On Site of Old Herrera's on Maple, the New Home of Omni Hotels' Parent Company

4001Maple.JPG
That big muddy patch seen outside the bossman's window will be TRT Holdings' HQ at some point.
Someone asked yesterday if and when Omni's going to move its HQ to the city of Dallas. Well ... if you'll look at the council's agenda for today, it's right there: items No. 54 and 55. The first one's for a mammoth tax abatement agreement for 10 years; the second, for an economic development grant. As in:
* Authorize a real property tax abatement agreement with TRT Holdings, Inc. and/or its affiliates and subsidiaries located at 4001 Maple Avenue in the amount of 90 percent on the added value to the real property for ten years in accordance with the City's Public/Private Partnership Program - Revenue: First year revenue estimated at $25,504; ten-year revenue estimated at $255,040 (Estimated revenue forgone for a ten-year new real property abatement estimated at $2,295,360)

* Authorize a Chapter 380 economic development grant agreement with TRT Holdings, Inc. and/or its affiliates and subsidiaries related to the relocation of its corporate headquarters to 4001 Maple Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75219, pursuant to Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code in accordance with the City's Public/Private Partnership Program - Not to exceed $200,000 - Financing: Public/Private Partnership Funds
Robert Rowling's TRT Holdings, parent of the Omni and Gold's Gym, will be moving from Irving, bringing with it, says the agenda, around 300 jobs and 170,000 square feet worth of Class A office space on the spot where Harlan Crow knocked down Herrera's across the street from Unfair Park HQ. (He had it rebuilt across the street.) Also, promises the agenda: "TRT Holdings, Inc., will make a private investment exceeding $40,000,000 for its new corporate headquarters facility."

There's going to be a press conference after council's morning session, after which they promise: "Designs of new headquarters will be unveiled," per a press release we got yesterday. Ooooh.

Update at 11:13 a.m.: The council just wrapped its discussion, and ...

Tennell Atkins says that "when you deal with TRT, you deal with the Omni Hotel, and they're a great partnership." And, sure, he's bummed they're not going downtown. But at least it's "Big D." Says Atkins: "It's a cornerstone this great city needs, and thank TRT for picking that location, because it's now a gateway to downtown."

Ann Margolin's all for it: "This is a very good deal for the city." Still, she wonders if perhaps the tax giveaway isn't too big: "As we move forward I would like for us to at least take a look at changing the 90-percent tax abatement to something a little lower. We're giving away 90 percent of the property taxes, and that's a lot to forgo." She also hopes that TRT will start hiring Dallas residents; Scott Griggs seconds that emotion.

And Pauline Medrano's excited: "This is in District 2, and the sales tax impact just on Maple Avenue alone would be great for the small businesses on Maple these almost 300 people will shop, go eat, take [their clothes to] the cleaners. The sales tax impact will be great." Linda Koop also wanted to "give a shout-out" to Harlan Crow for fixing up the old Parkland Hospital. "And we're happy to have Omni part of the city of Dallas," said Koop. "Big-time thank you," said Jerry Allen. "I just want to say thanks to TRT," said Dwaine Caraway.

It passed unanimously. Now to the press conference formally announcing the move. Mayor Mike Rawlings also wanted to celebrate the fact Gold's Gym is moving to Dallas. Because, he noted, "We need to be a fit city."
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38 comments
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Guest
Guest

"We need to be a fit city."

I'm glad he said that because I have a pledge that I've been circulating amongst the nation's mayors regarding fitness, and I'd like him to sign it.

Guest
Guest

Now if they'll just tear down The Grapevine & spruce up that side of the street, Maple Ave. will start to be classier.

Ellum08
Ellum08

Hey now, no need to touch The Grapevine. Let's not get crazy.

Jason
Jason

It's interesting that there was a suggestion that they hire from Dallas.  Can companies be selective in hiring employees from particular zip codes?  I'll have to admit I don't know squat about this type of stuff but doesn't this deal look really lopsided, especially for this part of town - no offense DOHQ?  Do you think there was a lot of back room negotiations going on that allowed them to not move to downtown, just blocks away from what should be a flagship property to them that is backed by citizen tax dollars?  

I guess I'm trying to get someone to confirm that our city isn't the most savvy when it comes to negotiations.  It's almost like we need some sort of business czar or something?  I mean, how is it that Ann Margolin has "Protecting our Tax Dollars" as the headline on her website when she's asking about the tax abatement percentage.  Was the entire council not involved in the decision to give up a 90% tax abatement?  Do votes at the city council often go through with council members still having questions about the deal they just voted on?

I know a lot of this is rhetorical...

Jason
Jason

It's interesting that there was a suggestion that they hire from Dallas.  Can companies be selective in hiring employees from particular zip codes?  

I'll have to admit I don't know squat about this type of stuff but doesn't this deal look really lopsided, especially for this part of town - no offense DOHQ?  Do you think there was a lot of back room negotiations going on that allowed them to not move to downtown, just blocks away from what should be a flagship property to them that is backed by citizen tax dollars?  

I guess I'm trying to get someone to confirm that our city isn't the most savvy when it comes to negotiations.  It's almost like we need some sort of business czar or something?  I mean, how is it that Ann Margolin has "Protecting our Tax Dollars" as the headline on her website when she's asking about the tax abatement percentage.  Was the entire council not involved in the decision to give up a 90% tax abatement?  Do votes at the city council often go through with council members still having questions about the deal they just voted on?

I know a lot of this is rhetorical...

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

EDIT: Damn Double Posts, Disqus is jacked today

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Dallas has a business czar....the Mayor....remember

Lee
Lee

Wasn't Herrera's across the street on the corner, a block north of Oak Lawn, in a little green building? That would be the east side of Maple.

moderndrift
moderndrift

The City should restrict these relocation packages to Downtown proper. The number one goal should be a healthy Downtown which will radiate out prosperity to the surrounding areas.

