Design for (Free) Living

Earlier this year, the Dallas City Council said it wanted no part in plans to turn a former hotel at 1011 S. Akard Street into a home for the homeless. Perhaps you recall said brouhaha, the result of which will be 250 low-income apartment units once developers Ted and Larry Hamilton can give their undivided attention to the former Sheraton, Ramada and Plaza that sits across the freeway from and in the shadow of Dallas City Hall. But till then, the Hamiltons are allowing folks to live in the joint absolutely gratis, on the condition they keep a watchful eye on the empty place, lest hooligans and interlopers run amok till construction begins sometime in 2010.

Central Dallas Ministries' Larry James, who had spearheaded the initial efforts to lock down that homeless component, is impressed: "Whether the issue is downtown renewal and upscale development or solving a security problem while helping others who find themselves in tough spots, these guys come up with very creative ideas!" Also impressed: Jack Torrance, who's moved in to the hotel, where the hallways aren't air-conditioned, so he can finish his play.

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