What Makes Schutze Happy? Easy: The Promise of Affordable Housing in Downtown Dallas.

Categories: Schutze
atmosbuilding.jpg
Noah Jeppson
Just came from that joint meeting of the Downtown Connection Tax Increment Financing District board and Downtown Dallas Development Authority (please don't ask me what any of that means), and I am happy to report that Ted and Larry Hamilton's Atmos Center project is a go, with, matter of fact, tons of affordable housing units in it.

I will be reporting on this in more detail in my column next week. I need the weekend to rest up my writing muscles before I attack the task of explaining to readers what a "Downtown Connection TIF board" is. For now, just think of it as some kind of official City Hall type of a thing.

The bottom line is that this project, a restoration of a cluster of old buildings toward the east end of downtown, will finally bring a bunch of apartments on-line that working people will be able to afford to live in.

You may not remember, but last summer I sent my intern, University of Dallas student Elliot Kaiser, out into downtown to see if he could rent a cheap apartment. He could not, of course, because there weren't any, in spite of millions of dollars in state and federal tax subsidy poured into downtown renovations over the last couple decades.

The experience was humiliating and insulting for Elliot, which pleased me, because my object, of course, was to prepare him for a career in journalism.

Anyway, more on this later. It's good news for downtown.

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19 comments
Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

Subsidized Housing. Rent Control. Ugh.

I don't like the Government picking winners and losers. If you can't afford a nice downtown apartment then try a little harder, get some new skills, or live somewhere else.

It is the same as the Government randomly giving money to people with red hair or people who are named Steve.

Terrible Idea. There is a ton of potential for corruption. I'll bet some of EBJ's grandchildren somehow wind up with some of these "affordable" housing units.

Schutze, I'm on board with you about 94% of the time. This time, you are way off base. It reminds me of being back in NYC with people making 100K a year and somehow having a $350/month rent controlled apartment - a total scam.

Amberdiann
Amberdiann

This piece was obviously written by someone who doesn't live in downtown.

As a downtown resident I can assure you that there is more than ample affordable housing for tenants that make less than 20k a year. In fact, my building only has the "downtown housing" available.

Paying 1/3 of what I do for the same space simply because you're a broke intern hardly seems fair. Moreover, if Dallas wants their resident base to grow, they should really consider who they cater to in the housing world. Someone who makes 20k or someone who makes 80k... Only one of those groups will be a regular at Charlie Palmers....

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

I'm interested in what data you're using to come to the conclusion that any form of subsidized housing is good. Without federal housing dollars, we'd have a whole lot of unemployed prosecutors with no public corruption cases to try.

Buckeye
Buckeye

Will these be the young, beautiful, denizens that Dallas wants oh so badly. You know, the ones that walk down the city street all happy - carrying in one arm a bag of groceries with a baguette sticking out the top and in the other arm a bouquet of fresh flowers or a good bottle of wine. World class city at last.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

so are we saying that the $30k millionaire can actually afford to live downtown now?

Jacob
Jacob

Very exciting! Maybe once these are leased we can see some 'working people' retail move into downtown.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Yippee! Great news. The League of Women Voters of Dallas has been studying Dallas's use of TIFS for economic development for the past year and the one thing that really stood out in the public forums on the issue was the failure of the Economic Developmentt Department to require far more affordable housing in TIF project plans. Maybe this is the beginning of a sea change? Or am I being way too optimistic?

Cad
Cad

The huge point that your missing, the "subsidized housing" requirements only apply if you take the feds monies!!!!! Nobody is holding a gun to the City of Dallas' head making them take the money for these downtown buildings. They made the choice = honor the requirements = ITS FEDERAL LAW!!!

Once again, another eternal igmo speaking out of turn with zero knowledge of what he is talking about.

cp
cp

Nobody can afford to live on $20k, unless maybe you don't have a car- which means that you're need to live in a neighborhood that's either accessible my rail.... or in downtown. Or you need to have four roommates. Or you have a trust fund secreted away and you're really just slumming it with the masses.

Sorry, but if you make $20k a year, then you probably are a broke intern.

Also, people who make $80k are living in the suburbs or in homes in nicer, safer inner communities in Dallas. The problem with getting people into downtown is that it has to be a draw. It's too easy to buy (or rent) a four-bedroom house in a nice part of Richardson, with a yard, in good a school district, with lower taxes, etc., etc., etc. So if downtown really wants warm bodies, then it should probably offer more to the broke interns bringing home $325 a week.

Guest
Guest

"Paying 1/3 of what I do for the same space simply because you're a broke intern hardly seems fair. "

Giving taxpayer money to private developers so they can build solely higher-end housing doesn't seem fair to me.

Raymond Who
Raymond Who

Wouldn't the world be a wonderful place if everyone could afford to be a "regular" at Charlie Palmers? Thank your lucky stars if you count yourself as a Charlie Palmer regular, and please be tolerant of those of us who cannot even afford to walk through the door.

Amberdiann
Amberdiann

Forgot to mention....

The Davis BuildingThe DPL1900 Elm All have downtown affordable housing available.

The Wilson and Kirby might too

Ray Who
Ray Who

You've heard, no doubt, of the City's efforts to create "complete streets"..........now, they will be making Downtown Dallas a "complete community" which it has not been up until this precedent setting approval for this project. I hope this is the very beginning of a "sea change" that will spread like wildfire, bringing people of every type to live in the City.

Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

Right, moron. I'm saying every program regarding "affordable housing" should be eliminated. The US is broke and these programs end up being scams and a waste of money.

Amberdiann
Amberdiann

I deeply apologize for making it seem as though I didn't agree with all affordable housing. I love having the diversity that downtown housing affords.

My real point is that (contrary to the article) there are available affordable units in some great buildings off Main. To insinuate there is anything less is disingenuous.

CAD
CAD

You are completely ignorant of the true facts, its not even worth educating you.

Guest
Guest

When projects like these fail to get state or federal money, though, they tend to just not happen at all.

Not sure why the economics of such properties are apparently impossible without government money.

Cad
Cad

Once again, you are still so ignorant of the true facts, its not worth educating you. But I will suggest, you let the rubber meet the road and go find out in person what the truth really is!!!!!!

Then come back with an unbiased report. You will change your story very quickly, and yes, we will excuse your ignorance.

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