Back in April, the Dallas City Council agreed to spend $120,000 in economic development grant money so the Urban Land Institute could "assess redevelopment options" at Southwest Center Mall, formerly known as Red Bird. Only Mitchell Rasansky opposed the expenditure -- the now-former council member didn't like the idea of spending public money on a private enterprise. Which, turns out, is precisely what the ULI's team suggests in its 99-page report submitted last week to the city's Office of Economic Development.
There was a piece in The News on Saturday, the day after the panel made its presentation to city officials, but it's worth reading the report in its entirety, as it's filled with the very suggestions of which Rasansky was afraid earlier this spring, among them:
- Form an expanded tax increment financing district, including Executive Airport, to finance public investment in revitalization, job development and housing rehabilitation.
- Initiate a community-based revitalization strategy that finalizes development options and produces zoning consistent with revitalization.
- Buy the Dillards and JC Penney parcels immediately to reduce the number of owners and to gain site control.
- After the community-based revitalization strategy is created, recruit a developer or developers to implement the plan.
- Negotiate public private and civic partnerships that address the viability of the development.
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.