Put in 7 hours on map today to find an inexplicable topology error that precluded building polygons. I was so excited for this to happen. After lengthy consultation with local GIS supergeek, turns out that exporting feature dataset as shapefile and then reimporting it as feature dataset worked. Took 1.5 hours to figure that out. If you get this error in your life, don't panic like I did, it is not worth it (just follow the steps above):
Despite this roadblock, I made alot of progress. Will post map tomorrow AM...can't work on it much at all beyond tomorrow.