Museum Tower Shows Strong Sales, Gets “Recognition”: How Long Should It Take to Sell Out a Luxury High Rise?

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Last week, my dear friend Tim Rogers over at D Magazine gave Museum Tower some good SEO by headlining that 

“Museum Tower Shows Strong Uptick in Sales”.

He checked DCAD and found:

“…that 27 units have sold, for a total of 108,208 square feet and $57,343,250 of assessed value. Not too shabby. In about five months, Museum Tower has roughly doubled its numbers.”

But despite the nice headline, he didn’t think sales were fast enough. Or are fast enough. Of course, we in the real estate biz know how terribly behind DCAD lags. Until week before last, Kathy Nealy’s condo was still listed as being owned by Fannie Mae, and while I knew that Yu Darvish had bought his Bluffview home last November, it took DCAD 5 MONTHS to finally change the ownership from Joseph Palladino to Yu. 

Museum Tower started marketing units in 2013, with the Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s partnership, which has obviously been worth its weight in gold. The high rise is also currently the most expensive condominium square footage in town. It is not surprising that some “deals” have been made. MT also offered an unprecedented money-back guarantee to buyers, a program that ended once sales perked up. Most agents whisper that if Museum Tower’s sales are slow, it’s because of the price. Just like $3 million dollar plus listings, that market doesn’t turn as quickly as, say, a $369,999 Ju-Nel home in Lake Highlands that I heard sold in less than 24 hours.

I asked Steve Sandborg, vice president of sales & marketing at Museum Tower, if he was pleased with sales progress thus far.

“Museum Tower sales are continuing to do very well,” he said, not unexpectedly. “We are very happy with sales to date and we are confident in the future with good prospects in the pipeline. And, we are glad others are recognizing it, too!”

Basically, the 42 story tower has been marketing units since January of 2013 — so just over a year and a half — and is almost or near one-third sold. 30%.

This really got me thinking: what IS a fair timeline to sell out a luxury condo in Dallas? We know that traditionally Dallas is a single family residence town — it’s changing, of course — but when times get tough, our condo values traditionally take a turn south. This article by Steve Brown from 2004 will make you giggle: ” The W and Ritz-Carlton Residential Towers in Dallas Claim 75-80% Sold”.

In 2010, Steve wrote a story similar to Tim’s — he checked DCAD and found about 30% of the Ritz -Carlton Tower Residences were sold.

Let’s look at other comparable luxury high rises in Dallas. The Azure was delivered in 2007. By 2013, according to D writer Joseph Guinto, whom I really want to meet someday because he does great work, the building was a few units away from sell-out.

“At the nearby 31-story Azure condo building, which was finished in 2007, the developers are just a few units from being sold out.”

The Azure Dallas

2007 to 2013 (when the article was written) is six years, three of which were clouded by the recession.

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The Tower Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas: there are four units left to sell. Kyle Crews and his Allie Beth Urban team have swept through like a white tornado –– they’ve sold the designer units, sometimes I think they’ve even sold the traffic cones on Pearl!  The Allie Beth Urban team was also the SECOND real estate marketing team brought in to move the high end units, which, prior to Museum Tower, commanded the most money per square footage in town.

Kyle and company came aboard in 2010; tower one opened in 2007, tower two in 2009. When Kyle came on, he had to work through the 80% that were supposedly sold, but only a dozen or so of the 95 units had closed.

One of the Urban team’s strengths was not selling to speculators, but rather to owners, who became vested as stakeholders and refer like buyers. That’s tough in condo sales, but also how the Urban team sold more than $100 million in listings.
“My URBAN team has sold 83 homes (in five years) while maintaining price integrity of the building,” says Kyle. “I liked working here so much I have bought two units myself.  They are side by side, for future combination, as several other owners have done.”

And now, of course, there’s a Great Gulf project on the horizon that promises to be even pricier than Museum Tower. How long will it take to sell those pups?

As for whether or not Museum Tower was the best investment for the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, I am sure not an investment advisor, I’ll leave that to those who are. But I do know that hedge funds are descending on Dallas to buy up real estate, especially single family homes.

Actually, I think I DO know what’s been helping those Museum Tower units move: Partyline Real Estate!

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Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. mmJoanna England says

    Totally not surprised that Museum Tower sales have picked up. It has everything you could ever want in a highrise.

  2. David M says

    I think this is a beautiful building, with great view and best condo location in downtown. However what is the liabilty for the HOA and owners due to the problems with the Nasher? Is this being disclosed to the buyers? What effect has it had on value? Is this reason sales have been slow? Too many unanswered questions at this point.

  3. DallasChas says

    I concur with David M’s comments. It is truly a beautiful building, albeit one has to question the wisdom of the highly reflective skin in our southwest climate.
    What cost obligations will buyers step into to mitigate the reflectivity that is damaging the K. Warren Park and the Nasher?
    When will the Tower step up to its responsibility to become a good neighbor?

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