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Don Abbott
Rick Butler
Rad Field
Bill Gordon
Urbandale Serf


05/14/02 -- Battle to take back our city has begun!

Sure, you are busy, but you were busy a week or so ago when you got the new appraisal on your house.  How did that sit with you?  You may have been keeping up your house, but you did not add a wing or another floor or a pool or anything major -- and suddenly your house is valued way beyond what you can sell it for -- unless a robber baron like Tom Hicks wants your lot to add to his estate.  You are going to be paying 100% of your property taxes on an overvalued house, and 100% of the property taxes you pay will go into the general budget, which very well may not include the repairs needed in your neighborhood.

Well, sweet cakes, on May 22, 8 people on this city council, including Mayor PreTend Poss, Send Me Some Money Loza, Beat that Indictment Fantroy, Don Hill, Dr. Elba Garcia, will vote to give Tom Hicks, Ross Perot, Jr. and their alter ego, Palladium, another $43 Million tax abatement for the Victory Project.  

Not one person of character will be voting for this fraud.

The council crooks will vote for this tax abatement without ever reading the contract between the City of Dallas and Palladium because City MisManager Ted Benavides won't give them the information.  CMM TB will not give give them the information because he signed a contract while Senatorial Candidate Con Jerk was Mayor that Palladium would not have to provide any supporting documentation for the additional tax abatement on the "grounds that their development and operating pro formas were proprietary".  (Source:  Sedway Group 5/3/02 memorandum to George Schrader, the Downtown Group)
Rad Field:
   It amazes me how a Public Hearing can be conducted on the Palladium issue when none of the players have a Pro forma and know nothing about what to discuss in the hearing.  If the Council lacks such information, how on earth will the Public be able to discuss anything intelligently?  Furthermore, how can a vote be taken when very they don't know the details of the deal?
    When the media writes up this Palladium vote story, there's no doubt that it will go national.  It's no wonder companies such as Boeing choose to reside where there is a better control of sanity.
Citizen D:
  This is pretty amazing stuff.  If any more time goes by, we won't have the money to finance a deal like this anyway, so it will be moot.  We are getting poorer as city by the minute!
  If the DMN ever did print stuff like this, it would run the risk of becoming a really GOOD paper.  No fear of that, I guess.  smile
  On the matter of Police Pay Increase -- What were they thinking?! The timing was wrong; they would not address good value for the increase; they did not want to compromise on the Council proposal (which was actually pretty generous under the circumstances); and they seemed to say (in my opinion, anyway), that they DID NOT CARE if civilian employees would have to be laid off in order to get their raise.  This concerned a lot of my neighbors.
  Good luck and keep up the good work.

There is an important story on Palladium's recent non-deal in San Jose (use the title link to read the entire article yourself):

from the May 10, 2002 print edition
Palladium retreat detailed Timothy Roberts 

As late as January, just two months before plans for a $1 billion makeover of downtown San Jose fell apart, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency was still intending to use its power of eminent domain to take property from unwilling sellers, use subsidies to help lure big-name retailers to the city center and allow the razing of some of the downtown's remaining stock of old buildings.  . . .  

He notes that Palladium wanted to withhold its final decision on whether to go ahead with the project as much as a year after condemnation proceedings had begun.

"However," Mr. Thornton writes, "Palladium understands that there will be economic consequences to advancing dollars for condemnation and then not going forward." 

That issue goes to the heart of concerns by locals that their businesses will be forced to move but their places of business will remain empty for years afterward, a story that is common in downtown San Jose. . . .

The Palladium deal was falling apart by Feb. 28, the day by which the company was to pay the agency $125,000 for the privilege of being the sole developer to negotiate for the downtown development plan. Palladium defaulted on the payment, and on March 6, Ms. Shick wrote that if the matter were not cleared up by March 27, the agency would be free to look for another developer for its downtown plans. On March 25, Palladium announced that it was pulling out of San Jose

Mr. Wong says Palladium defaulted because by late February it was becoming increasingly clear that no agreement would be forthcoming.

That's who we are dealing with -- that's who 8 council crooks are trusting -- that's who the City MisManager is covering for -- that's Palladium -- that's Ross Perot, Jr. and Tom Hicks.

Here is an important quote from the Sedway Group's report to the Downtown Group:

In our experience over 20 or so years, it has been a given that when a private developer is seeking taxpayer money for their project, they are required to provide detailed information about their development cost and operating assumptions.  In our experience, such a claim of proprietary information would be a total "non-starter", i.e. the City would literally not even talk with them.  Furthermore, most developers in our experience would not come in seeking a specific amount of assistance without the supporting documentation that shows why they need a specific amount.

