Tuesday, June 4, 2019

An Assignment for Steve Brown

Steve Brown is the real estate editor for The Dallas Morning News. I use the term editor instead of reporter because (1) that's what the newspaper uses in his byline and (2) his work often reads more like he edited a developer's press release than he did any original reporting. But once in a while, he breaks some news, even if you have to read carefully to find it. Such was the case with his recent article on the redevelopment of old downtown Richardson.

Here's the line that I think reveals more than was intended.
Keeping some of the old commercial buildings along Main Street is part of the redevelopment, said Manasseh Durkin of Durkin Properties. "The city originally wanted to tear a lot of it down" to widen Main Street, Durkin said. "We want to maintain some of the old buildings. There is just enough left that it harkens back and gives us a good mix," he said.
Maybe Durkin was exaggerating the credit he should get for preserving Richardson's past. Or maybe he was laying a defense against charges of bulldozing old downtown by suggesting that the demolition could have been so much worse. Either way, he throws City staff under the bus for not valuing Richardson's past. But maybe he was just telling it like it is: City staff really doesn't value Richardson's past. In which case, it's a sad commentary that those among us who do value Richardson's past have a better champion in a land developer than we do in city hall.

Getting to the bottom of that comment by Durkin calls for Steve Brown to do some real reporting. That's not me, but if anyone on Richardson city staff cares to comment, you know where to reach me.

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