I basically missed all the good times associated with this season. I have had the flu, plus a relapse, since the Tuesday before Christmas. I started getting a fever on the 23rd, and it continued until the day after Christmas. On Friday, the fever broke, but I still ached in every muscle and joint. I had absolutely no energy. By Sunday after Christmas, I felt fairly good and attended a birthday party for my grandson on Sunday night. The following day, the fever came back with a vengeance. I was down all thru the day after New Years. Finally, on Friday I began to come around. I felt good on Saturday.
I missed every single family and friends festivity held during the two and a half week period. I peeked outside on Saturday and, lo and behold, there was even some sun shining. Today, the sun is shining and it promises to be a very good brand new year. I wish you all the best.
I now am horribly behind........on everything. I don't know where to start to catch up.
I would like to make some brief comments about what I think is going to be extremely important to Rowlett in 2015. In my opinion, the two biggest news stories effecting Rowlett during 2014 were the announcements of Toyot0's arrival on the scene and the efforts to acquire Robertson Park.
These two events could have enormous effects on Rowlett. On one event, I think Rowlett's "officialdom" is totally blowing it. On the other, I think they are fully apprised and are effective in pursuing it.
The issue of which Rowlett's "officialdom" has totally screwed up, is the total misreading of the Rowlett housing market and it's potential. Rowlett has put into effect residential zoning which almost completely eliminates their participation in one of the strongest residential markets this area has seen in 20 years. We have one residential development underway. We are a town of 57,000 people, in North Texas, and only have one subdivision underway. Our subdivision is proudly touted as our "first Form Base Code subdivision." It may also be our last. It is an unproven market. It is reported that two very good builders, David Weekley and Cambridge Homes, are going to build out the subdivision. That could be true, but only if Fred and Ethel likes the development, houses, and the price. Believe me, David Weekley is no fool. He will be in that subdivision so long as the houses sell. If they don't, he will be out of there. If that should happen, Rowlett will have a white elephant on their hands. The developer will be long gone.
At the present time, Rowlett has some beautiful residential land we know as North Shore. It is ideally suited for the new endeavors of Toyoto and the new State Farm buiding on the SE corner of Bush Toll Way and North Central. There will be thousands of families looking for new homes, and there we sit, just 20-30 minutes of commute time away.
This superb opportunity has been totally throttled by our new zoning for North Shore. You don't have to be brilliant to realize this. The news reports hammer us almost every day with the data that backs up that fact. This total malfunction is a result of a past dictatorial city manager and a staff that wouldn't dare cross her. I have said many times in this blog, our past city manager was the worst real estate analyst I had ever seen. The North Shore fiasco proves it. It is high time to admit we were wrong about North Shore and take steps to correct the misfire.
The issue that is good for Rowlett and I think the city is doing a credible job of nurturing is the Robertson Park acquisition. We have a credible developer, or facilitator, offering to purchase the land, and has developed what appears to be a workable relationship with the City of Rowlett. I think the good news here is that Rowlett is staying out of the real estate business and is centering on what they can do as a city to expedite the acquisition. That is good......very good. The city can calculate costs of fire protection, police protection, utility costs and tax revenue. That's what they're good at. They need to stay out of the real estate business. They aren't any good at it. (Example, North Shore).
I'll give you something to whet your appetite. Fully developed, the Robertson Park land might produce $1 Billion in taxable value. It will take a few years to get there, but can you even imagine what that can do for Rowlett? The City of Grapevine has done pretty well since the construction of DFW Airport. The seed money for that pretty spectacular rise was 5% of every drink sold at the watering holes at DFW terminals. That gave Grapevine the opportunity to springboard on to bigger and greater things.
Rowlett has a bright future, if we don't screw it up anymore. The next election in 18 months is very, very, important. We need leaders that have something between their ears........not personalities.