Things Got Ugly at an Event Touting Southern Dallas' Horse Park and Golf Course Last Night

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Last night the city held a shmooze event for people who live near a proposed exclusive private golf course and horse park in a poor part of Southern Dallas, but the shmooze blew up. A carefully choreographed scene of friendly information booths and party favors turned into an angry shouting match.

The city has insisted it wants to deed hundreds of acres of land to wealthy golfers and horse enthusiasts as a means of spurring economic development in an economically depressed area near I-45 and Southern Loop 12. But Rhadames Solano, owner of a 23-acre commercial soccer and track facility right between the horse park and the golf course sites, said last night that the city is destroying his business, using eminent domain to seize all of his land and an even larger parcel nearby.

Solano, a former head basketball coach at the Greenhill School, said his property on Elam Road, called The Trinity Club, "is my livelihood." He said he pleaded with the city council to spare him in a public hearing last year:

"I said, 'Allow me five years. Let me get my kid through high school. At the end of that period I will do this and do that. I promise you that in that period this property will not be used for any other purpose. I will not sublease the property to anybody.'"

See also:
- Mary Suhm Signed a Secret Side Deal to Push for Drilling on Parkland as She Told Council It Would Be Banned
- Rawlings and Suhm's Attempt to Spin Secret Gas Deal into Something Innocent Is Hot Air

Solano said Mayor Mike Rawlings proposed the city give him a 60-day reprieve from eminent domain to negotiate a deal: "They (city lawyers) met with me one day for 22 minutes including walking in and sitting down," he said.

He brought with him a proposal, but he said city officials merely read out loud the city council resolution authorizing eminent domain. Then they ended the meeting.

"Boom, that's it," he said. "They didn't even report to anybody. They didn't show it to the city council. Nothing."

Last night's event at the Trinity Audubon Center turned into an angry shouting match when long-time community activist Carlos Quintanilla showed up with a Univision TV crew in tow. When Quintanilla began to deliver a speech about Solano's plight to the crowd, Vanessa Fry, a vice president of the horse park group, shoved neighborhood leader Yolanda Williams forward to confront him.

Williams, who supports the horse park, tried to stop Quintanilla from speaking. "You are not going to put on a political show," she shouted.

Richard Hill, a longtime property-owner near the horse park, said, "Let him talk."

"I'm not going to let him talk," Williams shouted back.

It escalated from there, with Univision cranking away. I dipped back over to Fry, the horse park lady, and said, "I don't think that went well for you."

She winced.

When Quintanilla tried to use a city map from one of the friendly information booths to show the crowd where Solano's property is located in relation to the horse park and golf course, city employees took down the map.

When I tried to get city officials at the friendly information booths to explain why they need to seize the property of Solano and others, friendly information time abruptly ended. They told me to "go through the usual channels" for reporters, which means I file an open records demand so they can stall me for six months. Or, in the case of the Observer's demand last May for documents related to gas drilling in parks, the city just deliberately, and probably illegally, concealed the documents.

I looked up the documentation this morning. The various agenda items and memos, if they say anything at all about why the city is seizing the land, say only that the city wants it "for the Trinity River Corridor Project."

I did get city officials last night to acknowledge that there is no environmental or reclamation need for the land. In other words, they want it because they want it. City staffers, the horsey people and the golf course aficionados seemed overwhelmed and perhaps a bit intimidated last night by the sheer size of the crowds pouring into the Audubon Center from surrounding neighborhoods. The event, originally intended only for chosen invitees from the immediate vicinity, became widely known in the larger surrounding region of the city only because neighborhood activists learned of it and spread the word.

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The scene at last night's horse park event.
Tracie Reed, a community activist who alerted Unfair Park to the event, complained that last night's semi-private shindig was actually the first opportunity people in the area have had to learn anything about the city's intentions. She said the city has never held a legitimate community meeting in Southern Dallas to discuss its plans for high-end recreational facilities.

Reed said she had even filed an open records demand in which she "told them to send me an agenda of the last public information or town hall meeting that was held in the Southern sector" concerning the horse park and golf course. "They couldn't find anything that was any newer than 2007, and this is 2013."

