Real Estate

Dallas Police & Fire Pension Fund Says it Has "Several" Offers to Buy Museum Tower

Every month, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System's board of trustees convenes at the break of dawn for its regular meeting. On a scale of exciting-ness, that meeting usually ranks somewhere between scrubbing the mold from one's bathroom tiles and looking at the photo album my aunt used to keep of her lawn. At the first sign of anything interesting taking place -- namely, any mention of Museum Tower -- the board immediately goes into closed session and kicks everybody out of the room.

That's exactly what happened again today, on the heels of a piece last week in the Morning News reporting that the project may have an interested buyer, namely developer Jack Matthews. After approximately 700 years of bickering with the neighboring Nasher Sculpture Center about light, heat bouncing from the shiny tower, the pension fund may have an out, if they choose to take the offer.

Pension fund administrator Richard Tettamant wouldn't say much to us about the Matthews bid, apart from confirming that it's "one of several" they're considering.

"Everything the pension fund owns is for sale if the right offer comes in," Tettamant said. "Our role is to invest, build them, and when the time comes, sell 'em."

Despite the sales offers, Tettamant said, "We still have a team of scientists looking at solutions." As he spoke, he glanced occasionally over my shoulder at WFAA reporter Brett Shipp, who showed up at the meeting with a camera guy in tow. Shipp cheerily stalked the halls with a large, fuzzy microphone, trying without success to get an on-camera interview with the board chairman George Tomasovic, who appeared to be trying to avoid him. Meanwhile, the pension fund's lawyer told DMN reporter Steve Thompson, a little irritably, that it would be "inappropriate and stupid" to answer questions about anything that was discussed in the closed session.

It was all tremendously entertaining. Best board meeting in months, really.

Meanwhile, the pension fund and Museum Tower's marketing folks also continue to be tight-lipped with the reporter hordes about just how many condos in the building have sold thus far. MT spokeswoman Rebecca Shaw told us today that that number is "several." (We also just got a press release from the Museum Tower public relations team, telling us that a new realty firm has been hired, Briggs Freeman Sotheby's, as part of the building's "2013 strategic plan.")

Tettamant said that the board should have a "plan of action" by February's meeting. Can't hardly wait.