Earlier today, Dallas attorney Tom Luce abruptly resigned as the mediator in the dispute between Museum Tower and the Nasher Sculpture Center. This afternoon, Dallas Police and Fire Pension System administrator Richard Tettamant quickly released a lengthy letter to Museum Tower's homeowners, assuring them that DPFP's shiniest project remains on track. A copy of the letter was also sent to the media.
"We want to assure you that this in no way will slow down our progress toward a solution in the reflection issue," he wrote. "We have a team of experts working every day and we are hopeful that we will find a solution soon."
Tettamant writes that a tower of some kind has been proposed on the spot where Museum Tower stands for at least 30 years. During the 2010 groundbreaking, he says, "Nasher officials and the city of Dallas officials joyously participated" in the ceremonies.
He adds that a formal study of the reflection issue began as soon as the Nasher notified them of the problem. The solutions they've looked at, he says, "include nanotechnology so advanced that it currently exists only in a military application in a war zone."
Moreover, Tettamant writes, "noted horticulturalist Scott Ogden" has surveyed the Nasher's garden and found it "beautiful and thriving with the exception of the grass ... According to Mr. Ogden, there is no evidence of any environmental impact on the garden from reflected light." He adds that DPFP has offered to replace any landscaping that the Nasher can prove was damaged by reflection.
Tettamant concludes by calling Museum Tower "a beautiful project," one that was specifically designed to complement "the world-class aesthetics of the Arts District." (Those of you waiting for the words "world-class" may now take a shot.)
"We're bringing homeowners and gracious living to the heart of Dallas," Tettamant concludes. "We created hundreds of jobs at a critical time when jobs were badly needed, and the project will contribute millions in new tax revenue for the City of Dallas. Museum Tower is an important project for Dallas and a project we are all proud of."
Meanwhile, City Council member and DPFP trustee board member Scott Griggs told us that Luce's resignation is "two huge steps back. We need to make a giant leap forward." He said the two parties "need to stop wrestling and start dancing. The pension system and the tower can be great partners. This is a critical moment for this project. We need to get past the egos and the blame game. Our interest should be to make the Arts District and the Nasher whole while selling homes."
Tettamant's letter is reprinted in full below.