In September of '08 I wrote about Scott Beck's big idea to save Deep Ellum, which involved buying up 14 acres of Elm, Commerce and Main streets from Good-Latimer Expressway to Malcolm X Boulevard and gentrifying the whole lot of it. Only, word kept slowly leaking out: The cratering economy had devoured the deal, and would-be sellers were backing out one by one. In the meantime, city officials kept insisting: No, no, no, it'll be fine -- just needs some, ya know, bond money. Or something?
Alas, the deal died a quiet death, and Deep Ellum has managed a slow, steady rebirth without Beck's help, thankyouverymuch. But with a tip o' the hat to Nancy Visser comes word from the Star-Telegram that in state court in Tarrant County, one of Beck's would-be partners in the venture -- Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Company -- has sued Beck and Beck Ventures over their failure to make a go of the redo.
I'm trying to get a copy of the suit, but according to the Startlegram, Trademark alleges it sunk more than $320,000 into the venture but tried to back out once "it became apparent ... there was increasing potential for the deal to fall through due to external forces such as the downturn of the real estate market and the economy in general." Says the suit, Beck and dad Jeff (who, we learned this morning, still wants to buy the Texas Rangers) kept insisting the corpse would come back to life. Only, it didn't, and Trademark says it hasn't been able to get its money back despite several attempts.
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I've left a message for Trademark's CEO and chairman, Terry Montesi, who was working directly with Beck. I also left a message this evening on Scott Beck's cell. If either respond, I will update accordingly.