Four Months After the Old Dallas High School Went on the Market, It's Under Contract

croziertech1.jpg
Below, in yesterday's item about Dallas ISD finding a buyer for Davy Crockett, a Friend of Unfair Park brought up another historically designated city landmark: the old Dallas High School (or Main High School or Bryan Street High School or, most recently, Crozier Tech) at Pearl and Bryan, which opened in 1908. No need to recap the sad tale of that boarded-up structure; we've done plenty of that in years past. But long story short: Los Angeles-based investor Robert Yu bought the building in '99 for $6.1 mil with the intention of razing the Lang-and-Witchell building, only to have the city designate it as a historic landmark. And after much legal wrangling, Yu vowed to hold on to it for generations just to spite the city. Or so the story went.

But in April, Realtor Newt Walker told us: Yu has decided to part with the oldest remaining DISD high school after all. The time, Walker said, was right: "There's a lot of activity going on in the inner-city, in Uptown. ... I told him, 'If you're going to do something with it, now's the time.'" In April, Walker had yet to put a price tag on the property. Says on LoopNet that it's going for $15 million, which is about $8 mil more than its DCAD valuation; around what the Statler sold for ... and almost the exact same thing Yu asked for the property once before, when preservationists didn't think he was really serious about selling.

This time, though, not so much: Word is the building's under contract, which Walker confirms. When asked about a certain potential buyer whose name has surfaced, the Realtor won't confirm or deny. And, no, it's not an out-of-town investor with an unproven track record; quite the opposite on all fronts. But until we reach this certain buyer (or his son, cough), we'll hold off. Walker also says the would-be sale price isn't as high as the asking price.

"It'll be an adaptive reuse of the old building," Walker says, should the deal go through. Maybe there'll be a museum -- definitely some retail and housing, he says, "given its spot on the DART line. But we're under contract."

Update: Michael Jackson -- vice president at Wynne/Jackson and son of Plaza of the Americas developer Clyde Jackson -- confirms: "We have it under contract and have a lot of work in front of us. We're excited about the location. We like the site. My dad's father went to school there, and we drive by it every day. Since my dad built Plaza, he's been driving past it since the '70s and has been trying to figure out what to do with it.

"We are working in association with Ken Hughes, who did Mockingbird Station. We like to joke are the largest TOD developer in Dallas, because Plaza of the Americas is on Pearl, and now Ken's involved. There's been quite a bit of interest from some users, so we'll try to piece it together and see what we can do." He says it'll "be a while" before they close, and reiterates: "We have a lot of work to do." But, he adds, "We plan on working closely with Crozier Tech alumni association." More to come, sooner than later.

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31 comments
Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

When I get old and senile, I am going to have every school I went to be designated a historical landmark just so I can impede progress and have warm, memorable, nostalgia trips at the expense of the other 99 percent of the population.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

You mean you aren't old and senile already, with an attitude like that?

Casual Observer
Casual Observer

Did they have any history classes where you went to school?  If they did, maybe you missed the part about preserving our history for future generations.  That includes a few old buildings.  Dallas has already torn down some of the most wonderful building ever constructed in this city in the name of progress (most are now parking lots), why not preserve the few that are left?

Sam
Sam

Sorry Yakuza, this is a legitimate landmark. Do you really think it's a good idea to bulldoze the first big high school in Dallas?  Take your wrecking ball to 'burbs, nobody will care about those...

Laura Davis, AIA
Laura Davis, AIA

Fantastic news!  I'm an architect in Dallas. Back in 1997, while in college at Texas A&M one of my design studios did an extensive project on designing adaptive reuse options for that building. I've been in love with the building ever since. It sounds like the future owners have good intentions for the property.  Can't wait to see what they come up with.

Ricardo
Ricardo

I went to school there when it was the Business Magnet School, back in 1983. Only went there for 6 weeks, until I found out about Arts Magnet. :-)  It's a beautiful building, inside and out. My mother and aunt also went there when it was Crozier Tech. It would make a wonderful museum!

 Jim Bob Guthrie
Jim Bob Guthrie

I'm thinking Harlan Crow, son of Trammel. 

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

DMN article says it's Michael Jackson

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Just talked to Michael, son of Plaza of the Americas developer Clyde. Look at the original item, with an update.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

If it was closer to the Trinity River I'd guess repair and storage facility for the solar powered water taxis.

But since it's not, my guess is probably multifamily, like Fram built by the West End, only with less retail space.

William Addington
William Addington

Oh does Dallas latest developer darling  Leobardo Trevino have a developing son?

Or the new 1401 Elm Street developer have a son?

Rooster
Rooster

Just goes to show that even rich investor dudes don't usually let $15 million of their money remain mad forever.

William Addington
William Addington

Somebodies son huh....could it be JR's Son? 

After all he has to win back the families good name or at least that's what the TNT Dallas trailer suggested.

ELD
ELD

As long as they don't tear it down I'll be happy with anything they put in that space. 

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

They can't tear it down -- it's a protected property via its historic designation. Which is what got Yu so angry in the first place -- because it wasn't designated till after he bought it.

Thelawwon
Thelawwon

But the city had already started the designation process and Yu and his consultants knew that when purchasing it. 

Jay
Jay

A bit like selling gas leases for millions of dollars then refusing to issue drilling permits.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

No, that's not how it rolls or fracks as they say.

jamal
jamal

"...or his son" you say?  Hmm.  Sounds like Wai -Wize is about to land another IT servicing contract.

Casual Observer
Casual Observer

Maybe they will put a Trader Joe's there!

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

There should be a Trader Joe's, H&M and In & Out Burger there.

Casual Observer
Casual Observer

Too bad they won't be able to dig a tunnel to it so you don't have to walk out in the heat.   I am sure that Mary Shum will be the first to pass out umbrellas to everyone walking in the heat.  Maybe there's grant money available somewhere?

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