City Hall has been incredibly quiet about the Humann Foundation proposal for Fair Park. We thought it would be on the agenda last Wednesday, when the City harangued the budget. In fact, money is in the new city budget for the Foundation’s first year.
But no word. We assume, that is, I assume, that the three City Council peeps assigned to hammer out the contract that was unappealing to the City Council August 30 are still working away.
Or this could be the reason. Mayor Rawlings has received an email from at least one developer (that we know of) asking for 30 days to get another proposal on the table:
From: Monte Anderson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: September 20, 2016 at 3:56:26 PM CDT
To: Mike Rawlings <email@example.com>
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Request to Submit Proposal for Fair Park
Dear Mayor Rawlings,
Michael Jenkins and I have put together a team to present an alternative proposal for the management of Fair Park. We think we can improve upon the economics of the Humann Plan that is currently being considered.
We are asking you for 30 days to present our proposal.
Options Real Estate
Whoa Nelly: is this another plan for Fair Park that might include a park from the get go?
When it comes to developers who have had incredible success developing real estate in the not so savory neighborhoods of Dallas, the name Monte Anderson comes to mind rapidly.
Someone once called him the “undisputed authority on real estate development in the southern sector”. His firm, Options Real Estate, Inc., is one of the largest and single most successful commercial real estate development and brokerage firms south of I-30. He is one of the pioneers of “gentlefication”, moving into distressed neighborhoods and slowly redeveloping in an effort to reduce crime, create harmony, and build community under market conditions that scare off other developers. I have spent some time with Monte, and I personally love his “don’t just feed them, teach them house to fish” philosophies.
This is radically different from gentrification, which usually forces out low-income residents with high-income folks seeking the next hip place, aka State Thomas. It is also what so many fear for Fair Park. Gentlefication helps long-term residents take back their neighborhoods, stabilize property values, and build safe communities for their families. As our Leah Shafer wrote about Monte:
It’s also different from what Dallas is doing with its Grow South plan, Anderson said.
“The mayor’s Grow South plan is nothing but superficial marketing—it has no sustainable wealth-building characteristics,” he said. “Find the one deal that has changed somebody’s life that lives in South Dallas. It’s typical Dallas thinking: the rich people in Dallas think it’s got to be big; it can’t be good unless it’s big. Yet all the special places we love are small.”
See why I love this guy?