City Settles With Owner of Land Where It Will Build the "New" Park Forest Library Branch

parkforest.jpg
The present-day Park Forest branch on Forest and Cromwell, which will sit empty once its replacement is built
At some point this morning, the city council will vote to pay something called 11900 Marsh Lane, L.P. out of Houston a little more than $800,000 for a piece of land currently on the tax rolls for around $458,000. That's a piece of property near Marsh and Forest where once stood an apartment complex that burned down. It's also where the city expects to plant the new Park Forest branch of the Dallas Public Library system.

County court records show the city filed suit in December to "exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire property for public libraries and any other municipal purpose." I had First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers on the phone late yesterday about several other issues I'll get to throughout the day, so I asked him about this one. He said the city settled with the owners rather than let the courts decide the case.

He said the city initially offered $700,000 for the property -- "based," he said, "on an independent appraisal the city obtained." He says the owners initially wanted $1,160,000. I asked about the disparity between the DCAD value, the asking price and the city's ultimate cost. He replied: "It's a common complaint that commercial properties -- and multifamily, which this was -- often seems to have values lower than where the marketplace is." You already knew this.

For those not paying attention, the Park Forest branch was one of eight recommended for replacement in the 2001 library master plan, chiefly because its "site selection significantly restricts future expansion options." (Also included: the old Walnut Hill branch, now a rotting vacant building.) And so a replacement was among the items included in the 2006 bond program; in February the city agreed to pay VAI Architects close to $500,000 for architectural and engineering design services on the project.
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solicitor birmingham
solicitor birmingham

There has to be other and better ways of doing this -- if it's even necessary.This is a nice written.Thanks to share this blog.

property birmingham
property birmingham

There has to be other and better ways of doing this -- if it's even necessary.This is a nice written.Thanks to share this blog.

Dhs164
Dhs164

Maybe we can get some new books.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Why is the old (Walnut) building still standing and rotten?

Marc
Marc

This just makes absolutely no sense at all! Our city is facing a budget shortfall of $60-100 million for the coming two years. City Manager Mary Suhm just told the council that the city will close some libraries, slash hours and staff at other libraries, leave returned books on carts for several days due to a lack of staff to re-shelve them and otherwise curtail library services because we lack the money to properly staff and operate the existing libraries, Yet, somehow, we are going to have the money to build a new library after paying a landowner more than 50% above the appraised value of the property we are acquiring for the new building.

Can somebody please explain to me why the taxpaying citizens of Dallas are not up in arms and marching on City Hall to protest? We should be demanding the resignations of every city employee who signed on to these extravagant and needless projects at a time when we are going to be downsizing our police and fire departments, laying off teachers, closing some schools, letting much-needed road repairs go unfinished and still trying to build the incredibly insane Trinity River Corridor Project even after knowing that the US Army Corps of Engineers will not approve construction plans due to the failing condition of our levee system.

These are part of the myriad examples of what happens in government at all levels when the ordinary citizen is too ignorant and apathetic to get involved and demand responsibility in government. We get the givernment we deserve because we elect it - either directly through our votes, or indirectly through failing to vote!

A vote for David Kunkle in the Mayoral runoff election will be a vote to end business as usual. A vote for his opponent, Mike Rawlings, will be a vote to sustain the status quo. What kind of local government do YOU want?

Kommon sense
Kommon sense

"Yet, somehow, we are going to have the money to build a new library..."

The Library Master Plan approved in 2001 is funded with $101.7 million from the 2003 and 2006 bond programs.

The Derelict
The Derelict

anybody know who won the Davy Crockett building on North Carroll Ave?

tracker
tracker

This makes 3 libraries on Forest Lane, all within 3 miles of each other, after the new Preston Royal library is built on Forest near the Tollway.   All with bare shelves and all hardly ever open.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Does the city have a current inventory of all the buildings we own, where they are located and whether they could be re-purposed?  Seems like we continue to over pay for real estate to build more buildings for which we can't fund staffing and operations.  There has to be other and better ways of doing this -- if it's even necessary.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

We were told at a crime watch meeting last year that the Walnut Hill Library was to be remodeled and used by Code Compliance. But there wasn't money in the budget, so it sits, empty, boarded up and awash with paint squares covering up tag marks.I'm all for using them as police substations, but again, we've got signature bridges to build and soundstages to renovate so they can film "Dallas." Us residents can pound sand and vote for Kunkle.

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

Exactly Jay Hawk and montemalone. The mayoral candidates are on Think today. I've got lunch plans, but why doesn't some one call in and ask about this continued accumulation of empty eyesore public buildings.And post the answer here.

 I noticed former Casa View Library now has a broken window, after repeated tagging and gray paint cover up. Again, it is not a neutral in our neighborhoods.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Why does a library need to "expand"? Why not just keep it open? Keep it staffed?I'm guessing the millions being spent on this as well as the one they built to replace Walnut Hill (Which I never understood since it's on Marsh, although the shopping center used to be called Walnut Hill Village, too) could have gone a long way to repairing the existing buildings (much "greener", by the way, than building new) and paying staff.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Sweet - another vacant city-owned building in NW Dallas for the taggers to use as their canvas.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Just like the price for the convention center hotel. On the tax books for a fraction of the cost of what we (the tax payers) are going to pay for it.     Hey it's only tax dollars esp. since we probably (after hearing the mayorial canidates talk) libraries funds will probably be cut this year to close the tax gap.

Joe Citizen
Joe Citizen

More motivation for me to contest my residential appraisal this year considering it will probably increase while the Case Schiller Real Estate numbers drop in contrast. Seems like a bully tax on the sector that puts up the least resistance.

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