Monday, September 30, 2013

Who Is The Council Dealing With Now?

The Richardson City Council has a full plate on its September 30 meeting agenda, most of which will be conducted out of sight of the public.

In compliance with Section 551.087(1) and (2) of the Texas Government Code, Council will convene into a closed session to discuss the following:
  • Deliberation Regarding Economic Development Negotiations
    • Commercial Development -- President George Bush Turnpike/Plano Rd., U.S. 75/Campbell Rd., and Collins Blvd./International Pkwy. Areas
After the jump, let's speculate on what's going on.

The PGBT/Plano Rd is where all the cranes are. There's a high rise office park going up on the north end of that property and an apartment complex being built on the south end. Let's hope the new secret deliberations will bring us some of the mixed-use, transit-oriented development we were originally promised for this site.

The Collins Blvd/International Pkwy site is the old Collins Radio site. It's been great to see that abandoned site get redeveloped into a digital data center. Hopefully, this week's secret deliberations mean even more business is on its way to this site, the birthplace of Richardson as a high tech hub.

U.S. 75/Campbell Rd. is the most intriguing of the secret deliberation topics. There's an old shopping center there now, anchored by the Fox and Hounds bar and restaurant on one end, and an Office Max on the other. Walmart was rumored to be interested in building a supercenter there, but Richardson recently moved to require a super exclusive, highly reserved, no-way-in-hell special permit to build in Richardson for stores the size of Walmart, or maybe just for Walmart itself. We're all dying to learn if the city council has found someone else to take Walmart's place in this site, the gateway to Place 4.

I'm also curious to learn how much in the way of tax abatements or other subsidies the city council will give away to these businesses. Dig deep enough and you'll probably be able to find the answers, eventually, but it would be nice if the city would include the cost of these "wins" when they proudly tell us about the number of projected jobs and tax dollars they expect to generate. I'd probably come down on the side of doing the deals, anyway, but the lack of transparency in such deals leaves me cold.

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