I know you’re sick of the golf course. I’m sick of it, too. But one more column to detail why I think it’s important to discuss it — not because the course isn’t a good idea, but because the way it’s being sold (and now unsold) is the epitome of bad urban planning.
The Trinity Forest Golf Course, planned for an area of southern Dallas between near Loop 12 between I-45 and U.S. Highway 175, was initially touted as a win-win proposition.
The city has to clean up the area anyway, so why not partner with some nonprofits and corporations and build a world-class golf course there, spending about what we would have to for the clean up.
The idea that a golf course would magically spur development because Al Czervik and Mr. Wang played 18 on Sunday morning was always insane.
Also, it was initially promised, this would help sell a neglected area to the sort of rich people who can make development decisions — the “if you build it, they will build it” plan.
The first part of the plan makes total sense. Gotta spend money, sure, let’s put up a kick-ass course and get the rich North Dallas golfers to play there.
It’s the second part that makes no sense. The idea that this would magically spur development because Al Czervik and Mr. Wang played 18 on Sunday morning was always insane.
This was finally acknowledged yesterday in a DMN piece where Mayor Mike and others backed away from the grand pronouncements.
Here’s the money section:
Despite the talk of economic development, the proposal doesn’t include plans for resorts, expensive subdivisions along the fairways or even trendy mixed-use developments. Most of the adjacent property couldn’t be developed for various reasons, including the location in the floodplain.
“To predict that [related development] right now, it’s naive at best and probably very unwise,” Rawlings said. “People will discover on their own what the right ways are to invest and develop that part of the city.”
Economic incentives would be available, but Rawlings said the business community would need to take the lead in steering development.
If this had been said from the beginning, no one would have had a problem. Because everyone knows the one thing that drives development is density (which is another way of saying “money”), not good intentions.
Also, it’s fairly insulting to southern Dallas to suggest otherwise. It’s like telling the uncoordinated kid he’s doing fine at basketball as he watches shot after shot get slapped back in his face. Everyone wants southern Dallas development, but it needs to be organic, well planned, and realistic, like it does anywhere else in the universe. As the CEO of ClubCorp said of this plan: “It strikes me as more political than economic.”
(As an aside: Good luck with trying to fund this with 400 high-dollar memberships alone. Ignore for a moment that recent feasibility studies have suggested that won’t work. Just realize no other new course in the U.S. is trying to make it with that model.)
What sort of southern or central Dallas development plans make sense? The city-aided Jefferson Avenue redevelopment plan — a simple, welcome smart-growth idea — and Jack Matthews South Side expansion are good examples.
They’ve been in the planning stages for years, they’re responding to the city’s organic growth patterns, and they’re not feel-good efforts that ignore financial reality. In other words, nothing like the golf course plan.
Michael Young is leaving the Texas Rangers for Philadelphia, and the team is sad, says Evan Grant.
The McKinney Avenue trolley says ridership has gone up since Klyde Warren Park opened. Last Thursday at 4 p.m. there were only three riders, but I believe ’em. And I do think ridership will increase once the new extension/loop is completed.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Hostess was taking money intended to go into employee pensions and used it to cover operating costs (via the Dallas Business Journal). So not cool.
No it is not, Josh.
Snowacane finally ends!