Wednesday night was wild. I hosted a party at the Palomar Residences for Costa Baja, a beautiful second home community in La Paz, Mexico on Baja, 1.5 hours north of Cabo. Then I ran off to another party I was hosting, Rockitecture, supporting the Dallas Center for Architecture. DCA is one of the nation’s first centers devoted to uniting architects and promoting good design, community sustainability and other key living-environment issues for today and tomorrow. To put it bluntly: these are the peeps who create the House Porn I need and love to write about. The Dallas Center for Architecture is located at 1909 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Open weekdays to visitors, it delivers an exciting array of architecture-rich exhibits, learning opportunities and special events.

At one of those two events — cannot recall which one — I got some scuttlebutt on Museum Tower. It was not from Steven Sandborg, who was at Rockitecture and is handling MT sales and marketing, though I snagged a date with him to get more dirt. Guess it was from someone at the Costa Baja party. Here’s what I heard: MT does not plan to market the project until it is nearly complete. Though it was premature to start building during a recession, when they did start building, they made the decision to do so because of the considerable costs savings in labor and materials. With so few builders building, you can great deals out of your subs, etc. Materials, with the exception of copper, are also cheaper right now. The developers felt the construction cost savings would be so significant it was worth building during the recession, postponing marketing and sales until we pull out of this downturn. (Soon, fingers crossed.) Of course, if anyone wants to march in and buy a whole floor of Museum Tower at asking price, I am dead sure the developers will take that deposit in a New York minute.

Which is the other rumor I am tracking down: word is that a group of foreigners have snapped up a whole floor of Museum Tower. Stay tuned as I sift through that one. I have confirmed that more buyers are putring units together for even bigger homes in the sky, which is a very good thing. So not only is MT selling, it’s attracting buyers with the big bucks!

Remember when the Wall Street Journal told us crime was so bad in Mexico that even the Mayor of Monterrey, Fernando Larrazabal had fled and re-located his family to the Dallas area? (I found out it was to Las Colinas, and y’all got mad at me. I also found out on a visit to La Paz, Mexico, in November that Sr. Larrazabal wanted to be closer to her family here in North Texas.)¬† Crime there is way out of control; the city is caught in a war between two drug cartels, the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas. A U.S. Federal ICE agent was recently murdered, and the violence could be spreading to the U.S.

I talked with my landscaper, who used to drive through Monterrey on the way home to see his parents in Mexico:  he told me he no longer drives through Mexico.

“It’s terrible,” he says. “My wife, she is afraid. They are killing people in Monterrey every day. EVERY day!”

It’s the drug cartels, he told me, and he blames the Mexican government for not wanting to accept any assistance from the U.S. There have been 350 killings in Monterrey this year, which is the third most populous city in Mexico with 3.7 million people. August 18 the body of the mayor of nearby Santiago,  Edelmiro Cavazos, was found on the outskirts of Monterrey, an industrial center with close U.S. business ties. Two doctoral students have been killed, guests at a Holiday Inn kidnapped, and the cartels killed two bodyguards right in front of a school. Many Americans and even some wealthier Mexican are out of there and ending up in Texas — so in a perverse way, this could be good for our property values.

I still recall the story of a rancher who was kidnapped and held hostage for over a year in a box, beaten, shot, barely fed, all to extort ransom money from his American-born wife. Guess where this happened: San Miguel D’Allende. On the show, the couple, who were both in real estate, said initially they were asked to keep quiet about the kidnapping for fear of the damage it would do the to real estate community.