Thursday, May 29, 2014

In Real Estate, Is Garbage a Selling Point?

When I said goodbye to Spring Creek Farm and speculated on what might go there in its place, I focused on the potential impact on the nearby Spring Creek Nature Area. But I overlooked another nearby feature that might be even more important to this site's future, the Lookout Trash Transfer Station (LOTS). Face palm.

After the jump, the challenge of selling real estate along a garbage expressway.

Lookout Drive runs right down the middle of the land that the Spring Creek Farm is located on. Lookout Drive is the route that all those (small) garbage trucks that drive up and down Richardson's alleys use to drop off their loads at LOTS. Lookout Drive is also the route that the big trash trucks use on the start of the long haul from Richardson up to the landfill in Melissa.

I'm not a real estate expert, but I doubt that LOTS as a neighbor is going to be a selling point in marketing this land for development. LOTS itself is slated for reconstruction to better contain the trash, noise and smells, but that still leaves all those garbage trucks driving right through this site to get to and from LOTS. LOTS is also being enlarged, so there will be even more garbage trucks in the future.

The land is zoned industrial, so we're not talking about building homes along garbage expressway, but, still, would you want your business located on garbage expressway? This may not prevent development of this land, but it's going to take some creative site architecture, not to say marketing, to make this an attractive site. Expect the owner to draw prospective buyers' attention towards all those nearby parks.


DennisTheBald said...

Well, if my business produced a lot of garbage, garbage that I was having to pay to have hauled off (is t most cartage billed by the mile-,truckload rates are that way). One think for sure, our new neighbor is prly gonna smell worse than ponies.

Unknown said...

Thanks for blogging about the dilemma of the old Owens Farm property. There is also the vacant land across the street, as well as the parks and Cityline down the road that will all be affected by the expansion of the 40 year old Lookout trash station. It is such a shame that Richardson leaders along with NTWMD have chosen to continue the blight of the trash station to the detriment of the surrounding areas. If it wasn't for "grandfathering" through a permit amendment as opposed to a new permit (which is slight of hand because it is actually being built on a new parcel of land not previously owned by NTMWD,) it wouldn't even be allowed. Most people don't realize that the trash station is actually residentially zoned but by a special variance as a "public building" it was granted. Now that the farm is gone and with the building of Cityline there is even more reason to re-think this all. Do we as citizens and businesses really want 4x as much garbage, noise and pollution going up and down Plano road? And yes there ARE folks interested in building homes on the Owens Farm land. Of course! It is a beautiful area close to wonderful amenities. Obviously the trash station is not one of them because it is incompatible with its surroundings. Back in the "old days," it was often the case where short-sighted and inappropriate planning occurred like putting polluting facilities on watershed creeks, in floodplains and near where our children play. With what we know now from just the last 5 years of disasters (West, Fukashima, West Virginia)you'd think we'd know better. And we do, but in the case of the trash station: money, the easy way, and big (in this case unaccountable)government are what's pushing and allowing 5 acres of burgeoning trash to define, indeed condemn, the potential of 50 plus other acres of premium real estate and at the same time endangering our environment and the public health of our citizens. Polluting entities need to be placed in strictly industrial areas. That is the only responsible public policy. What was good 40 years ago needs to re-examined for the present times and conditions with current knowledge. It is foolish to do otherwise. It should be a no-brainer. But like climate change deniers, we can choose to ignore the obvious and let our children suffer the consequences or we can join the fight to wake-up our elected officials to enact responsible public policy.

Mark Steger said...

An ingenious solution to the problem of what to put on the road to a trash transfer station: a data center. There won't be any offices or homes looking out on all those garbage trucks passing by. And racks of computers already have a way of handling such: garbage in, garbage out.