Really great interview of John Goff by Candace Carlisle of the DBJ here — she grabbed a drink at the Ritz (Ritzy!) with Crescent chairman and CEO after touring that stunning new 20-story, 530,000-square-foot office and retail tower going up across the street from the Ritz at McKinney and Olive. Goff says it’s “very “sexy,” and will bring a whole new level of office product to Uptown. The only thing I wished she would have asked him, is how he felt about losing his mentor, Richard Rainwater. Otherwise, she poked a lot and got some great news, including a question about the Eagle Mountain lake property where the auction was recently called off.
Goff told Candace he is looking for his next land site, and that he will likely “hold for the long haul”. Among his other thoughts on Texas real estate, the energy industry and film production:
We are always looking for great sites. When you think about it, we owned this site for 15 years before developing it. I love to buy great tracts of land and sit on them. We have two wonderful tracts in downtown Houston and we have been sitting on them for a comparable period of time.
On lower oil prices: There won’t be that much impact in Dallas. I would say on the margin there might be a little, but Dallas has really diversified itself from really being dependent on the price of oil. Houston is a different story. Houston has hit the pause button, I would say. I’m bullish long-term on oil so the family office is very focused exclusively on the oil business. I don’t buy into the Goldman Sachs theses of $20 a barrel oil. They could be right, but long-term — they will be wrong.
How involved is he in recruiting new talent to Dallas? I am very involved whenever one of the mayors call and wants me to have dinner with someone interested in the Metroplex. I show up on a moment’s notice and that happens relatively frequently.
On auctioning off (or selling) the Eagle Mountain Lake home: It is sad. We love the property and we had so many good times there. We decided to go this auction process because it’s sometimes hard to bring attention to a property that’s not in an inner city and is in a destination like that.
On how many houses he owns:
We are just long on houses. I’d rather not say. We have homes in Cabo and Colorado and we travel a lot.
On investing in another movie (John and Cammy financed the Secret Life of Albert Nobbs, the documentary Unbranded, among other great films): We are invested in another film that’s to be announced and we’re working on another venture, but it’s too early to say what it is. I would say there are some interesting things to do in that industry, but it’s fraught with peril.