So sorry -- got sidetracked this morning reporting out items that aren't quite well-done yet. Till then, then, this flash forward to next Wednesday's council meeting -- the first since forever, feels like. If nothing else, we now know how much that extra downtown parking study's going to cost: $131,023. But that's not all:
The council will also vote on something called a Retail Activation Study, which will "identify and prioritize improvements needed to support the retail recruitment effort in the Downtown area." And if this sounds like an extension of or addendum to the Main Street District FOCUS Retail Initiative, well, you're absolutely right. And that study will cost an additional $62,000 -- though the agenda item says the money for both will come from the City of Dallas Main Street District Initiative Chapter 380 Loan and Grant Program and DowntownDallas, which will be responsible for cost overruns on both studies.
As you can see from the backgrounder (which begins on Page 71 and runs through Page 92 of the council agenda), this is all going to MIG -- the same folks responsible for the new downtown Dallas "action plan." Though how parking and retail activation didn't figure into the original half-a-million-dollar contract's a bit confusing -- not action-y enough? Let's go to the briefing:
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The process for Downtown Dallas 360, will create a strategic action and development plan that brings together elements from all of the prior studies to create more firm direction. This process will help guide future decisions on how and where to invest public and private resources for the greatest impact and "return on investment". As part of this planning effort, two areas were identified for additional study -- parking and retail activation. This contract amendment allows this work to proceed.