"This is not a community project," Solano said. "This is only for people with money."

Some residents of the immediate area at last night's meeting support the horse park and golf course. Their argument is that the entire region of the city is utterly and deplorably neglected because it is virtually invisible to City Hall, bereft of city services and without a viable economy. Their hope is that the golf course and horse park will draw in people with money and thereby at least force the city to acknowledge the physical existence of their community.

I get the idea. I don't want to call it pathetic, because that might come across as derogatory to the neighborhoods, so instead I will call it heart-breaking, not least because of the example of Dallas National Golf Club in far west Dallas near Mountain Creek Lake. Its presence in a poor area has had no apparent benefit beyond its own well-protected boundaries. Would it be fair to expect anything else of another exclusive private golf course?

What puts an even more cruel lie to the whole idea of spurring economic development in the area around the horse park and golf course is this seizure by eminent domain of land caught between the two. There can be only one use the city has in mind for the land being seized: it has to have something to do with one, the other or both of these recreational facilities.

The use of eminent domain to seize private property and going-concern businesses for the entirely private purposes ought to be an anathema in this a town that prides itself on cherishing conservative beliefs and principles. This is about as conservative as Hugo Chavez.


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60 comments
Trinity100
Trinity100

It seems odd that all of the comments do not include the fact that all of the city land currently in its possession and touted for this private golf course and horse park was pledged as a natural preserve land and resticted under federal law now as non-development due to the mitigation requirement as mitigation for the takings that already occurred during the DFE projects that included destruction of forest and an existing golf course across the river. More troubling, is that the private projects for the golf course and horse park are in direct proximatey to a DUMP A in the DFE which has monitoring pipes through out proposed areas which contain toxic and extremely high levels of industrial lead, chromium, asbestos and poly vinyl chloride refuse. Additionally on other private land seized by the city had an illegal goat slaughtering operation for the last ten years right on top of a cultural resource site where thousands of goat carcasses were dumped in an open pit and left. This only recently stopped. The pits wer covered but still exist. The toxic dump in the area was also the reason the landwas designated by the city to the corps as mitigation lands set aside as non-development land as a nature preserve. I find it more interesting how it went from nature preserve for mitigation to privately owned country clubs for the wealthy. I wonder if anyone mentioned the toxic dump right next door when planning an pitching it to the big private developers or whether they even cared since it would not be their problem after the fact.

Trinity100
Trinity100

It seems odd that all of the comments do not include the fact that all of the city land currently in its possession and touted for this private golf course and horse park was pledged as a natural preserve land and resticted under federal law now as non-development due to the mitigation requirement as mitigation for the takings that already occurred during the DFE projects that included destruction of forest and an existing golf course across the river. More troubling, is that the private projects for the golf course and horse park are in direct proximatey to a DUMP A in the DFE which has monitoring pipes through out proposed areas which contain toxic and extremely high levels of industrial lead, chromium, asbestos and poly vinyl chloride refuse. Additionally on other private land seized by the city had an illegal goat slaughtering operation for the last ten years right on top of a cultural resource site where thousands of goat carcasses were dumped in an open pit and left. This only recently stopped. The pits wer covered but still exist. The toxic dump in the area was also the reason the landwas designated by the city to the corps as mitigation lands set aside as non-development land as a nature preserve. I find it more interesting how it went from nature preserve for mitigation to privately owned country clubs for the wealthy. I wonder if anyone mentioned the toxic dump right next door when planning an pitching it to the big private developers or whether they even cared since it would not be their problem after the fact.

