It would appear that some mistakes could have been made by Dallas City Council. However, some on council are reporting that you have to "give the market a chance." That's a cop out. You need to know the real estate markets first before you start investing millions of dollars.
I fear we in Rowlett might be making a similar mistake. I'm not worrying about the market success of the Villages. That project will succeed. The apartment market is incredibly strong and the rents are far exceeding labor and material costs to build. Apartment developers are quite happy right now. My objection, as reported earlier, is the amount of taxpayer's contribution to the development of the Villages , as approved by city council. Some taxpayer contribution is appropriate to "kick start" downtown development. I don't have a problem with the word "some." It's the words "complete downpayment" and "15 years of tax abatement" that I have a problem with.
I fear that the above is a signal that maybe our negotiation(s) officer(s) might be a little inexperienced in the art of real estate structuring. I don't know any of the details of the officer(s) deal making, but on the surface I am worried about mistakes that I feel may have already been made and what lies in the future. Really bad strategy mistakes don't self correct. In fact, if you overlay one problem over another problem, it just compounds the difficulty, not solve it. To reference The Villages again, how long do you think it would take the Staubach Company to respond if they were approached and asked, "Would you build 225 units in downtown Rowlett the way we want them if we put up your down payment and gave you 15 years without city taxes?" Anything over 5 seconds would be grossly exaggerated.
It's my opinion that our last city manager had her idea of what she wanted and coerced our consultants and others into giving her what she wanted. It's further my opinion our last city manager was the worst real estate analyst I ever knew to hold such an office. That, dear people, is a formula for disaster. It can only be corrected by an informed and dedicated City Council. I feel our City Council is dedicated.