City Hall

Council to Consider Doling Out $2 Million In GrantBond Money to North Oak Cliff Developers

So much for North Oak Cliff not needing City Hall ...

On Monday, the council's Economic Development Committee will discuss an "economic development grant proposal to support emerging development opportunities in North Oak Cliff." Which is kinda vague till you look at the corresponding item (No. 57, to be exact) on the city council's agenda for Wednesday, which says the council will consider signing off on a $2 million economic development grant with Farrokh and son Michael Nazerian, whose Exxir Capital LCC owns some 10 properties in North Oak Cliff, including the old Oak Cliff Municipal Center on E. 9th Street. The city says the Nazerians have already invested "$5 million in property acquisition in the area."

I've been trying to talk to Office of Economic Development head Karl Zavitkovsky about the project for the last couple of days, but he's been tied up; he says he'll call back, and he usually does. But till then, the council agenda shows the $2 mil would go toward "the acquisition of real estate and development of certain property," and that this deal "represents Phase I of the City's proposed relationship with BAV." The money would come from 2006 bond funds, and one caveat says that if the Nazerians don't get to "a Phase II vertical development or cannot reach an agreement with the city on a vertical project scope" by December 31, 2015, they either have to pay back the $2 mil or "give the city collateral property" worth that much.

Docs prepared for Monday's briefing show that the city's serious about sinking dough into that part of town -- that despite "urban revitalization" taking place in North Oak Cliff and around Bishop Arts, "the area is still transitioning and City support will be needed to encourage new housing and mixed-use development." Says the briefing: "Getting 'in front of the market' in emerging areas would allow for more coordinated development," especially in light of the Bishop/Davis Land Use & Zoning Study and the coming streetcars to and from downtown.

But land acquisition isn't enough: The city acknowledges that in coming months and years, there will be "additional incentives ... needed for future phases to support redevelopment costs such as utility upgrades, streetscape and pubic open structure improvements, demolition, and historic facade restoration." And maybe they'll create the Bishop Arts Tax Increment Financing District while they're at it. At which point it's recommended you look at the Paseo Nuevo shopping center in Santa Barbara. That's the future of Oak Cliff?

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky