Why, After All This Time, Has L.A.-Based Owner of Old Dallas High School Decided To Sell?

Old Dallas High 9.26.05 006.jpg
Photo by Barry Kooda
While writing all those items about the old Dallas High School (or Crozier Tech) at the beginning of 2010, and long after, I heard, time and again, the same thing: The owner will never, ever sell. Those with whom I spoke -- city officials, preservationists, even those who worked for Los Angeles-based owner Robert Yu -- insisted Yu still holds a grudge against the city for landmarking the Lang-and-Witchell-designed building in 1999, a year after he'd bought it for $6.1 million with the intention of razing the century-old centerpiece and replacing it with a mall of some kind.

Realtor Newt Walker says he's never heard those stories. But, sure, he could understand why Yu might hold a grudge: "What he bought is not what he ended up with," Walker tells Unfair Park. "If I were in his shoes, I would be challenged by the new status, and I don't think I'd be very happy." Walker says the city "effectively eminent domained" Yu. But that was a long time ago.

"And time cures a lot of things," Walker says when explaining why now, after all these years, Yu has decided to sell Dallas High School, better known as Crozier Tech. For how much the building will be offered, Walker doesn't want to say -- because, in large part, he's not yet sure who the customer is. At this very moment, as a matter of fact, he's stepping into the office of architect Larry Good to take a look at plans Good showed Unfair Park more than a year ago -- ones that would transform the six-acre campus into an office-residential-retail complex while highlighting its historic elements.

"I am doing due diligence to determine what can you do with the structure," Walker says. "No one has professionally evaluated what it can become. Once we know what it can become, or what can't be done, that gives you a clear direction as to who the logical owner would be and what kind redevelopment can be done."

I asked Walker: Why is Yu selling now? His answer: The time's never been better.

"In the last 45 days this market has changed," he says. "It's shifted. There's a lot of activity going on in the inner-city, in Uptown. Were doing a lot of deals right now, and it seems like there's a lot of interest and capability, and I told him, 'If you're going to do something with it, now's the time. ...

"Robert's a very professional, smart man who realized: I've been here for 10 years, and we'll all have changes and we're all getting older, so what the hell. Why not list it with someone who can make a difference?"
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13 comments
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Whigginson
Whigginson

I have for many years thought that the building is worth preserving. I do hope that its is redeveloped in a sensitive way.

William Crozier

Guest
Guest

where's the link to the plans that Unfair Park was shown last year?

Rooster
Rooster

I guess a fella can only let his money be mad for so long....

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

What people don't seem to get is that the remaining structure is such a small part of the land. I can see something like St. Anne Court + St. Anne Restaurant in Uptown. Hopefully Larry Good comes up with some inspirational stuff for the broker.

Robert
Robert

One of my aunts graduated from Crozier Tech. The graduation ceremony was at Cobb Stadium.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

I'm sure there will be great interest in purchasing that property...until the prospective buyers realize what an albatross the city will hang around their necks. What is the point of historical designation if it just creates abandoned eyesores like this? Let's admit the social engineering experiment failed and free up a developer to turn this property into something people might actually use.

Edgar A. Guest
Edgar A. Guest

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that; at least no one has ever done it"But he took off his coat and he took off his hat, and the first thing we knew he'd begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, without any doubting or quiddit,He started to sing as he tackled the thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.

LF Taylor
LF Taylor

Inspirational ditties usually fail to inspire the monied - that's why they are that way, and why you aren't.

Colin Alsheimer
Colin Alsheimer

Someone needs to buy and turn it into one of these... brewery / bar / movie theater / hotel http://www.mcmenamins.com/427-...

Erich S
Erich S

Nah, someone will just turn it into condos.

ja
ja

My thoughts exactly since last year when I sipped a few beers over billiards and shuffleboard in the basement of The Kennedy School. The place was/is amazing. Crozier would be great for something similar to it if the powers that be would allow it.

Justin B.
Justin B.

This is a great sign for that area. It makes perfect sense to have some sort of retail/attraction/park/anything right there at the DART Station. If they could develop this into a highly walkable area with some retail/entertainment thrown in, it would make a very nice gateway to the lower area of Downtown. And then when the Spire....ok, that's getting way too ahead

El Rey
El Rey

As Whitney would say, "Hell to the YES!!!"It's about dang time!

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