Now that the city council's had two months to digest the Urban Land Institute's 99-page report on Southwest Center Mall, formerly known as Red Bird, the Economic Development Committee is tasked with figuring out how involved the city's going to be in keeping the doors open. Far as the committee figures, it has four options: Dallas could act as principal developer (which would involve buying up the property by no later than 2012 with money from a new bond program), serve as a "facilitator of development" (which would involve a partial city purchase of land), help recruit new businesses to come into the old mall or do nothing at all and hope for the best, fingers crossed and all that.
ULI's report more or less demands the city get involved pronto, but it's hard to say how the cash-poor city's going to come down on this one, after it already spent $120,000 in economic development grant money on the ULI report. For this morning's meeting, city staff has cooked up quite the pros-and-cons list, while the briefing document suggests that staff will draft a request for proposals from real estate pros to "assist in assessment and implementation of a land assemblage strategy," should it come to that. Which reminds me: How's Valley View doing these days?
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.