Around the same time the folks at the Hard Rock Cafe were showing local media the new Victory Park digs, Hillwood was handing over the development's keys to US Treuhand -- the German investors who, back in March, warned that Ross Perot Jr.'s company was in danger of defaulting on a $185 million loan. In April, Hillwood acknowledged that, yes, it was giving up control of Victory Park, and that it would instead only manage the ghost town surrounding the American Airlines Center. And now, three months later, it's official: Unfair Park has obtained an e-mail Perot sent to Hillwood employees yesterday in which he acknowledged, "As of today, July 6, Hillwood has transitioned the ownership of the buildings at Victory Park to our partner, UST XVI Corporation."
Dustee Tucker, who was spokesperson for Victory Park, confirms that Perot sent the e-mail. But Tucker, who remains spokesperson for Hillwood, then directed any further questions we had concerning the development to a UST spokesman in Orlando, Florida. He was not available when we called this morning.
The rest of Perot's e-mail follows.
This transaction is a logical next step in the development of Victory Park and will allow our partner to build upon the foundation that Hillwood created as the project matures. Hillwood will continue to manage the project and will remain the majority owner of the undeveloped land at Victory Park.
I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this project and helped lead our efforts to transform an abandoned rail yard into a premiere destination for the City of Dallas. Hillwood can be proud of what it has accomplished. Victory Park welcomes more than 2.5 million visitors each year and has generated more than 9,000 jobs and increased the annual tax revenue for the City of Dallas from $300,000 to over $15 million per year. Victory Park received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Phoenix Award for environmental clean-up and many other awards related to excellence in architecture and development.
As one of the nation's leading developers, our focus remains on bringing added value to the communities, neighborhoods, and people we serve.