We always look at him to see if he can unite the city as he promised. He still has a long, long way to go. What message do these city behaviors send to investors who are considering putting bets in this area? If you`re a small potato store, gas station, or car wash, the answer is clear. Everything I have reported in fifteen years on the Lockey & MacKenzie case concerning the city that hosts affordable residential developers is confirmed and validated in a new lawsuit filed Friday. But this new costume comes from people who should be the best friends of the town hall. And maybe all of this would be justified and the city would do the right thing if it turned out that Larry Hamilton and John Greenan have been wearing extremely clever costumes all these years and that they are really Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. This is exactly the kind of story I always hope for. In addition, Lone Star Gas Lofts was the ace of the city in the hole for the defense of the Lockey and MacKenzie litigation, which is far from over. He prowls, ready to throw himself again, and I will explain it in a later column. Lockey and MacKenzie said the city had them too. They said the city killed its office-redo tower deal in the downtown because the city didn`t really want workers to live in the downtown core, while the city used a ton of federal money for low-income housing to fund the renovation of empty towers. The city said no, people just had to look at the superb affordable housing the city was doing with Hamilton/CitySquare.
And yes, Hamilton/CitySquare tore up something really great. They took a messy buildup of old buildings owned by the local natural gas supplier and turned it into the largest mixed-income housing project downtown. I asked John Greenan, CitySquare`s head of development, why he thought things had happened like this: “We really didn`t want to file a complaint,” he said. It took so long and we had so little resonance from the city that we felt like we had no choice. If the city`s massively entrenched city hall bureaucracy decides that destroying your business is a way for them to cover their own back ends, they will do so in the blink of an eye and will never look back. We have known this for some time. But the story of Lone Star Gas Lofts, I must admit, even shocks me, and to shock me from the town hall, it takes a massive and massive tension. These complex public and private transactions involve very complex financing. It`s not just the city`s money from the TIF.
Developers have to raise a lot of money from a variety of sources, some of which are private. The money from the TIF, when and when it appears, is the sauce that makes it a good deal for everyone. Private lenders watching this case must be wondering what the risk factor is in dealing with Dallas City Hall. You`d think the city would want to bend to the back to avoid someone ever describing it with a term like “slow pay.” Payment is slow for $8 million, nothing less. But for the argument, we consider the explanation of the hanlon razor – stupidity or incompetence. This goes straight to another topic that I have written a lot about lately – the crude application of zonation and security rules by the city to close quite legitimate businesses in areas with high crime, instead of the city itself taking responsibility for fighting crime. A year ago, Dallas voters voted him face, voice and vision of this city. No one is interested in the weakness of Dallas` system of mayors. It`s Johnson, not the City Manager we`re looking at, especially in times of crisis like this. This project is therefore on the street. A year ago, the city had to pay $8 million to developers. The complaint says the city did not pay nickel and offers a series of apologies from Penny Ante.
A year has passed. And that`s $8 million. The Americans. In the heat of Friday night`s debate, Broadnax insisted he was running the city.