Someone asked yesterday if and when Omni's going to move its HQ to the city of Dallas. Well ... if you'll look at the council's agenda for today, it's right there: items No. 54 and 55. The first one's for a mammoth tax abatement agreement for 10 years; the second, for an economic development grant. As in:
* Authorize a real property tax abatement agreement with TRT Holdings, Inc. and/or its affiliates and subsidiaries located at 4001 Maple Avenue in the amount of 90 percent on the added value to the real property for ten years in accordance with the City's Public/Private Partnership Program - Revenue: First year revenue estimated at $25,504; ten-year revenue estimated at $255,040 (Estimated revenue forgone for a ten-year new real property abatement estimated at $2,295,360)
* Authorize a Chapter 380 economic development grant agreement with TRT Holdings, Inc. and/or its affiliates and subsidiaries related to the relocation of its corporate headquarters to 4001 Maple Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75219, pursuant to Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code in accordance with the City's Public/Private Partnership Program - Not to exceed $200,000 - Financing: Public/Private Partnership Funds
Robert Rowling's TRT Holdings, parent of the Omni and Gold's Gym, will be moving from Irving, bringing with it, says the agenda, around 300 jobs and 170,000 square feet worth of Class A office space on the spot where Harlan Crow knocked down Herrera's across the street from Unfair Park HQ. (He had it rebuilt across the street.) Also, promises the agenda: "TRT Holdings, Inc., will make a private investment exceeding $40,000,000 for its new corporate headquarters facility."
There's going to be a press conference after council's morning session, after which they promise: "Designs of new headquarters will be unveiled," per a press release we got yesterday. Ooooh.
Update at 11:13 a.m.: The council just wrapped its discussion, and ...
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Tennell Atkins says that "when you deal with TRT, you deal with the Omni Hotel, and they're a great partnership." And, sure, he's bummed they're not going downtown. But at least it's "Big D." Says Atkins: "It's a cornerstone this great city needs, and thank TRT for picking that location, because it's now a gateway to downtown."
Ann Margolin's all for it: "This is a very good deal for the city." Still, she wonders if perhaps the tax giveaway isn't too big: "As we move forward I would like for us to at least take a look at changing the 90-percent tax abatement to something a little lower. We're giving away 90 percent of the property taxes, and that's a lot to forgo." She also hopes that TRT will start hiring Dallas residents; Scott Griggs seconds that emotion.
And Pauline Medrano's excited: "This is in District 2, and the sales tax impact just on Maple Avenue alone would be great for the small businesses on Maple these almost 300 people will shop, go eat, take [their clothes to] the cleaners. The sales tax impact will be great." Linda Koop also wanted to "give a shout-out" to Harlan Crow for fixing up the old Parkland Hospital. "And we're happy to have Omni part of the city of Dallas," said Koop. "Big-time thank you," said Jerry Allen. "I just want to say thanks to TRT," said Dwaine Caraway.
It passed unanimously. Now to the press conference formally announcing the move. Mayor Mike Rawlings also wanted to celebrate the fact Gold's Gym is moving to Dallas. Because, he noted, "We need to be a fit city."