Trinity100
Trinity100

It seems odd that all of the comments do not include the fact that all of the city land currently in its possession and touted for this private golf course and horse park was pledged as a natural preserve land and resticted under federal law now as non-development due to the mitigation requirement as mitigation for the takings that already occurred during the DFE projects that included destruction of forest and an existing golf course across the river. More troubling, is that the private projects for the golf course and horse park are in direct proximatey to a DUMP A in the DFE which has monitoring pipes through out proposed areas which contain toxic and extremely high levels of industrial lead, chromium, asbestos and poly vinyl chloride refuse. Additionally on other private land seized by the city had an illegal goat slaughtering operation for the last ten years right on top of a cultural resource site where thousands of goat carcasses were dumped in an open pit and left. This only recently stopped. The pits wer covered but still exist. The toxic dump in the area was also the reason the landwas designated by the city to the corps as mitigation lands set aside as non-development land as a nature preserve. I find it more interesting how it went from nature preserve for mitigation to privately owned country clubs for the wealthy. I wonder if anyone mentioned the toxic dump right next door when planning an pitching it to the big private developers or whether they even cared since it would not be their problem after the fact.

treed21
treed21

I'll first take a moment to identify myself.  I am the Tracie Reed mentioned in the above article.  I will also take this opportunity to thank everyone for your comments.  Now I will tell a little of my story.   I've asked, begged and pleaded with the City of Dallas to host a town hall meeting of sorts to explain the change in direction with the Texas Horse Park and now The Trinity Golf course.   I rarely, if ever, get a returned phone call.  I have made NUMEROUS trips to town hall and was recently asked what dept. I work in because I'm there so much.  

There is a HUGE disconnect in communication and RESPECT from Dallas City Hall to the people of the City of Dallas.  I have been told, more than once and by more than one dept. that the Trinity Water Shed Management has meetings ALL the time.   However, they have CHOSEN to announce their meetings to neighborhood associations, businesses and residents in the Trinity Project area (Pemberton Hill and Joppa neighborhoods and perhaps others) , ONLY!  I suggested that they put a little flyer in the utility bills when mailed out;  I've seen that done often.  I was told it would cost the city approx. $7,000.  I was told "it is just not feasible to send out announcements to every resident in Dallas,"   HERE IS THE PROBLEM.   If you are going to build a $30 million dollar ANYTHING for the residents of the city and you can't afford $7,000 to host one town hall meeting to inform them of WHAT YOU PLAN TO DO AND ASK FOR COMMENTS AND/OR SUGGESTIONS, perhaps you also can't afford to build a $30 million dollar ANYTHING.  I live in and support this city just like residents of Pemberton Hill and Joppa.  We have a RIGHT to be informed of how the city plans to spend bond money raised over 6 years ago.  

Now, in response to a comment made to me at the meeting Tuesday night by Ms. Yolanda Williams who is a passionate supporter of the Horse Park.  I do not and Have not ever had a problem with the city building a horse park or any other park for that matter.  The problem is in their motives for exercising eminent domain on peoples property for unjust cause.   In addition to your vocalizing your "not having time to TEACH me"  what it is that you THINK I don't know,  Don't let MY black skin fool you.  I, too,  am college educated and world class traveled.  I was born In Japan and have been back twice since.  I have traveled regularly to Montreal, visited South Africa and have been to Dubai.  However, in all my days of living , I have NEVER seen Black and Mexican people treated so badly.  Now for the solution.  I ask, once again, when is someone going to take the time to host an INFORMATIONAL MEETING not a Meet and Greet or Open House and begin a positive.and respectful flow of communication with those residents of  the city who don't live in the Pemberton Hill and Joppa areas.  I have offered my assistance and have gotten no response.

WatchingSouthDetroit
WatchingSouthDetroit

Never trust Mary Suhm and the City of Dallas government.  Too many corrupt and incompetent people.

Where are the south Dallas council members?  Have they been "bought" by the people with money?  Or are they developing their shakedown so they can personally profit and sell out the people down there?  Where is JWP?  He is supposed to be "their man downtown".  Or has he been bought off already?

