial brokerage and investments company he owns. The rocker-thin 61-year-old, who made news in 2015 after buying a large swath of the Dallas Design District, breaks into a big grin. He's pumped: Virgin Hotels Dallas, which he developed with Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Group, opens December 15 (an opening party is slated for April 2, 2020, and will be attended by Branson). The 268- room hotel located in the heart of the Design District is poised to become a throbbing center of activity, with signature Virgin gathering spots Commons Club restaurant, Funny Library Coffee Shop, and The Pool Club, located on the hotel's rooftop pool terrace. "The Virgin is one of the things I'm most proud of," says DANCING ON Hutchinson, who is wearing tight faux-leather jeans streaked with gold, and a neon-yellow T-shirt under a dark jacket. The bright shirt was one of nine different ones he bought from Urban Outfitters after his favorite band, Stone Temple Pilots, texted him an invitation to play drums with them during their concert last year at Carrollton's Festival at the Switchyard. Hutchinson, who had played drums in bands during high school and college, befriended the band after chatting with them backstage in San Diego. "I couldn't decide what to wear, so I bought a bunch of T-shirts and laid them all out to see what worked best," he says. For the performance, he opted for a plain, oversized white T-shirt to blend in with the band. Nice try — at 6' 5", Hutchinson tends to stand out wherever he goes. A left-handed drummer, Hutchinson managed to bang it out on Stone Temple Pilots' right-handed drum kit. His rendition of the song "Sex Type Thing" was apparently a success — the crowd cheered, and the band high-fived him afterwards. There's footage on YouTube, if you're interested. "It's definitely a check off my bucket list," Hutchinson says. "Playing with the Stone Temple Pilots is way up there with becoming friends with Richard Branson and building the Virgin Hotel." Hutchinson is riding a high that won't quit. Just days earlier, on October 30, he inked a deal to buy the W Hotel Victory Park, partnering on the project with HN Capital Partners founder Vipin Nambiar. The purchase price wasn't disclosed, but the 252- room hotel is valued at $42.4 million, and Hutchinson says he's spending an additional $21 million to overhaul BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PORTRAITS LAUREN WITHROW. Jim Shreve, photographed for PaperCity at the Adolphus Hotel, Dallas BILL HUTCHINSON BALANCES ON THE PRECIPICE OF A HOTEL REVOLUTION. IT'S THE EVE OF THE OPENING OF HIS GREATEST DEVELOPMENT TO DATE, VIRGIN HOTELS DALLAS. HE'S JUST BOUGHT W HOTEL VICTORY PARK AND A THIRD HOTEL IS ABOUT TO BREAK GROUND. THE MAN'S ON FIRE. THE EDGE Bill Hutchinson in the Shag Room of the Commons Club at the Virgin Hotels Dallas.

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