There was an observation and question submitted by a friend and a very credible source. He asked if an article appearing in the Dallas Morning News on February 28, suggested changes in the lagoon feature in Bayside, and perhaps a preview of what was coming. He sent a link to that article. It is below.
The question is valid. My response essentially was that I had seen the article,, but the overall message did not seem to suggest a complete abandonment of the "water feature." I thought it probably meant that some acceptable "tweaking," that always accompanies land development, was the point of the article. I felt the major announcement of the article was the removal of the first developer and replacement by the second developer. In any event, if the intent of the article was to preview the demise of the lagoon and fountain, I totally missed it.
However, the question posed further thoughts about timeline. Who knew what, when, and did they recognize the importance of what was going on? This is a serious question, because anyone who missed it totally blew any pretense that they knew anything about the Rowlett citizenry and their desires. They had no idea how important Bayside was to Rowlett. Whether an owner, developer, elected official, or city staff, if you didn't understand the importance of Bayside to Rowlett, and not savvy enough to recognize the misrepresentations, you have no business working on this project. This is a complicated project in both development and market savvy. It is not for people still playing with rubber duckies in the bathtub, while a diploma from Fred & Ethyl's Sheet Metal Shop and Real Estate School hangs on the wall. It takes experience and knowledge to play in developments such as Bayside.
Now, let me point out some things emerging from the article above. First, notice the date of February 28, 2018, and the announcement of a new developer. Second, notice the words saying that the new developer was already engaged in market studies. Third, notice the comments of the developers on their website Q&A page. They are saying that the city was being informed of changes at that early date. The city seems to be denying that on their website. We have a classic standoff in Dodge City on Front Street.
Apparantly, the new developer was working on a market study, or two, sometime before the announcement of their arrival. They reference the events in the article of Feb. 28. Now, I know a little bit about market studies. You don't put them together in a couple of days. You have to design the protocols first. You need to know the exact right questions and you have to determine that your sampling of respondents is suitable for accuracy of the study. Also, how big is the study. You can't just ask two or three people. The developer says they sampled 1300 people, 200 of which live in Rowlett. Folks, if I can pick my own 200 people, and I have a couple of cases of wine, and a couple of hours, I will get you any answer you want from any question. Please, please, if any of you were questioned as part of the referenced 200, would you please contact me?
Where did the other 1100 respondents come from? Seattle? Denver? Kansas City?.........or Garland? What were they asked? "Do you like trees and grass?" "Do you like good paying jobs within walking distance?" "Do you like great restaurants and beautiful people?" If all the answers to above are "Yes," then there is no need for a lagoon and fountain. They were not mentioned. NO DATA was offered at the public hearing of July 26. All we got was the developer's interpretation of what the alleged market studies said. I'm an ex-loan officer. I want more than that. I also want to know who in the city first got an inkling about removing the lagoon, fountain, and trolley from the amenity package. If they didn't recognize the significance of that, they really need counseling. Also, who did they tell? Who else knew as early as February. The developer states that the City of Rowlett was always in the loop. Who did the developer meet with?.....the grounds keepers of City Hall? Again, who knew what, when? If I was on staff and I first heard about the bait and switch, I would have started handing out Lewisville Sluggers to all and lead a charge to the developers office. I guess most people would file a lawsuit, but that's less dramatic. Where in the world was legal council in all this? It was surely present when the deal was struck between the developers and the city. Where were they when, and if, certain attempts were made by the developers (our partners) to abandon certain representations? In the business world, that would be an invitation to a lawsuit. Of course, we want to avoid legal action. That means we have to "work it out." However, I will say the city should have the hammer.
As for me, I say the lagoon stays. The fountain can be redesigned to avoid the operating costs, and 60 foot jet stream of water, now in the forecast. I don't need a 60 foot stream of water in the air. I can settle for a more maintenance free waterfall, or a 10 feet stream of water in the air. All a waterfall needs is a pump to push water back to the top. The trolley stays. See......the city can give up something. The developers better pay attention. The next sound they hear with be the knock on the door of the process server.
I don't know who's telling the truth, but I know what the citizens of Rowlett think. They think they have been bamboozled. That's almost all you need to know. What I want is simple. I just want someone to start telling the damn truth around here. Now it's my understanding all of the city participants have been advised to shut up. Geez.