fatherrichard
fatherrichard

My wife and I have one of the few privately owned homes in the Horse Park area left. The City has refused to run sewer lines in front of our property, so we can not get any building permits for anything (not that the City would grant them anyway in this area). The only reasons our land is valued as worth under $20 K are all the doings of the City. Similar property not blessed with Dallas "benefits" would be worth over a million, and some have said over 2. For those of you who have figured out that all this land will not end up what we are being told now, let me give you some hints. The trail people in the City government know that all trails south of Bruton will be constantly flooded and need cleaning and work. The horse trails will be muddy for much of the year. The golf course will need major fill work, in a protected flood plane. The horse park will be run by non-profits with probably no real person to prevent "project walk-away" if things get too bad. Let me look into my crystal ball a few years into the future.... a city council meeting for a city starting with the letter "d". "Mr. Major, we're not the ones who bought this mess and cost the tax payers so many millions of dollars. It would do not good to go back now and point fingers. Let's just figure a way to make all this land make the city back some of the money lost down there. Our friends who always seem to make money on what ever we do with them have offered to (pick one) put in an extension of the inter-modal in Wilmer; put in an industrial park with all the interstates, state highways, and rail yard close by; finally do something about all those talks with Houston about an inland port; etc. etc". Many cities use recreational "covers" that are as bad of a business idea as these are for buying up large land areas that latter city councils claim to try to "recover" some of the investment for the tax payers. For over 2 and 1/2 years we have tried to be involved in this big idea, and never been notified of anything until the meeting in the article. No wonder feelings are running high.

roo_ster
roo_ster

How do the Horsey Park and Golf  Course boosters claim local economic development with  a straight face?

If this place generates any use, the users will quickly drive through the surrounding area and leave with alacrity, not stopping for coffee.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

So where was Vonciel Hill that night? Was she there? This horse park is one of her 'we need this' items. So I have to assume that she and Mary Suhm are very tight.

tedbarker45
tedbarker45

I have watched the last few articles that begin with the drilling letter revelation.  Those of us who were involved in getting records and public furor with Winfrey Point / Dallas Arboretum have seen some very similar patterns emerging from the fog at City Hall.  Like Jim  S and the DMN we have been stonewalled over records production with several Tx AG Opinions to deal with.  Keep up the pressure.

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

This and the drilling have a lot in common. Big money comes knocking, Mary answers, they make secret documents that few question and the public explodes. I see a pattern. How many more deals do you think she is cooking?

Tom434
Tom434

I may have missed something, but doesn't the city already own the land for the golf course and horse park.  It appears Mr Solano's land is wanted for something else and if ED is going to be used they are going to have to spell out just exactly what is the public purpose.  Holmantx is right about the fallout from the New London case, ED for economic development doesn't have the free pass it once had. 

The economic development from a golf course and horse park will be nil.  I use to play golf at Stevens Park and Cedar Crest and I don't think I ever spent a nickel at businesses around those courses

John1073
John1073

Well of course they want a horse park and golf course in South Dallas. It's close enough that the black people who will be employed cheaply as caddies and horse groomers can walk to work.

D.H.
D.H.

Wish Mr. Quintanilla would keep race out of this fight. I don't care what color or ethnicity this man is, it has absolutely nothing to do with the issue.

I am very much in favor of the Horse Park, however, this man had the foresight to invest his money in 23 acres a long time ago, to benefit the community and start a business, when no one was interested in South Dallas. The city didn't raise his property values, for good reason. They now want it to spur development, and don't want to give him any meaningful compensation for his investment. The fair thing, would be for the city to buy him 23 acres, nearby, that has the same topographical amenities he needs for his business + the cost of moving and setting up his business + pocket money or get real and give him serious compensation.

Turning eminent domain issues into racial issues perpetuates disengagement from the established community toward the minority community. If developers were smart they would want to include the surrounding neighborhood in decision making and hire the professionals who live or own land there, to assist them in representing their properties and developments. Who else could possibly bridge the transition of a changing neighborhood, than the passionate owners or former owners? Oddly enough, this is a mistake that is surprisingly made more often than not.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

"The use of eminent domain to seize private property and going-concern businesses for the entirely private purposes ought to be an anathema in this a town that prides itself on cherishing conservative beliefs and principles. "

Kelo v City of New London http://tinyurl.com/rkbvg caused the state legislature to pass  laws that sharply curtail eminent-domain condemnations for private development because of the Kelo decision.

State law has been used repeatedly to beat back cities trying similar actions.  Particularly in cases where there is not a clear public use.  Can the public walk up and play golf for an affordable fee?  Hell no.

