Liveblogging Today's Economic Developments
After an hour spent in exile while the city council's Economic Development Committee spent an hour talking about The Mall Formerly Known as Red Bird, we're finally down to business -- and, no mention of what they decided to do about Southwest Center Mall. It's like it never happened. I feel a little light-headed, actually. Now we've got about 30 minutes to get through the rest of the meeting, dealing with The Joule and the Cypress Waters Master Development Agreement.
Karl Zavitovsky, head of the Office of Eco Dev, was just all up on some PowerPoint illustrating why The Joule deserves some TIF dollars from the council, "not to exceed $20 million." Ann Margolin wanted to know the difference between "base TIF funding" and a "TIF grant" -- about $17 million and $3 million, respectively. The answer, from Zavitovsky: "Don't you worry your pretty little head about it," to which Margolin said, "Actually, I am worrying this pretty little head," and so Zavitovsky was like, "OK, me and your pretty little head will talk about it later."
Dwaine Caraway wanted to know if The Joule intends to build supplemental parking for all the additional what-not going in at the hotel, to which the ED dudes are like, "Um, not really, we should maybe be fine, but like, uh, that could be a thing, but, probably not." To which Caraway said, Maybe making Main Street one-way would be a thing we could do?
To which ED dudes said: "This property is not putting additional parking, we're only talking about 32 additional rooms. What you're talking about is the context of the parking issue on Main Street and Commerce. The Downtown 360 study is looking specifically at parking and how we address that for all buildings in the area."
Then the project's architect stepped up to address Caraway's issues. He channeled Andy Warhol with crazy gray hair and fun glasses, just like every architect you've ever met, ever. "There's an opportunity for some off-street parking, but we're taking the loading for the Joule Hotel off Main Street and freeing that up for better valet service," he said. Because, really, where would Dallas be without valet parking? All those dudes in community college with pot habits would have to work at, like, a restaurant or, like, something.
Breaking: The Joule TIF funds have just been approved unanimously. The masses rejoice. And by "rejoice" I mean kind of made a beeline out of the room in their khaki pants.
Next up we're talking about the Cypress Waters Master Development Agreement, which is a "long term investment for the city" according to assistant city manager A.C. Gonzalez. This development, a kind of mixed-use thing that people get their panties so damp about these days, would be located at the northeast corner of I-635 and S. Beltline Rd., which I think is somewhere near Lubbock. There would be muchas city services involved: water improvements, sewer, roads as well as police and fire rescue. A.C. Gonzalez is all, Hey, you guys, pay for this OK, it is going to be pretty awesome.
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