When it comes to preserving the historical buildings at Fair Park, I could not agree more with our Suzanne Felber.
We have the largest collection of art deco buildings in the world, says our mayor. WFAA’s Brett Shipp reports that, under the Humann public/private partnership proposal, $240 million will be spent on those buildings, some for buildings only used during the State Fair of Texas.
Don Williams, chief critic to the Humann plan, agrees. But he also recalls real estate 101: never fix up an empty building. Translation: he does not mean NEVER fix them up, he means retrofit is costly. Figure out a building’s use before you start ripping out walls and slapping on paint. $240 million is a lot of money in a city starved for basic services that I call the “three p’s” police, potholes, and protection. Great to say “build it and they will come”, but not with taxpayers’ money. (We are sick and tired and have had enough.) Frankly, I also think Walt Humann is the right man for the job, as long as we get the right contract. We need to use our resources wisely. Find the use, sign up the tenants, then repair and maintain the buildings. At least two of our more thoughtful fiscal watchdogs on the Dallas City Council have responded: (more…)