August 29, 2022
Artful Industrial: How M2G Ventures is ‘Turning Locations into Landmarks’
By David Seeley, Dallas Innovates, August 29, 2022
In projects like M2G’s recently announced The Archetype near the Dallas Design District, the Fort Worth-based developer is “infusing art with real estate.” Incorporating art creates community, says Katie Murray, M2G’s chief creative officer.
Industrial sites can look just like they sound—utilitarian structures that do their job without catching your eye. But eye-catching artfulness is exactly what’s top of mind at M2G Ventures.
Fort Worth-based M2G invests in mixed-use and industrial development projects, primarily in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Its distinctive difference: putting creativity at the top of its list.
Transforming ‘locations into landmarks’ through art
M2G’s chief creative officer, Katie Murray, has a goal of turning locations into landmarks through “immersive art infusions.”
“Integrating art into properties gives them a lifeblood,” Murray said in a statement.
M2G recently announced a redevelopment of an industrial property at 3131 Irving Blvd. in the Brookhollow market near the Dallas Design District. Formerly known as Commonwealth Center, it’s being rebranded by M2G as The Archetype.
“The Archetype’s white walls and single-story buildings gave us a perfect blank slate to execute what we do best, which is incorporating art that creates community,” Murray said. “We explored optical illusions and drew inspiration from art legends like M.C. Escher, Sol LeWitt, and Josef Albers. This led us to collaborate with a local artist who will expertly add abstract splashes of color across the project to celebrate The Archetype’s bold identity.”
‘Graffitecture’ by artist Josh Dodson: 3D illusions and ‘colorful surprises’
To make The Archetype stand out with a personality all its own, Murray is curating a “museum exhibit-style experience” across the six-building site—one that M2G says “leads with simplicity and emotion and capitalizes on the property’s organic opportunities and perspectives.”
Murray enlisted local artist Josh Dodson to infuse his signature “graffitecture” artwork on The Archetype’s exterior surfaces. Incorporating his study of futurism, architecture, modern art, constructivism, and pure abstract expressionism, the resulting artworks will converge “distinct, yet complementary brand personalities” that will give tenants “a jolt of inspiration,” M2G says. The abstract art concepts will begin going up in mid-September.
“Each art installation is intentionally curated to visually extend the complete rebrand,” Murray said. “The Archetype’s art additions capitalize on organic opportunities through the use of perspective, 3D illusions, colorful surprises, and other artful integrations.”
Instilling ‘a sense of connection’
M2G Co-founder Jessica Essl Miller says her team wanted The Archetype’s identity and name “to capture our innovative redevelopment approach.”
“The Archetype’s rebranding reflects its unique personality and instills a sense of connection between tenants while creating differentiation in the market,” she said in the statement. “Energizing and enhancing The Archetype’s design creates an atmosphere for discerning brands to thrive in this highly sought after urban industrial location.”
Besides the rebrand, the redevelopment includes total project renovations, capital improvements, storefront upgrades, environmental graphics, enhanced landscaping and hardscaping, lighting upgrades, and the public art installations overseen by Murray. The Archetype’s six buildings are aimed at “innovative, novel tenants,” with leases available from 2,500 to 25,000 square feet.
Taking a quiz to discover your brand’s archetype
M2G’s creativity at The Archetype extends beyond art to exploring the very idea behind archetypes.
The team offers an online quiz called “What’s Your Archetype?, which lets companies click personality-test type answers to brand-revealing questions. After answering several questions, the companies find out whether their brand identity is that of a Curator, an Explorer, an Everyman, or other solutions.
‘Inspiring evolution through impact and innovation’
M2G says it has a goal of “inspiring evolution through impact and innovation” at all its properties. Two other examples are its mixed-use destination, The Foundry District, and its adaptive reuse development, Bogart.
With The Foundry District, M2G turned a blank alleyway into Inspiration Alley (below)—which it calls “a canvas of culture, with artful expressions and exhibitionists.” Each space was curated to showcase a one-of-a-kind picture of Fort Worth culture, with over 70 artworks on display. In 2020, Forbes, selected it as one of the “15 Best Places To Experience Art And Nature” in the U.S.” for COVID-safe summer travel.
With Bogart, M2G transformed a former YWCA-turned-Dallas-Can-Academy into a mixed-use destination with an eclectic collection of novels in its private library; personal spa-inspired showers in its Energy Room; an outdoor terrace off the “five-star Tenant Lounge”; and private “zen outdoor green spaces.”