Crow, Smoked Over Cedars

Oh, good, my favorite dish. Time for a bite of crow.

In my column in the paper version of Unfair Park this week, I wax rhapsodic -- apparently catatonic -- on urban redevelopment taking place in the concentric rings around downtown -- “without any help from and often in spite of City Hall,” as I seem to say. So today I heard from Karl Stundins, Area Redevelopment Program Manager in the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development, pointing out that one of the areas I cite in the column, the “Cedars” district south of downtown, is a city tax increment financing district (TIF) receiving lots of help from the city.

Mr. Stundins, my favorite scold, disagrees with my characterization of city TIF money as a subsidy. He thinks of it more as a blessing. But he’s right: As you can see in the Cedars TIF annual report he sent me, the projects I talked about in my column are getting $2.2 million in some kinda moolah from City Hall.

So I am wrong: The Cedars projects are not equivalent to the work being done on Henderson Avenue by the Andres Brothers. The Andreses participate only in the family-been-in-da-bidness-long-time program, as far as I know.

I could quibble a bit. The Cedars area is still not inside the old downtown. Even if it is getting a boost from City Hall, it’s still an example of how the areas just outside of downtown do better while downtown continues to suck.

But, mainly, Stundins is right. The Cedars is an example of a City Hall-assisted success. I like my crow on a baguette, by the way, still flapping. The sweeter the juice. --Jim Schutze

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