Museum Tower will be opening in January 2013, and it will be "iconic," "world-class" and "environmentally responsible," says the full-page ad we were just sent from Barbara Buzzell, who handles the building's PR. Anyone who finds themselves worried about the tower's ongoing dispute with its Arts District neighbors can probably just quit that right now, it further suggests.
The letter, which also appears today as a full-page ad on the back page of the Dallas Morning News' business section, seems to be aimed at soothing any would-be owners of the building's million-dollar condos. Sources familiar with the operations of the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System (DPFP), which owns the project, told us in late August that hardly any of the condos have sold. We were also told that several buyers have backed out of their agreements, frightened by the prospect of potential litigation between the Nasher Sculpture Center and DPFP.
The letter from Buzzell says that Museum Tower's design plans were "open for comprehensive public review and approved by the City of Dallas" prior to construction, adding: "Museum Tower is in compliance with every city code. However, it's not uncommon for bold projects like Museum Tower to encounter an unexpected issue or two, and they are invariably solved."
The letter goes on to say that DPFP has hired a team of experts who are testing "the most promising potential solutions." About those solutions: our sources have told us about a few ideas, all of which involved changes to Museum Tower's property or a barrier between the building and the Nasher.
But in a newsletter article last month, George Tomasovic, chairman of DPFP's board of trustees, seemed to be arguing that the onus lies with the Nasher to fix the problem.
"A simple solution would be to shade or make a modest, and from their visitors' experience, an almost invisible change to the design of the roof skylights of the Nasher," he wrote. "For some reason, that seems to be out of the question. It has been done in other cities with [Renzo] Piano designed roofs, because of similar reflectivity issues."
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The ad invites would-be condo owners to visit Museum Tower's website, which still prominently features photos of the Nasher. For a sunnier viewpoint than ours, you can look at the Buzzell Company's list of articles about the property,
none of which date any later than 2009. Correction: Buzzell Company just emailed to point out that there are more current articles on Museum Tower's own site, including one published by WFAA in February of this year. In it, a co-developer of the project, Greg Greene, says the tower has "a massive wow factor. Imagine waking up to this every morning."
We stand corrected.