Dallas ISD Trustees Balk at Purchasing Downtown Tower CFO Just Found on Google

1910Pacific.jpg
Consolidating Dallas ISD's administrative departments, currently sprawled across 32 buildings in various states of disrepair, is a no-brainer. Putting them in a $13 million downtown office tower, as district administrators are proposing, is probably as good an option as any.

Trustees just aren't sure that doing so one week after finding the property on the Internet is such a good idea.

"I did a Google search for buildings larger than 300,000 square feet, and there were only two that were on the market," DISD CFO James Terry explained to the board on Thursday night. With 350,000 square feet, the tower at 1910 Pacific Ave. was the cheapest.

Terry wasn't asking trustees to approve the purchase of the building, just $200,000 in earnest money to allow the district to perform due diligence and negotiate with the current owner, but that did little to quell the skepticism of five of the nine board members.

Pressed by a skeptical Carla Ranger on the "impetus of the Google search," Terry cited a weeks-old facilities assessment showing administrative buildings are in worse shape than schools and in need of more than $219 million in repairs.

Given the current real estate market, Terry advised that trustees strike while the iron is hot.

"If we were to build a building of that type from the scratch down, you're talking in the neighborhood of something over $90 million dollars," he said. "No, we're not in a recession but we just came out of a recession, and the assessed value of property was [up] 2 percent [last year], the current fiscal year was 5 percent, and I predict the increase in the assessed value will continue to rise. The opportunity that I perceive now will not be available to you again until the next downturn or the next cycle."

But again: Google. Last week.

"I feel like this is getting a bit ahead of ourselves," trustee Elizabeth Jones said. There should be a study fully evaluating options for addressing the woeful state of the district's administrative offices. The board postponed a decision on the $200,000 in earnest money until Superintendent Mike Miles gives them a full briefing.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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17 comments
mcdallas
mcdallas

Has anyone asked about the cost of moving all their technology infrastructure?  I'm just saying... it'd have to be in the millions.

B1ng
B1ng

Think of all of the contracts that would be lost. All those new buildings that won't be needed to replace the old. All the repairs that won't have to be done.

duanewmurphy
duanewmurphy

Ya'll Know this is to good, and smart of an idea for DISD to act upon it. After all if it makes logical sense, Chances are someone is not lining their pockets, therefore It ain't gonna happen. Besides why would a  Dallas government  entity move all those people into one conveniently located building and help bolster the economic trade downtown?? Remember it's the right thing to do ...so it ain't going to happen! 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

$219 Million is a lot of deferred maintenance.  Doesn't DISD do any maintenance at all or do they wait for a bond program in order to replace a piece of broken glass or fix a doorknob.


I remember one local news spot from a bond program several years ago where the reporters were pointing out a loose handrail on a portable building stairs.  I wanted to know why DISD doesn't have someone with a hammer and some nails.

Z0RR0
Z0RR0

that picture is of 1700 pacific...

RichGans
RichGans

Google is a legit way to find most any property for sale out there.

Every building is being snatched up, and all the dart lines runs through downtown which makes it great for public access. This no vote is a head scratcher.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

It's worth a look and smarter to consolidate everyone to one location. Selling the other properties could help offset the purchase price.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

"Consolidating Dallas ISD's administrative departments, currently sprawled across 32 buildings in various states of disrepair, is a no-brainer."

"various states of disrepair,???? 

Don't get them something "Nice"! They haven't shown a willingness take care of the Buildings they already own .

Would it really be smart to allow  these folks to have a high rise building  with banks of Elevators ? 

How soon until everyone is using the Stairs ?


They could Cube Farm some of the Brand new empty warehouses in the I-30 Westmorland area in OAK CLIFF. And be done with it .

fredgarvinmp713
fredgarvinmp713

I see nothing wrong with this.

This was just a preliminary search for properties. As he's said, they're not going to purchase it today just based on this search.

When were looking for an investment property outside of Austin, our lawyer was googling relevant info as we talked over the phone. Google maps is a great way to say,"Are you ok being right next to a shopping center, busy highway?", etc. without wasting a flight down.

joecook
joecook

The building is a lot cheaper than repairs. I think this might make sense, but wouldn't DISD need a parking garage-or something?

mcdallas
mcdallas

On second thought: please don't ask about the cost of moving the IT infrastructure.  I'll be working on incorporating a small business with cash kickbacks to ensure that I get all the contracts.  cha-ching!

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

@RichGans It's not a head scratcher when you consider how ignorant, car-dependent and downtown-phobic so many people are.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

@joecook Not with a DART station one street over. I park at Market Center and take the Green or Orange line to that same station every single day, just like thousands of others. Those who want to pay for parking can do so at the various public garages nearby.

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

It's $80 and most employers pay for part or all of it. My last employer paid 100% of a yearly pass. My current employer pays $65 of the monthly pass. Still vastly cheaper than paying for parking on my own.

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