At the tip top of Museum Tower, 42 stories high in the air, is a 9,350 square foot space I was privileged to see about two years ago with a friend who was then considering a Dallas condo. The view is unlike any other in town, more special if you have lived most of your adult life in Dallas, as I have. On a clear day, it’s as if you can see forever — downtown Dallas and Love Field, of course, but also the SMU campus and places frequented over the years with family and friends, even Fort Worth! I recall thinking, at the moment I was up there — a very different time in my life — living here would be like living with a 360 degree road map of my life in Dallas surrounding me every single day. From the hour I arrived in Dallas for the very first time via Love Field to find my first place to live, to the top-heavy car trip from Chicago through downtown en route to our apartment, to having two babies at Presbyterian Hospital. Then raising those babies, educating and watching them become adults and parents of their own. Celebrating the extreme joys and tragedies that are, I have come to understand, a steep price-tag of life. It was like living with Vladmir Gorsky’s famous Tapestry of the Centuries, only customized to the eyes and life of the viewer.
I realized that this could well be the most valuable dirt in Dallas, not just the highest. The value was in all the dirt you could see, as far as the eye could take you.
Now Museum Tower has announced its vision and yes, the pricing, for this unique Penthouse opportunity.
The penthouse, featuring 9,350 square feet on the 42nd floor plus up to an additional 5,600 square feet of rooftop terrace, is a pristine blank canvas awaiting transformation into a residential masterpiece. The announced price is $24 million that includes a $3 million build-out allowance. And it’s with any builder they want, though that is usually taken as a credit at closing.
That’s $24 million to be surrounded by your own life tapestry.
Completed in 2013, the building will soon be 50% sold, according to Steve Sandborg, Managing Director, Sales and Operations. Thus he felt it was time to offer up the most prized unit in the entire building and give it a price tag.
“We knew we had a superior location, a masterfully designed piece of architecture and a service program that would differentiate us,” says Sandborg. “But you never really know how smart all the planning is until you see who actually buys and gives you feedback on their experience over time. Now we really understand the personality of the building, the people to whom it appeals, and how they want to live. Plus, our audience is much more international than we originally envisioned. So we think the time is right to talk about our truly unique penthouse.”
The penthouse is a shell, which means concrete floor and no walls or finish out, leaving it up to the buyer to create their own space. And to help prospective buyers envision the potential finish out of the Penthouse, the Museum Tower team hired Architectural Interior designer Paul Duesing to bring it to life with these conceptual plans and renderings.
This is not unusual: recently I toured Terri Coxes’ listing at 4205 Lakeside Drive, a grand home I would not touch, but understand that when wealthy buyers plunk several million on a property, they like to personalize a home and get it just right. So Terri brought in More Design & Build to create a rendering of various changes in the home.
Duesing, a design genius who has shaped the experience at some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, has brought a modernist approach to the crisp contemporary anatomy of the space. As you might imagine, he orients all possible spaces toward the vistas, utilizes rare and exquisite materials and finishes, and provides multiple dining and seating areas for many styles of entertaining and enjoyment.
Though Museum Tower HAS a fabulous pool, it’s 42 stories down. I asked Steve if you could personalize the penthouse even more with a private pool or spa. He said yes, of course you could put a swimming pool in, in certain locations. (Can you imagine a party up here?)
About the only thing you cannot put in a helipad, probably.
Sales for all Dallas luxury condos were slow from the recession until about a year and a half ago, when, as agents tell me, a light-bulb went off and the real estate market went steroidal. That’s when all Dallas luxury high rise sales picked up, even at the tip top of the high end. According to analysis done six months ago, in 2014 Museum Tower had 67% of the reported condo market sales in Dallas over $2 million.
Who are these buyers? From Dallas or out of town?
“Half and half,” says Steve. “Museum Tower is getting the benefit of executives and entrepreneurs coming to Dallas as their corporate footprint is increasing here, and also high level executive relocation. We have specifically been going after that market.”
But he also tells me the units are selling to a large number of empty nesters coming from the three Ps: Park Cities, Preston Hollow and Plano.
Who is going to spend $24 million on the highest, most expensive penthouse in Dallas?