This morning when I was doing my regularly scheduled RSS blog-reading binge, I noticed this post from D Magazine‘s Tim Rogers, asking just where Museum Tower officials came up with the figures in their recent marketing email:

In 2013, growth in Dallas’ high-rise neighborhoods was truly remarkable. According to MLS there was a 36.4 percent increase in the number of units sold, and a 49.6 percent increase in volume.

Increasing demand for luxury high-rise homes generated a 9.7 percent rise in prices during the same time period. Nearly 25 percent of Museum Tower’s square footage has been claimed by residents with an appreciation for the unconventional and uncompromising.

Tim asks in his FrontBurner post, just where the Museum Tower folks came up with that number? According to his calculations using Dallas Central Appraisal District data, only 13 percent of the Dallas Arts District highrise is actually sold.

Well, we know that DCAD data isn’t always the most current information when it comes to real estate. MLS data is updated every nano-second it seems, so that would seem more pertinent. But regardless, we wanted to know where the figures came from, too. That’s why we asked Barbara Buzzell of the Buzzell Company, Museum Tower’s PR rep, where the marketing information came from. As you might expect, the real explanation is a lot less sensational:

“Not every home at Museum Tower is the same size,” Buzzell explained. “As you may know, we have nine different published floor plans. Because of the many variable home sizes sold, we have released the aggregate amount of saleable square footage sold. That number is nearly 25% of the building’s total saleable square footage.”

Seems logical, especially considering how many different floorplans there are. I’m not a math major (understatement of the decade), but this seems kosher to me, especially considering that Buzzell would have access to the most recent sales figures, which won’t post to DCAD for some time.

So the questions we pose to the Realtors out there in the field: are you showing Museum Tower? Are people buying? How long is the lag time between sales and what is recorded in DCAD — Candy has been told six to eight weeks. And finally, are Museum Tower sales unusually slow for a luxury high-rise condo building priced at just under $1,000 per square foot that has been open for sales now for just one month over a year?

(Full Disclosure: Museum Tower is an advertiser on

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The tweet from the New York Times twitter feed says it all.

The saga over Museum Tower has officially become a national news story. One can only wonder if this is the result of Nasher architect Renzo Piano making good on his threat to “make trouble” for the owners of the high-rise condo development?

No one quite knows what to do. The condo developer and museum officials are at loggerheads. Fingers are being pointed. Mr. Piano is furious. The developer’s architect is aggrieved. The mayor is involved. A former official in the George W. Bush administration has been asked to mediate.

Sounds like things are heating up (pun intended!). Stay tuned …


Tom Luce, managing director and founding partner of Dallas law firm Hughes & Luce, has agreed to be the go-between as the Nasher Sculpture Center and Museum Tower look to find a solution to their very, very hot problem.

According to KERA’s Art+Seek blog, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund, which owns the $200M Museum Tower, asked Luce to come on board. Here’s what Luce said:

“The Nasher Sculpture Center and the Museum Tower and the developers have jointly asked me to serve as facilitator to resolve all the open issues between the parties.  And they have affirmed to each other and to me that they want to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.  They have asked to help them do that and I’m pleased to undertake the mission.”

Italian architect Renzo Piano designed the very sensitive roof of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

If you’ve already read Tim Rogers’ May D Magazine cover story, you’ll know that this isn’t the first time that the Nasher and Museum Tower have tried to sort out their differences. Here’s how Rogers retells it:

At some point, Strick had had enough. He pushed back his chair and stood up. “As far as we’re concerned, you guys created the problem,” he said. Strick is a soft-spoken man of enormous restraint. He’d clearly hit the breaking point. “It’s your problem to fix. We’re not going to touch our building. We’re not going to study a solution on our side. That’s the end of the discussion.”

Rogers offers some follow-up to the story, in which Nasher architect Renzo Piano says he’ll make some trouble for Museum Tower if they don’t do something to rectify the impact on his creation.

Here’s what I want to know: What do you think is the best solution to the problem? Do you think Piano could win if this goes to court?