Business News

The Best Thing Written So Far About the John Wiley Price Indictment
Peter Simek | 7/29/2014 3:49:57 PM

The John Wiley Price indictment is a big story, and I'm sure many journalists in town scurried to courthouse drooling over the drama that would unfold in the months to come. I did. But I also thought about Jim Schutze, because Schutze knows this story better than anyone in this town, and I was excited to see what he would do with it. In short, Schutze is delivering. Here's his latest piece, a comprehensive overview of the real scandal, not the bribery, but the way Dallas leaders sold out Dallas and lost the opportunity to develop an Inland Port in South Dallas that would have completely transformed the city's economic base while bringing tens of thousands of jobs to South Dallas. Here's the money quote:

I've known Price for a long time. I look at him sometimes, and I don't see a black guy anyway. I see a Dallas guy. He's a typical Dallas guy who worships money. He loves the thrill of the deal. He thinks of hardworking pluggers as just shy of losers and worse. In 2008, when I asked him how he could oppose something that promised so many jobs in southern Dallas, he told me sneeringly he associated labor with slavery. In fact he put that thought in a letter to Allen. "During slavery," he wrote, "everybody had a job." Put it in writing. That proud of it. That may be a cynicism so profound that it transcends race, or descends it. I wonder sometimes. If all anybody really believes in is the big money and the fast deal, is there no one left out there to believe in the city?

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8 Achievable Steps to Improve Urbanism
Peter Simek | 7/29/2014 10:36:06 AM

Streets.mn, a blog based out of Minnesota offers eight ways to improve urbanism, some of which may seem obvious, others not so much. My favorite suggestions: - Making accessory dwellings legal: They've been playing with the idea in Minneapolis, and Austin  has been savy to it. What accessory dwellings (or granny flats) offer is quick and achievable density in-fill on single family lots. - Better transit, not more transit: Dallas boasts more miles of light rail than any other city in the world, which is one of those claims that sounds good on paper, but is really embarrassing. The rail is so long because it is trying to wrestle with so much sprawl while not actually providing the most efficient or usable service. Streets.mn argues more attention should be paid to improving the efficiency and usability of less sexy, but potentially more effective modes of transit, like the modest, old bus. Hmm, sounds familiar. - Eliminate one way streets: Come one, Dallas. It is time to kill downtown's one way streets. Today. Fine, tomorrow. But still, it's twenty years too late. They make no sense at all.

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Feeling Sam’s Club Blues? Don’t Worry, There Are Some Developers Who Have Vision
Peter Simek | 7/28/2014 3:01:38 PM

Today is the second day of hearings in the East Village Association’s attempt to block that idiotic effort to build a Sam’s Club across Central Expressway from the West Village. If even thinking about that controversy, which we detail in the latest issue, sends you into the doldrums, well then spend a few minutes perusing some more uplifting development plans. These are the latest renderings from Scott Rohrman’s 42 Real Estate, which plans a sweeping renovation of the many Deep Ellum properties it has scooped-up in over the past few years. The designs look both sensitive to the historic neighborhood as it exists today as they carve out a few improvements. My favorite idea, the addition of an alley between Main and Elm Streets that will create a pedestrian corridor that will shorten the too-long blocks lengths that are there today. Wilonsky breaks down the plans in detail here. The renderings were prepared as part of 42 Real Estate’s effort to get all of their holdings rolled into the Deep Ellum Tax Increment Financing District. If all goes according to plan, Rorhman expects the alley portion of the renderings to become reality within 18 months.

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