| News |

Exclusive: DCAD Just Made Downtown Land a Whole Lot More Valuable

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Mayor Tom Leppert returns from China tomorrow, and he might not get much of a chance to sleep off his jet lag. It's likely that in coming days, the mayor can expect sarcastic thank-you notes from downtown property owners whose property values -- and property taxes -- are about to go through the roof, all because of the convention center hotel he’s been pushing through the council.

According to documents obtained today by Unfair Park, the Dallas Central Appraisal District is exponentially increasing the value of downtown land -- at least, they're upping the value of the parking lot upon which Leppert would like to build the hotel. Property collectively worth just $7.3 million last week is on the books for $36.5 million today. One parcel at 702 Young Street is currently on DCAD's books for $2,077,820; the new appraised value is $10,389,100.

And it's not just the proposed hotel property either: Michael Anderson -- general counsel for Chavez Properties, which owns the land -- today provided Unfair Park with 10 appraisals for downtown parcels also owned by Chavez Properties. And while they didn’t see the 397 percent hike the hotel land did, the combined value more than doubled -- from $9.3 million to $18.9 million.

Anderson expressed concern that the majority of downtown properties will also be affected, creating “a Boston Tea Party tax revolt.” He didn’t name names, but says he knows why this happened. “It’s because of all the people against the hotel project who have used the DCAD value as part of their argument,” Anderson said.

By which he means, of course, Angela Hunt and Mitchell Rasansky, who have asked why the city's paying about $41 million for land valued only at $7 million, more or less. Hunt could not be reached for comment, and, of course, Rasansky has been muzzled.

It's unclear whether the values of all downtown properties are being substantially upped by DCAD; Cheryl Jordan, DCAD's spokesperson, refused to comment on the appraisals. This much we do know: New appraisals are being sent out to all local properties tomorrow, after which Anderson expects hell to be raised by property owners. Jordan also said DCAD expects to have a better grasp on the re-valuations' impact on downtown by May 23. --Sam Merten

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.