I sent the email on 10/24/15. It has now been nearly a month, and I have not received any reply from anyone. None. Zip. Nada. Not even an almost obligatory "I'll take it under advisement." Below is my email.
I know we don't exactly agree on this topic. I'm not sure why you're not, but my reasons are pretty straightforward.
Running a Parks department is your business. I won't tell you how to run a park. Knowing what a city can do to improve their lot and enhance their image and create value is mine. I would hope we could have a meeting of the minds on this.
Below is my post of 10/15/2015 and a reader's comment on
(Attached copy of 10/15/15 post....also check the comment)
I think the pocket parks would be good for Rowlett, and they wouldn't cost much money. We can maintain and police them with the Rowlett Navy. (See Post)
As mentioned above......not even a peep out of city hall. Clearly, there was no interest in pursuing and any further conversation about lakeside Pocket Parks for Rowlett. Apparently there is no interest. So.....on to other endeavors.
I took a look at downtown. Even though we gave away far too much money on the Villages of Rowlett, the apartments will rent, and that will bring people into downtown Rowlett. Once the people are there, it would be nice for them to have something to do. There was a super effort to make a tea and crumpets restaurant work, and we gave additional land for two other restaurants to the same person.
I told one high ranking elected official that that deal wouldn't work. The economics and marketing wasn't right. I doubted the ability to get the necessary financing. Of course, the high ranking elected official didn't pay any attention to me. About a month, or so ago, the deal cratered. I have no idea why. There were probably plenty of reasons.
So, I thought we needed something stronger than tea and crumpets to attract and keep a downtown social population.
So......I found a neat enterprise that I think will work. It's ideal for young professionals living in The Villages and find advantages to the DART station. It could also pull other spenders to the downtown area.
Ft. Worth is cleaning up an area south of I-30 along the Main Street area for several blocks. It was a high crime and drug area. Well, the bad folks are getting beat up pretty good down there. New businesses are moving in. Warehouses are becoming apartments. Loading docks are becoming outside seating for bar/restaurants. I have finished two projects in the area, nearly completed one more, and just starting one. I am approving the funding of the projects for the banks.
The business that I found is called a "craft beer" bar/restaurant. It is really cool.
I sent an email to all the City Council, the Planning Department, the City Manager, and the Economic Development Department.
It will take a little time to read thru all this stuff, but look at it this way........it took a lot more time to do it. The email is copied below.
to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Just a thought....maybe a lead
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Ft. Worth has a pretty extensive program to "clean up" an area south of I-30 and on and around the old Main Street area. It needed some clean up. The area was rife with drug dealers and users.
Nearly the whole area is now underway with new utilities, and buildings being remodeled. It's a bit of a gamble, but I think it will work.
I have already completed two remodels on a small office building, and conversion of a warehouse into a small bar and 48 apartments. Nearby was the "hottest" cocaine store in the area. It is now vacant. The remodels went very well and the owners of both projects are now leasing space. I have another office building that we're just starting about two blocks further south. It is a much bigger project.
There is another project that I just now finished approving the last of the bank's development loan. It is this project that I'm writing to you about.
The building is pretty small, containing only about 3,000 sq. ft. However, it has been completely gutted and is being remodeled as a bar/restaurant; but what a great idea to revitalize an area. It is about a $1.6 million deal, including a $100K TIF loan.
The restaurant is called a "craft beer" place, with a really good short order kitchen. The kitchen is small, but very well equipped. Both owners are chefs. They will only have about 8 bar stools, and perhaps 6 tables and a patio area at the rear. Two large bay doors open up to the outside when weather permits. It is definitely a "gathering place."
The décor and theme is "industrial." They will serve 64 different brands of beer, 7 of which come from Ft. Worth. They also are returning to a 100 year old ago practice of sending beer home in an approved container. (Before cans). It is called "growlering." They have a license to do so. I have one of their jars. It is now empty.
This is going to be an absolute delightful gathering place. While I was there yesterday, there must have been 10 people stick their heads in the door and ask when they intend to open. They should be open in a week. This will clearly be a place to go for the under 40 crowd........which is the same crowd that is renting apartments in the nearby renovated apartment space.
Every time I look at this place, I think of The Villages in downtown Rowlett. I believe it would be a perfect fit for what everyone wants for downtown. Located in downtown Rowlett, close to apartments, DART, a place to meet family and friends after work, and a destination for other visitors into the area are all clearly visible attributes.
Both owners, who are chefs, know Rowlett. They would be interested in talking to someone. Please be assured,
I have absolutely no dogs in this hunt. I have no financial interest in any part of this deal. I simply found it and I think it's a good fit. I do know the banks that funded these deals, but no other association, nor promise of any.
If you have any thoughts, pass them on and I will let the owners know that Rowlett is interested in talking. They're a little busy right now trying to finish their current project by next week. However, if you think it's worth while, I will let them know to contact whoever you wish to have them contact.
I have attached some photos. Let me know your thoughts.
Well, the above is my deal I found. I think it would be great for downtown. It would become a "place" to meet. Can you imagine getting off DART after a hard day's work, walking over to the "craft beer" place and meeting your spouse before going home to The Villages. It would be a great lifestyle for the young professionals.
I sent the above email on November 1. As with the pocket parks, there has not been one comment from anyone I sent the email to. Now folks, if I was a weirdo, crank, I could understand. I am not. I forgot more about real estate development while shaving this morning than the entire City Council knows. You people we call voters are getting short sheeted.
Now, I'm on to my third "deal." I'm studying the Senior housing situation. The Rowlett "officialdom" has started the ball rolling. It's a little late and not much enthusiasm, but its a start... I'm beginning to assemble data to deliver to any qualified developer that I can get interested in Rowlett. The operative word here is "qualified." They have to have a track record that can be vetted.
So......people. That's what I've been doing.