Politics & Government

Jim Schutze Is Still Wrong About Museum Tower and Mike Snyder

Gotta give him credit, though. Once he takes a position, he's not afraid to double down on it.

Have you had time yet to read Jim Schutze’s latest banger about Museum Tower and Mike Snyder, or are you still recovering from the New York Times story about the alien invasion? Schutze is good at his job. If you looked at the issues he’s taken a side on, he’s probably batting .800. The whole West Dallas, Khraish Khraish-versus-Mayor Mike Rawlings thing comes to mind. So that’s probably why, when Schutze is wrong, his boneheadedness is so striking. It’s so rarely on display.

Today, Schutze wrote a piece for the Observer about Mike Snyder and the Dallas Morning News and how the paper has it out for him because it was always in the bag for the Nasher in its fight with Museum Tower. It’s complicated. Read Schutze’s post if you haven’t already. Here’s the part that really jumped out at me:

It wasn’t that I thought the pension fund was right or that Museum Tower may not have been too shiny. I’m not a shiny expert. It just pissed me off enormously that nobody in town wanted to let the pension fund talk.

The powers that be were handling the shiny debate the same way they always want to handle anybody who crosses them, by shoving a pillow in the other guy’s face. So it was great to see someone [Snyder, working as a sock puppet] allowing the pension to grab a gasp of air now and then.

Excuse me? Nobody in town wanted to let the pension talk? Schutze means Richard Tettamant, who used to run the pension, before it was raided by the FBI. I let him talk. Steve Thompson at the News let him talk. KERA gave him his space. Those are just the links that jumped to the top of my Google search. The reason the pension was gasping for air is that it had buried itself under a mountain of risky real estate investments. And because the FBI was breathing down their necks. And because it had to eat crow over the sock puppetry stuff. Don’t cry for Mike Snyder.

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Comments

  • RompingWillyBilly

    As I remember it reported on, the Museum Tower was developed after it beat out the proposed Manderin proposed in Victory Park. The sleeping giant of The Crescent then awoke to swat the idea of luxury retail being developed there. Why is the city of Dallas with its crony spending always trying to supplant the Crescent / Harwood districts as the most prime address in the south? The same thing that happened to Victory has also happened to the Dallas Arts District. I think the writing is on the wall. The Crescent has become ground zero in regards to North Texas real estate. Victory Park has recovered because it has accepted itself in the pecking order. In this sense, the Museum Tower was always an illusion erected atop a wasteland of retail. No wonder that it has struggled.

    • Mavdog

      Unless you meant to write “residential” when you wrote “retail”, your entire post is completely off target. And even then it is questionable.

      • RompingWillyBilly

        Look up the original retail that the first developers of Victory Park planned. It was meant to be a luxury retail center. That was a big mistake taking on Ms. Hunt’s Crescent mixed use development. Victory Park is now on its second redevelopment and is succeeding after accepting its place in the pecking order.
        Meanwhile, the Museum Tower isn’t the only development in and around the Art’s District to fall on its nose. Spires has been standing in concrete while Main Street downtown came roaring back to life. That original retail proposed by Spires which was located to the southeast of the Art’s District also was planned to be upscale.
        The lesson learned is don’t take on the area formed by the Crescent and Harwood districts.

        • Mavdog

          You should “separate retail from residential”. They are 2 completely different uses. Shops do not make a city, people do.
          The fact of the matter is The Crescent was, and is, a failure at retail. Absent a couple of moderate performing restaurants it lacks any strong retail dynamic. Pointing to the Crescent as “the sleeping giant” is void of reality. BTW “Ms. Hunt” hasn’t owned the Crescent for almost 20 years. There isn’t retail in the “Harwood district” either, office and residential.
          Victory failed in the initial rollout due to the lack of residential nearby to support the retail space it contained. The location made it destination oriented and Dallas consumers would not get in their cars to patronize the stores or restaurants. That dynamic has completely changed with the added residential in the area.
          Museum Tower is over 80% sold, it has taken too long but to say “fall on its nose’ is inaccurate.

          • RompingWillyBilly

            My point is that tall buldings of office and residential without retail are suburban no matter how tall and dense they are. For example, central Houston when it is contrasted with central Dallas is a glorified office park. The reason why is the amount and quality of retail in Dallas.
            It is news to me that Stanly Korshak is a failure. It takes up about 90% of the retail space in the Crescent.
            Pertaining to North Texas, to Texas itself, and probably to all the south, the area around the Crescent is ground zero.
            Relative to it, Harwood International is a step down in prime and Victory Park another step. Even Preston Center is a step down in prime.
            There is a limited supply of luxury retail to go around. I have no doubt that the area in and around the Crescent is going to continue shooting through the roof as, again, it is fast becoming ground zero for prime in all the south.
            Ms. Hunt had a huge pair of overies. The risk she took was monumental. The Crescent already compares with the old Neiman department store downtown, Preston Center, Highland Park Shopping Center, and NorthPark Center.
            If the Dallas Arts District is trying to compete with it, its going to get its butt kicked.

          • Mavdog

            “The Crescent already compares with the old Neiman department store downtown, Preston Center, Highland Park Shopping Center, and NorthPark Center.”
            My gosh, this is about as ridiculous as it can get, calling it “the old Neiman department store” being the least of your errors. “department store”? seriously?
            Please just stop, you are embarrassing yourself. It is clear you have no clue about where successful retail development exists.

          • RompingWillyBilly

            I am not going to argue with you in this fashion. Ms. Hunt had the bold insight to develope her Crescent during the beginning of the mid eighty downturn in the economy. When ssked about it, she said the area she chose to build existed as a vacuum between downtown Dallas as the urban district for office space and Turtle Creek as the urban district for highrise living. She bought the rights to Stanley Korshak which was a luxury department store based in Chicago. The mixed use development wasn’t built of tilt walled construction or of the cheap building techniques used today. It has been reported that as much granite was used in its construction as was utilized in building the Empire State Building.
            Rather than resort to making empty ad hominem remarks, name a more prime real estate today in the region of North Texas with more potential than the area in and around the Crescent.
            And stating that I am naive about real estate just isn’t true. I remember reading about the nearby Quadrangle shopping center before the building of the Crescent.
            According to Ray Washburn the owner of Highland Park Village, it is Lakewood Shopping Center that is the sleeping giant.
            The Crescent isn’t sleeping. As Ms. Hunt envisioned correctly, it sits at the heart of today’s downtown.

  • Patrick Williams

    Damn straight Jim sticks to his guns. Tomorrow he’s still trying to kill that poor Deep Ellum doggie.

    • Happy Bennett

      Must have the poor dog confused with a historical statue–just doesn’t know when to quit.