Wherein We Throw Some Items at the DART Board to See If They Stick

On Friday, at the bottom of his item about Roscoe Betz's latest legal victory over Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Jim mentioned another ongoing "saga" -- former DART board member John C. Tatum's breach-of-contract suit filed against the transit agency, which Tatum claims balked on its deal to sell him a property known as Monroe Shop near the Illinois Station on Corinth Road. DART claimed sovereign immunity; the courts said, Unh-unh. In January, the Supreme Court of Texas kicked the case back to a lower court; a trial's forthcoming before year's end.

I see here that DART's board of directors is touring the Monroe Shops site today -- at noon, Jim, if you're not busy. And it's on the DART board's Administrative Committee Meeting agenda today as well: "Use of Outside Counsel in Monroe Shop Partners, Ltd. v. Dallas Area Rapid Transit." Looks like, as of October 2008, DART has committed $235,000 to fighting Tatum over land he wanted to buy from DART in the first place -- land, as a matter of fact, mentioned way back in 1992 in the city of Dallas's Illinois Station Site Plan Approval: "An existing two-story brick structure (Monroe Shops) will be rehabilitated and adaptively reused as an integral part of the development."

Oh, and if you didn't know: DART's in the process of converting the Monroe Shops site into its police headquarters. And it was built in 1914. And it was the original home of the Texas Interurban Railway.

And, speaking of transit-oriented developments, I was looking at the rather fascinating minutes from last month's DART meeting -- and noticed there was a long discussion between Jack Wierzenski, DART's transit-oriented development guru, and Revenue Committee vice chair Randall Chrisman about leasing versus selling DART's property adjacent to several light-rail sites, among them the Mockingbird, Park Lane and -- to bring it all back home -- Illinois stations. I've made some calls.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky