So, Come On, Does the L.A.-Based Owner of the Old Dallas High School Really Want to Sell

Categories: News
PIC_Crozier-Tech-1.jpg
On and off, the old Dallas High School has been on Preservation Dallas's most-endangered list.
OK, fair warning: This is going to be one in a series of items over the next couple of days dealing with Crozier Tech (or, as long-timers know it, the 103-year-old city-designated landmark Dallas High School or Central High School) on Bryan Street. It's been cropping up in the comments quite a bit lately, and despite a legal agreement between the ownership and the city hashed out during several legal proceedings in recent years, it remains a point of contention due to code-violation complaints First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers deals with to this very day.

We'll get to those later -- records are still being pulled. But as Bowers tells Unfair Park, most of those complaints deal with the wood having fallen off one of the windows -- usually, he says, because of the homeless sneaking inside to squat during cold-weather months. And they're always dealt with swiftly: A complaint comes in, the City Attorney's Office calls the local rep for the L.A. owner, and repairs are made. Judge's orders.

But, first thing's first: Will Robert Yu, who bought the campus from the DISD in 1999 for $6.1 million, ever sell the property, perhaps the most premium acreage in all of downtown -- on a DART stop, in the Arts District, a gateway to downtown? His attorney, Barry Knight at Winstead, says Yu's actively pursuing a sale -- has been for years. "It's on the market and continues to be on the market," he tells Unfair Park. Efforts to reach Chan-Hwa Yao, who's got the listing, have been unsuccessful thus far.

But people familiar with the building claim Yu and his reps don't really want to sell; asks Bowers, "Where's the for-sale sign on the side?" And there have been myriad offers made on the property in recent years -- among them, Bowers says, one from the House of Blues.

"We get asked about it all the time -- people wanting to build a museum, residential developments, office space," says Preservation Dallas exec director Katherine Seale. "And no one ever gets anywhere on it. I don't know if it's really for sale, they don't want it to sell or if this is just to spite the community that tried to save it. But you've got to wonder. It's not for lack of interest or request."

This much is certain: Yu will never develop the property himself. He bought it in 1999 to scrape it and sell it to a developer. Says Knight, "He's more in the real estate land business than vertical development, [and] if there's a fair offer, they will consider it."

You've been warned: one in a series. Next: How this happened.
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