I have a reader that is clearly more than a casual reader. She is "in the business." I consider her a reliable source of selected information she might offer. Her company has some relationship with the landscape/hardscape company that was presumed to be one of the sub contractors on the bid list for this landscape/hardscape/irrigation work. She states that they assumed that the request for bids would have been issued a year ago......or more. Apparently, there "hasn't been a peep." This would be typical of the bizarre scheduling that seems to dog this project.
This project is important to Rowlett for a number of reasons. It was highly touted as Rowlett's first Form Base Code subdivision. Upon completion, bugles were to be heard from on high. Clouds would part. A chorus of angels would be heard singing the praise of Homestead at Liberty Grove. Officials of Rowlett had glorified in the benefits that would befall Rowlett upon it's completion, and houses built, and families moving in. There was just no doubt that lotteries would be held to determine the lucky winners that could purchase homes in the subdivision.
Well, maybe it won't be quite so dramatic. I now wonder if the builders are still going to buy any lots. If the builders don't buy, it's a safe bet that the proposed buyers can't buy something that's not there.
What's the Plan B, if Plan A fails? What happens if people don't like lots with no streets? What happens if the assisted living project one block away fails? I've seen real estate developments fail before. It ain't pretty. It most certainly casts dispersion on the community. What happens if we have two or three developments fail? That is hardly conducive to attracting more and better developers. We can't go incognito and call ourselves Balch Springs. That name is already taken.
In about a month, this subdivision will enter it's third year of development. If the landscaping bids are not out yet, they will definitely enter the third year of development. Folks, that is awful.......and there is no physical evidence that any lots are sold. This might get a little ugly. However, don't fret. Our talented development team is on hand to.......wait a minute......where are they? I saw a picture once. One or two of them even read a couple of books about zoning and development. Its rumored that one or two even had real estate licenses.
I'm trying to inject a little levity into the very serious situation, but three or four failed projects will absolutely taint Rowlett. That won't be nice. Top shelf developers will avoid us like the plague. We will get second and third tier developers working "on the cheap."
The city has go to grow a pair and lean a little bit on developers to supply estimated completion dates on a regular schedule. If completion dates (plateaus of achievement) are missed, reasons should be given. Lenders must be made aware that if the development fails to complete construction or development, the city will take over maintenance and liens will be placed on the property. The lender will eventually have to pay the city for mowed weeds, plugged sewer lines. capped manhole covers, and any other efforts the city has taken to secure the site and prevent further deterioration. Furthermore, before any further permits will be issued, all lines will have to have cameras run thru the lines to verify no obstructions. The banks are supposed to have personnel available to "kick ass" if necessary. (If they don't, they're stupid). Do we have anyone on Council or Staff that knows how to do all this?