Fact Checking Museum Tower’s Bold Sales Claim

MuseumTowerOn Friday, I received a marketing email from Museum Tower. The subject: “High Rise on the Rise in Dallas.” The body of the note included the rather handsome image you see here. The message read as follows:

In 2013, growth in Dallas’ high-rise neighborhoods was truly remarkable. According to MLS there was a 36.4 percent increase in the number of units sold, and a 49.6 percent increase in volume.

Increasing demand for luxury high-rise homes generated a 9.7 percent rise in prices during the same time period. Nearly 25 percent of Museum Tower’s square footage has been claimed by residents with an appreciation for the unconventional and uncompromising.

It then offered a link to more information about the tower and an offer to schedule a private showing. I’m not in the market for a high-rise condo. I just bought some new sneakers, so cash is a little tight right now. But something about the wording of that message interested me. What does it mean that “square footage has been claimed by residents”? Have they not actually purchased the space? Is the building so empty that the handful of residents who live there are going around, saying, “I call dibs on the 32 floor!”

I went through the Appraisal District’s records to see what I could find. DCAD lists 119 residential units in Museum Tower. All but 14 of them are owned by Museum Tower. That means about 12 percent of the units have sold. DCAD puts the total value of the 14 sold units at $24,148,610 and the total value of all 119 units at $157,192,430, giving us 15 percent of the appraised value owned by residents. Finally, I added up the square footage of the 14 sold units and arrived at 57,806 square feet. From what Google tells me, Museum Tower has a total of 442,000 square feet of residential space. Percentage of square footage sold: 13.

None of those percentages comes close to the 25 percent referenced in the marketing email. Again, though, I do no know what’s going on over at Museum Tower, with residents running around, “claiming” square footage. Too, it could just be that it takes awhile for DCAD to catch up with the Museum Tower sales force. I’ve asked the tower’s PR representative for an explanation and will pass it along once I get it.

UPDATE (3/5/14): Barbara Buzzell handles PR for Museum Tower. I asked her yesterday for clarification on the whole “claiming” thing. Her response:

Not every home at Museum Tower is the same size. As you may know, we have nine different published floor plans. Because of the many variable home sizes sold, we have released the aggregate amount of saleable square footage sold. That number is nearly 25 percent of the building’s total saleable square footage.

I replied with a link to this blog post and asked whether I’d gotten any of my numbers wrong. I haven’t yet heard back from her.