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Workers Reach to Terror Suspect Arrest

September 28, 2009

Dallas building managers react to terrorist threat
Dallas Business Journal - by Kerri Panchuk

Property managers in downtown Dallas quickly implemented emergency procedures at the buildings they manage this week after learning federal agents had thwarted a potential terrorist threat at the Fountain Place skyscraper in Dallas' Central Business District.

Property managers say their quick reaction is the result of emergency procedures that were put into place after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City back in 2001.

Shane Baggett, senior property manager with Comerica Bank Tower, said downtown has had an emergency response team in place for eight years.

"Dallas was really ahead of the curve," he said. "After 9/11 we put in extensive procedures."

After learning a suspect had been arrested for conspiring to plant explosives at Fountain Place in downtown Dallas, Baggett said the Comerica building closed a main gate located at the top of the building's parking entrance. The closed gate prevented visitors from entering the building without first making contact with security.

Baggett says the building already had significant security measures in place, including a policy in which all elevators are locked down at 6:30 p.m.

Baggett was not alone in heightening security procedures this week.

Dan Yates, regional manger of the Gaedeke Group — a firm with four properties in Uptown — sent a memo to all of his company’s tenants and property managers, advising them to review the federal terrorism alert levels, to update their buildings’ lists and to remain on high alert looking for anything suspicious.

Yates said property managers charged with protecting tenants and visitors need to consider whether they have “movers and shakers” in their buildings — since well-known people and businesses are more likely to become targets.

Yates said while security measures will be revisited at all properties including the four buildings his company has in Uptown, he believes this heightened state of awareness has been in place since 9/11.

Gaedeke’s property porfolio includes the following Uptown properties: One McKinney Plaza, Oak Lawn Plaza, Regency Plaza and Fitzhugh Central.

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