I appreciate the Old Parkland redo, but it's anti-urban. Nice gated community...err suburban office park they've built over there, an area of Maple with real potential for walkability. Now you have a fortress on a super block.

Ellum08
Ellum08

1) Harlan Crow is a hypocrite.2) I wonder how the new employees are going to enjoy being so close to the 'Gayborhood'? Word I hear is that TRT is a pretty homophobic corporation. 3) I would expect another 'Phony Colonial Williamsburg' knock-off soon on that site.

Anon
Anon

How is Harlan Crow a hypocrite? A real estate developer buys land and then, develops it. Sounds like business as usual to me. And I'm really not sure what your problem is with that architectural style - plenty of people like it. Some of us think the more "unique" buildings that get thrown up around town looks like pretentious shit. As for homophobia at TRT, it would be shocking at the company that owns Golds. 

Ellum08
Ellum08

He is a hypocrite because he was THE vocal opponent of the convention center hotel, which is operated by Omni. But, hey, as you say, as long as you make some money off of it, who cares about integrity, right?

Throw me in with the 'pretentious shit' crowd then, I personally hate that fake crap that has no architectural relevance to this city or time period. Sorry.

And you are right about TRT, but that is what I have heard.

Ellum08
Ellum08

Well, considering how much 'crying' Harlan did during the whole convention center hotel debate, I guess he did get over it. Again, as long as he can make his dough to design more crappy buildings, it's all good.

I can, and always will, think he is a hypocrite. Sorry, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

And, I believe I did say that I don't like that style. And there is a HUGE difference between the Old Parkland Building and the style that is being proposed on that monster.

Anon
Anon

So because he didn't agree with a particular project being funded by the city he's supposed to blackball the company that got the management contract forever? That's childish. I honestly fail to see what it has to do with integrity. Business is business. If someone hurts your feelings you can go cry about it or you can get back to doing your job.

As for the architectural relevance, isn't it being styled to match Old Parkland? If not, then it's just sort of dumb. If it is, and you just don't like that style, then just say so. But don't try to come up with some BS about how it doesn't have relevance. If it complements an adjacent building (and among the older major buildings near the core and is still standing in a city that loves to tear down), then it is relevant.

Anon
Anon

So because he didn't agree with a particular project being funded by the city he's supposed to blackball the company that got the management contract forever? That's childish. I honestly fail to see what it has to do with integrity. Business is business. If someone hurts your feelings you can go cry about it or you can get back to doing your job.

As for the architectural relevance, isn't it being styled to match Old Parkland? If not, then it's just sort of dumb. If it is, and you just don't like that style, then just say so. But don't try to come up with some BS about how it doesn't have relevance. If it complements an adjacent building (and among the older major buildings near the core and is still standing in a city that loves to tear down), then it is relevant.

Oak Cliff Clavin
Oak Cliff Clavin

Are you kidding, the rainbow lights on that new hotel scream fabulous.

texaspainter
texaspainter

Omni is buying land from Harlan Crow. Irony?Mike celebrates Golds Gym but won't sign the pledge. I know, I know, more than the gays workout at Golds but come on now............ His mea culpa?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

You cant be world class if you are not fit!

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

the restaurant to gym ratio will still be a million to one

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

Wonder if it'll fit architecturally with Old Parkland or if it'll be a crazy glass-and-LED lit structure.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

If they do make it into "a crazy glass-and-LED lit structure," they could synchronize its display with that of the Omni.  In so doing, they might well engineer a plot to assume "mind control" over the entire CBD.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

so Crow knocks down Herreras and the land value doubles.  Nice work!

guest
guest

$2 million in tax abatements?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

$2,295,360, to be precise.. Plus a $200,000 in economic grant dough.

Ket
Ket

And I suppose they wouldn't have moved to this World Class city without that? $2.5M is a lot of money to just hand out, yet there is no real way to know if it had anything to do with the decision.

Ket
Ket

hand out: tax break :: potato : potahto

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Only $200K is handed out, and thats only when we get the receipts from u-haul and for all the fancy new office furniture.

The remainder is just a 90% reduction in the annual property tax bill, for as long as any of us are alive.  

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

This is pretty exciting news.... a genuine boost to the City of Dallas.  This is in contrast with many of the corporate "relos" to Victory Park, which really just cannibalized existing tenants from downtown.

Also, given the distance between the old HQ and new, one can expect a fair number of employees to migrate to Dallas over time, which will be great for the urban core. This is in contrast to some of the City's economic development deals in Far North Dallas, which involved companies moving their offices a short "hop" over the city limits-- in those cases, I really questioned how much incremental benefit the City of Dallas was going to receive.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

You really think moving headquarters from Irving to Dallas will mean a "fair" number of emplyees will move to Dallas?  I wouldnt expect that at all

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Well, I guess it depends on how you define "fair."  According to the release, they are planning to move 300 jobs, which doesn't seem to be overstated, given the fact they plan to occupy 170,000 sf.

But yeah, over time, who knows.... I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that 50 of these 300 folks might be induced to move to Dallas.  Although the distance is only 9 miles, traffic on that route can get pretty backed up during rush hour.  Especially for existing employees that are currently living to the north or west, they might decide after awhile that it makes sense. 

Guest
Guest

My wife's stepmother works for TRT, and she already lives in Dallas, so there's one.

Guest
Guest

double post.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Fair point.  So.... how are you going to spend the "time dividend" you will receive via a shorter commute?

Darren Schmits
Darren Schmits

Of course, the opposite may be true.  They may already live in Dallas, and commute to Irving.  That's what I do.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I guess thats the key factor, traffic, it sucks coming from that side of town into that area on Maple. 

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