Besides.  Country club operations have been in the tank for many years and it takes a great location with upper middle income demographics, and a dedicated (existing) golf-lovin' clientele to buy it and upgrade it . . . and even then - it's risky http://tinyurl.com/bncsecn.

The City cannot seize property and turn it over to operators who won't have me as a member, or anyone else in the neighborhood - or 98% of the town.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

Also, like the Omni Hotel, if this is such a good idea why isn't ClubCorp or the like making the move. The city should limit it involvement to tax abatements. If that's not good enough, then maybe the City should think twice. The only reason the City does it directly is the fact they can still borrow money and therefore hold the capital risk if the project is a bust.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

I can almost guarantee that any set aside affordable times will be set aside for the lower incomes. I can almost see the "Mayor's Day" events with all of the photo ops with inner city kids and political types.

Our city panders to the über rich and poor, but completely screws the middle. How is this project for the citizens of Dallas. Any chance to get a major tournament will be at the expense of either the current events in Las Colinas or Fort Worth. Use of eminent domain to hurt our neighbors, line the pockets of the Dallas Citizens Council, and to exclude the middle class citizens of Dallas must stop.

BenS.
BenS.

That was a great event to attend. Many of the maps, diagrams and information that was presented is not available online or in print. I think the shouting soap box moments were not needed.

In a nutshell, the point being made was that the kids in the neighborhood like playing soccer. Mr Solano's fields give them a place to hold games. The underlying theme of the golf course and horse park projects are both oriented towards children as a selling point. Taking away soccer and offering golf and horses as a replacement does not seem to sit well with some. Horse riding does come a close second in that neighborhood as a popular past time for kids. Many have them as pets.

It seemed that many city departments, AT&T and even the Corps of Engineers were well represented. What was missing? A table setup for economic development, business development etc. One of the selling points of the golf course was that it is to be an economic engine for South Dallas, a "game changer". I would like to have talked to someone who knows how the transformation will occur.

The line to attend this event was literally out the door at one point with people. People down there care about what will become of all this. The rest of us need to pay attention too. The Pemberton Hill neighborhood is a very diverse mix of races and ethnic backgrounds. There is a real sense of community there, one not seen in other parts of Dallas divided among what color your skin might be. Everyone pretty much gets along. It's hoped that the new projects will mesh well here as the residents who have to live here have been offered very little say or information on what is proposed.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

I don't know if this has crossed the mind of others besides me, but would a reality show of Dallas politics get better ratings than the TNT version of Dallas?  From my comfy couch in Denton county, I get a huge kick out reading this stuff and if it were on TV I wouldn't miss it. 

fatherrichard
fatherrichard

@Trinity100 The dump(s) seem to require (Federal law) that the area be cleared first (for which millions have already been set aside); and then raised out of the flood plane to prevent seepage into the water. All this has been included in the little information released so far. The sides have to slope "4 to 1" whatever that means (4 feet drops 1 inch? 1 foot?). That could add much more fill. Now there are at least 4 dumps in the area. Maybe they are using some dump reclamation process to justify raising much of this land. So that might be why they don't mind getting more concerned over these dumps.

It appears that everything has already been planned and decided, then "they" all pretend to talk about it and "they" pretend to listen... and then "they" do whatever "they" want to. It will be years before we know why the people who really run Dallas want this land.  Rumors out of some City offices have the word "casino" and "far future" in them. The only thing I know for sure is that AT&T,  SMU and the City never invest this type of money in this type of sloppy plans without knowing how the last chapter really reads.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@treed21" However, in all my days of living , I have NEVER seen Black and Mexican people treated so badly. "

Yeah, you never know, all those Salvadorans, Panamanians, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans populating southern Dallas might enjoy being referred to as "Mexicans".  Let's not forget those people of Hispanic origin who were born right here (many of them 2nd or 3rd generation), lets just call them Mexicans too.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@Tom434 You did not miss anything.  There is two issues.  Eminent Domain and whether this is a stupid idea.

