This will also be the beginning of a new Rowlett. The old Rowlett will become an heirloom........one that is steadily increasing in value. Rowlett will become a new destination for all in the metroplex. The plans for the development are staggering.
It is a credit to the developer of Bayside that they chose to start with a value producing facility that is open to the public. It is also very smart. It will definitely enhance the value of the remaining 250+- acres. It will also start the value enhancement of your homes. After completion of Bayside, it will definitely take some pressure off your Rowlett tax bill.
In 2008, I wrote a column in the Dallas Morning News advocating that Rowlett purchase Robertson Park, hire a very savvy developer to guide Rowlett "officialdom" thru the development minefields, and develop Robertson Park ourselves. Some things changed over the years and eventually the park was sold to Donahue Development and Rowlett annexed the land into the city.
Folks, this is a better plan than I pleaded for. There is far less chance that mistakes can be made along the way. I have absolutely no doubt that Rowlett "officialdom" could have been in over their heads. It was absolutely mandatory that a savvy developer was along for the ride.
The entry of Donahue Development solved nearly all those problems. I could not have written a better script. It is now mandatory that the City of Rowlett does not put unwarranted speed bumps in the way. No one, including me, wants shoddy construction and misguided marketing and planning of development. I have some ominous feelings about Rowlett "officialdom's" maniacal convictions that Form Base Codes work everywhere, even under water. I have a well founded hunch that Donahue Development has considerably more experience at "super" development than our Planning Department. Has our Planning Department ever built anything? Have they ever costed anything? Have they ever developed a production schedule? Have they ever conducted a market survey? Stated simply, I just want our leadership and Planning department to use good common sense.
I have my own opinions about the good and bad of Form Base Codes, however I would like to cite an example of dubious value. I heard from a source I consider very reliable that our new Dairy Queen cost $500K more and took six months longer to build because of our Form Base Codes. I know Dairy Queen has been building ice cream stores for about 50 years. I think by now they probably have the hang of it, particularly since they occupy their own buildings that they build. I wonder how long it's going to take Dairy Queen to recapture the additional cost for Form Base Codes, whether needed, or not.
Get ready, folks. It's gonna get fun around here.