I will donate $100.00 to the favorite charity of the first person that can provide me the answers to below questions regarding a certain market study:
Fact: On July 26, 2018, the developers of Bayside cited a market study taken that supported their decision to eliminate the lagoon, proposed fountain, and trolley from the amenity package from the development of Bayside.
Fact: In the above representation, the developer reported that 1300 people were interviewed and 200 of them were in Rowlett.
Fact: In this blog site I asked any Rowlett resident to step forward who may have been contacted by the developer, or their assigns, conducting a survey regarding the lagoon, fountain, or trolley.
Fact: As of this date, no one has responded to this blog's request.
Therefore: This blogs makes the above $100 donation to the first Rowlett resident that can provide reasonably provable information on:
1. Who contacted them representing themselves as poll takers of Bayside?
2. What questions were asked? ( A copy of the survey would be ideal).
3. How did you respond to the questions?
4. If return address of questionnaire is different, who did you return the survey to?
If the first Rowlett resident who steps forward with reasonably provable evidence of any of the above facts, this office would happily donate the money on behalf of the respondent. Happily, because some of my sinister thoughts would remain unproven, and the developer's word would continue to contain some substance.
My sinister thoughts?
Folks, ya gotta put your real estate analyst hat on. What have we got here? Well, we started with a really valuable piece of land......in it's raw state some of the most valuable commercial land between downtown Dallas and Memphis. It is surrounded on three sides by a 23,000 acre lake and within about 45 minutes driving time to 7 million people.
However, it needed some "stuff." It needed a lot of sanitary and storm sewer facilities. It needed water for much enlarged usage. It needs street infrastructure, police and fire protection. The City of Dallas couldn't, or wouldn't, provide it. The developers couldn't afford to do it themselves. They needed a municipal partner. Rowlett was the logical choice.
Regardless of who started the negotiations, Rowlett was offered a "deal" in turn for their support. A spectacular offer of world class lagoon, fountain, and trolleys were a major enticement to cause Rowlett to join forces in a partnership. This was more than a financial enticement. It was more than tax revenue. It put Rowlett on the map. It was a trophy. It helped re-brand Rowlett as a destination, a great place to live, work, and play. It was good for our sense of pride.
Then, Lucy pulled the football out from Charlie Brown's kick. Charlie becomes upset. Now, is there anybody alive in this world that does not understand why Charlie Brown was upset? If you understand that, you then understand Rowlett.
Now, real estate school time.
The current owner's of Bayside paid $31.5 million for the land and some tax incentives For simplicity, I am going to ignore the tax incentives for this discussion.....so, the owners paid $31.5 million for the land, and the City of Rowlett joined up in a partnership whereby the city would provide much needed infrastructure too make the development work. Development started on the north side of Bayside and the city started their work on their obligations. As in all real estate developments, once work begins, values start going up. All is rosy.
Oops. Something happened. The developers are going to remove the world class amenity package of lagoon, fountain, and trolley, the very items that excited Rowlett in the first place. The developer's argument is that more recent facts and surveys prove that the amenity package is no longer warranted. Of course, the hue and cry goes up, as most assuredly has to be expected by the developer. Why would they risk the ire of the city?
What if it was by design?
As valuable as the land is, it is not nearly as valuable as it would be if all the infrastructure were in place, fire and police protection in place, and I-30 modifications worked out. (Not enough has been discussed about I-30.)
If Rowlett commits to their share of obligations, then starts the wheels turning to honor those obligations, the value of the Bayside land starts going up, and up. Some land has been sold out of Bayside for the development of a garage and some apartments, townhouses, condos, or whatever they are on the north side. There was probably enough profit from that (those) transactions to pay for the marina modifications on the south side of I-30. You must understand, the construction sites are no longer managed by Bayside. They have another owner and another mortgage.
So, Bayside has sold some land, improved a marina, and done some other modest work. What has the value of their land done? Rowlett is performing their obligatory improvements. Those improvements are enhancing the value of the Bayside land. As a modest improvement, they rehabbed the marina. (By the way, the new plan for the marina and it's kayak basin is dreadful. The new concept was not designed by anyone that knew anything about boating. Also, how far are the proposed boat slips from the parking lot? Anyone having back or walking issues can move their boats to Captain's Cove.)
What if everything is going as designed by the Bayview owners? Was the owner's plan to purchase the land, while getting the city of Rowlett obligated to provide infrastructure that enhanced the value of the land? After the city was firmly aboard whereby it would be difficult to bailout, was it the original plan to yank the football back to save on costs. If successful, and the city bought into the "new" plan for development, look what was happening? Bayview land was increasing in value because the city, thru their efforts, was making the land "more easy to develop and more valuable," while at the same time, cutting tens of millions of dollars from costs by eliminating the lagoon, fountain, and trolley. It's one of those instances whereby 2 + 2 = 6.
It would have been a good plan, except for one speed bump. The citizens of Rowlett revolted. The Council was pissed. In an effort to "quiet the natives," it seemed to me that the owners went into damage control. If they didn't, they should have.
I know my thoughts. I have taken my musket down from over the mantel. I am greasing the wheels on my oxcart, and looking for someone with oxen. I'm putting new straw in the torches. I got coveralls and a straw hat around here somewhere.
If this whole thing was a result of poor research at the beginning, and more accurate research for the new and improved design, let someone prove it. Were is the data? Where are the people? The developer's behavior could be horrible mismanagement. If this whole thing is by design, you have to ask if a criminal ingredient is present. Is it a scam? Is it bait and switch? It's certainly misrepresentation, if our legal work at the beginning was competent.
I want someone to pay for this insult.
But what do I know?