Two examples.  Reunion Arena versus American Airlines Center.  Reunion was supposed to be a catalyst for businesses on Industrial.  I was on a City commitee many years ago and they brought out developer renderings of what Industrial was supposed to look like.  It did not see one liqour store or Caberet.  On the other hand, they entire area around AAC was part of the project and therefore it got built. 

WatchingSouthDetroit
WatchingSouthDetroit

No caddy jobs - they will use carts.  They will only hire black people as custodians, waiters, and to clean out the stables.  Yes I am being a smart-ass but there is a lot of truth here also.

D.H.
D.H.

@John1073 I got through  school working at Sears and Sanger-Harris, making crappy wages. Your point is?

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@holmantx While misuse of eminent domain might be the vehicle we use to kill this, you have hit on another important issue of whether this a good idea for the City to even get into.  While a golf course might be a good use of this land, if a semi-private high end golf course was the best use, someone like ClubCorp would already be trying to do it. 

As for the redevelopment of the area, I think that people should be afraid of what that means.  That doesn't mean additional foot traffic fo local businesses, that means get out.  And if you rent the facility you will get no gain.  If you own and don't sell at their first offer, then all of those overlooked code issues from the past few decades are now a priority in City Hall's desire to make Dallas a "world class city".

This is not a desire to help the community, this is cheap available land in a City that running out of land within the City limits for these large projects.  Revitalization has an I in it, but no U. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Rumpunch1 @Tom434  

Don't forget the promised development by Woodbine Development in exchange for the tax breaks for the Reunion Hotel.  I am still wondering what Woodbine will do with the air rights over Union Station.

EricCeleste
EricCeleste

@Rumpunch1 @Tom434 You did not miss anything. There is more land to be had. The people who have walked the golf course area with developers came away saying, "there isn't enough acreage yet." They knew something was in the works, because the acres being discussed didn't correspond to the number of acres needed not only for a world-class course, but also the parking, etc. around said course.

John1073
John1073

Glad you got through school. Now you won't have to be a slave at the country club.

D.H.
D.H.

@Rumpunch1 @holmantx  These amenities are not being built for today, they are being built for the future because we are running out of land. That's life in a major metropolitan city. Where we run into trouble, is not working with the neighborhood or not designing development in a way, where the residents can participate and also raise their standard of living and education for the future generations of those families.

D.H.
D.H.

@John1073 I still believe in free will.To get an edcuation or not is up to the individual. Hopefully they will get good guidance from their parents, counselors, teachers, and mentors - who just might happen to be members.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@holmantx @D.H. @Rumpunch1 Correct, there should be different risk tolerances when talking about private development versus City development.  The only reason the City is involved is they can use eminent domain to help acquire the land and the City can still borrow money.  With that, the capital risk remains with the CIty.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@D.H. @holmantx @Rumpunch1  The race track has the same dynamics as this proposed development - on city-leased land to well-funded developers.  And it is the same risk class.

As far as "but we'll never know until we try" man you can't think like that with taxpayer monies and property.  Because you don't act like that with yours.  

D.H.
D.H.

@holmantx @D.H. @Rumpunch1 The price of the home is dependent on the price of the land. Lower land pricing is why you can get homes in the burbs and beyond at a much lower price.

D.H.
D.H.

@holmantx As I understand it, this is not a horse race facility, but a facility for shows and related events. Enthusiasts living in the equestrian corridor between Texas and up into OK is much larger than people realize. It scares me to, but we'll never know until we try. That's why we have to keep on them to position the city well, without screwing over people like the man who owns the 23 acres in question.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@D.H. @Rumpunch1 subdivision development doesn't work like that.  Most of the cost is in the completed homes, not in the subdivision infrastructure.  Buyers in that surrounding land are not going to get some kind of huge price break.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Rumpunch1 OKC leased the land to build an $80 million cost-to-build pari-mutel Class I Thoroughbred race track to national hi-rollers.  It went bankrupt and they leased it to an Indian tribe for racing and gaming operations for a pittance.  Remington Park - the PALACE on the Parkway.  Same thing happened to our race track.  Another municipality in the metro area bought a nice golf course for $4 million and sold it for $2 million, hanging the bond issue on the general revenues of that city.  And the DFW Metroplex has an over-supply of golf courses.  