Therefore, it is truly astounding to us that Palladium has taken this position so long and so adamantly.

Exactly what is Palladium hiding?  Are we going to lose another MisManager to a Hicks-related company?  On second thought, getting rid of Ted Benavides and his Chief of Police might just be worth $43 Million.  That might save us from the next $43 Million + extortion scheme from Hicks and Perot or Chief TB screwup.  

That's an important issue.  With the exception of the council crooks who support this fraud on Dallas taxpayers, who in their right mind thinks this $43 Million is the last time we hear from Hicks and Perot for more tax abatements?

Another even more important issue is the impact of Palladium's plans for Victory on any revitalization of Downtown.  According to the Sedway Group, 

The likelihood of a successful revitalization of Dallas' "inside the Loop" area (hereinafter referred to as the CBD) as anticipated in the proposed Main Street Development Project, will be greatly reduced by the Palladium Product as presently defined.  Among hte reasons for this conclusion are the following:

Palladium's location . . . site with clean developable parcels, new infrastructure facilitated by City TIF financing, and superb freeway visibility and access provides it with an inherent competitive edge over more physically constrained, Downtown in-fill sites; 

. . . Palladium will inevitably be courting many of hte same tenants that would be considered essential to . . . Mainstreet Plan.

There is no evidence that central Dallas could support the type and amount of new retail envisioned for both the Palladium and Mainstreet projects.  In fact local real estate professionals doubt that Palladium will be able to develop the planned 500,000 s.f.

You don't have to be a "real estate professional" to doubt that Palladium will develop the planned project.  If you have lived in Dallas for the past 30 years, you have seen many, many big development plans get cut in half or quarters or never done at all.  Where's the 2nd tower to Main Place?  Where's the 2nd tower for Fountain Place?  Where's the West Tower for CityPlace or the sky-bridge that was to span Central Expressway?  The folks in the real world told the CityPlace big shots their plans were outrageous and would not work.  The morons at City Hall just laughed at us for questioning the wisdom of people richer than us (which council crooks always confuse with being smarter than us).  CityPlace just wanted massive density through a convoluted zoning plan.

Hicks and Jr. and Palladium want the key to our city vault, and City MisManager Ted Benavides seems determined to give it to them.

An interesting point that Sedway includes in its report,

6.  In San Jose, California where Palladium proposed a similar project, but within the established downtown, Palladium was overtly concerned that a competing new retail development just outside downtown could negatively impact Palladium's efforts to secure tenants for their downtown project.  That project, Santana Row, was built and Palladium has recently pulled out of the San Jose project.

If Palladium is successful, it will certainly reduce the property value of Downtown office buildings.  According to the Dallas Business Journal, the rent is already falling Downtown.  (Use the title link to read the entire article yourself.):

From the May 10, 2002 print edition Real Estate

Central Business District rental rates decline  Christine Perez  

Effective office rental rates dropped by nearly 4% in 2001, with landlords in the Dallas Central Business District taking a hit of about $1.50 per square foot. Due to offsetting increases in operating expenses, tenants saw an average drop in space costs of about 90 cents per square foot.

When Downtown buildings cannot be leased, their owners will successfully appeal to the Appraisal District to have their property valuation reduced.  When that occurs, we are talking about an immediate $10 Million short fall in property tax revenue for 1 year.  Guess who will have to make up the shortfall?  You and me, sweet cakes.  Hicks and Perot and Palladium's project will be taxed at the same rate it was taxed before the arena was built, when the land was undeveloped.  They will get to spend all the money that should have gone into the general budget right smack dab in the middle of their own project.

That can't be OK with you!  It's sure not OK with me.

Here's something even more sinister to consider -- where has
The Dallas Managed News been in all this?  I did a quick scan of the DMN Business Section -- nary a word about this mess.  If Belo never got rid of its interest in the Mavericks, it still has a stake in the Victory real estate development.  It's a part of this fraud on the citizens of Dallas.  This Palladium deal last week is a fraud on the citizens of Dallas.

It's time for Mayor Miller to take her gloves off and publicly expose this fraud.  It's time for her to go on every talk show in town and tell the citizens about Ted Benavides refusing to tell our Mayor about the terms of the city's contract with Palladium.  It's time for Mayor Miller to identify which council crooks are willing to vote for a contract that they know nothing about.

Citizens, it's time for you to stand up and be counted.  





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8