If the City does this, they best have a "continuous operating entity clause" in the land lease contract so they can take it quick and convert it (or sell it) to private operators for a fraction of its cost, because big time rollers like the present bunch drop out all the time.

D.H.
D.H.

@Rumpunch1 I agree with you and am just assuming they are positioning themselves for the private sector to do the development.  All I know is, we need affordable housing for the service sector like firemen, police officers, secretaries, tech people, and my children who will be graduating from college and can't possibly afford housing in East, North or parts of Oak Cliff.  Property values are escalating out of all of their reach and as a taxpayer, I think it stinks they have to live and spend their wages in other cities.   

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@D.H. It's just a big gamble of whether or not they buy in. If I was investor in a corporation I might accept the gamble. As a citizen of a City, I am less than enthusiastic.

I have no problem giving, leasing or offering significant tax breaks for the land. However, let a company build and maintain the facilities and operations and therefore bear the risk of investment.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@D.H. I look at CCs and Upscale GCs for a living.

This cannot work in that location, I do not care if the land is donated.

Whatever is driving this has not yet been identified.  It's not economic feasibility and the one thing that cannot happen is the taxpayer be the lender of last resort.  Do NOT hang this around the taxpayer's neck when it goes South.

The landowner just needs to get a lawyer who has experience with hitting this city over the head with the state law that bars the city from "taking" it under condemnation/just compensation.

Then if the city still wants it, they can treat him the private sector typically has to do - AS A HOLDOUT to a larger development.  And that means he is going to cut a fat cow on the deal.

What the city is doing now is grabbing it while the grabbin's good.  Right now it won't appraise worth a shit.  If the economy comes roaring back, the land will be worth 2 to 3 times as much to condemn.

And I am assuming that the City has AT&T on paqper that they WILL move the Byron Nelson to that location, because Irving/Las Colinas can and will make it attractive for them to stay - and they got a slick building back-drop and Las Colinas drive through, unlike this dog.

And their CC went bankrupt. So think twice.  Play like it's your money, and you are the one who is personally responsible, as if your house, your family's best interests, your economic life rides on this deal.

Say you owned the Dallas Observer and you have to pledge it to make the deal work.

D.H.
D.H.

@Rumpunch1 @D.H. Wouldn't the BN be cool? People paying in at that level, belong to several clubs, for many different reasons. As long as they buy in, it doesn't bother me if they don't come out.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@D.H. Point taken, and therefore I might join on that level.  However, one of the mayor's stated goals is getting the Byron Nelson to move there.  To run that level of a club they will need quite a few of the big dollar members who I do not think will come.

D.H.
D.H.

@Rumpunch1 I'm a former member of LWCC. While the golf membership might be that high, all clubs have entry level social pool/facility memberships that are super low. Back then, if memory serves, it was around $1,500. A social member can still use the greens, they just pay as they go. Non-members can take classes and lessons. At least, that's how it use to be. I agree with you. They will definitely need to do something regarding the fees or create adjoining public courses, that share some amenities with the private club.   

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@D.H. @Rumpunch1 I am also child of the suburbs who as an adult has become a long time resident of north Oak Cliff and now East Dallas, therefore I understand what you are saying.  My point is that if they built a moderately priced golf course I would visit.  I go to the Audubon Center next door.  I go to other moderately priced golf courses in various parts of the City.  However, can we say the same for those who will drop $150k on a initiation fee at a high end golf course?

D.H.
D.H.

@Rumpunch1  I understand, but we have to start somewhere. After having grown up sheltered in the suburbs, it was a scary for my parents, when I decided to buy a house in East Dallas and stay when I had a family. As more young couples did the same, they got use to and over it. It's socio-geographic evolution in redevelopment. Not saying it's right or wrong. It just is. 

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@D.H. I agree with the fact that this could be great for the area.  However, history has shown us that it could be very bad.  Either the elite do not come out of fear of the surrounding area, or they wash away the surrounding area to alleviate that fear. 

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