Dallas Builders Association Hosts Debate Between D13 Candidates Jennifer Gates and Laura Miller

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A few weeks ago, there was much buzz in North Dallas about a scheduled debate between District 13 Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates and her challenger, former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller for March 28. Preston Hollow People organized the event, which swelled up to 250 seats at Preston Hollow United Methodist Church. It was reported that 80 people were on a waiting list. Councilwoman Gates backed out of the debate, her reason being that the event sold out before she could notify her constituents, the space wasn’t big enough, etc. She even tweeted a funny:

The Dallas Division of the Dallas Builders Association is hosting a debate between the two, moderated by none other than Phil Crone, Executive Officer of the organization:

Dallas Division
April 4, 2019
Maggiano’s Little Italy – NorthPark
205 NorthPark Center
Dallas, TX 75225

11:15 a.m. Registration & Lunch
11:45 a.m. Program

Sure, there’s lunch served at the event tomorrow, but we’re already popping the popcorn. This event is open to members of the Dallas Builders Association and the building community. Can’t attend? CandysDirt.com will be there, and we will be streaming live on Facebook for our fans. 

Questions? Pop them right here in the comments: Joanna, Bethany, and I will ask for you!


Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions


  1. Sharon Stone says

    Candy here are my questions to ask today:
    My questions for Jennifer Gates:
    1) Regarding PD-15
    In light of the fact that so many residents of Behind the Pink Wall ( with the distinct exception of those buildings that are under contract and motivated by personal financial interests) are vehemently OPPOSED to the City’s Zoning Recommendation , why has there not been more discussion and support for the
    ” 10-6-4″ COMPROMISE Area Plan, it seemingly having been ” swept under the rug”?
    2) Throughout this PD-15 process, we are continually told that although density will increase greatly there will be no increase in traffic . In the recent 1.5 day limited traffic study that was just conducted on a Tuesday afternoon & Wed. , until Thursday morning during Spring Break. What would make you think this is an accurate gauge of typical traffic ?
    3) Can you assure us that there are no ” conflicts of interest” related to your family business and PD-15/Preston Center? What about your relationship with realtor Juli Black who you placed on the PD-15 Steering Committee despite the fact that she doesn’t accurately represent her HOA’s ( PHEHA) views and has been quoted as saying that there’s no need to have them informed? And how did the meeting organized by Juli Black with Spanos & Provident wherein plans for a 38 story building in PD-15 were pitched, occur without your knowledge?
    Questions for Laura Miller
    1) How does your plan for Preston Center differ from Jennifer Gates’ Plan?
    2) In comparing your credentials & experience with
    that of Ms.Gates’, what in your mind makes you a better
    candidate for the constituents of District 13?
    3)What is your motivation for running for City Council?

  2. Lisa Williams says

    Candy, I do not find Jennifers comment a FUNNY
    as you stated. I was at this meeting. It is apparent that Jennifer has no Plan or Vision for the City of Dallas, or for her constituents in District 13.
    Laura had knowledge of all issues and a Vision
    that is appropriate and sustainable for Development in Dallas.
    Jennifer chose to go low and attack. It shows her inability to work with Builders, Developers, and homeowners to develop plans that are good for all.
    This is not FUNNY, it is very serious for anyone that wants Dallas to develop in a concise, intelligent way.

    • mmCandy Evans says

      It’s also not funny that some of the former residents of Park Place are paying mortgages for a home that doesn’t exist, and that residents in at least one of the crumbling condos are suffering serious health problems because, knowing they are doomed to being torn down, management boards are skipping repairs. Therefore at least one building went without heat for portions of this winter. We have covered this issue intimately since Day 1, and as you know, I own property Behind the Pink Wall, my daughter lives there, and Jon Anderson lives there. We all have several friends who love there as well. No one has ever polled my tenant on what she thinks, no one has ever polled me. Laura stated that 90 to 95% of the residents are against this. She was referring to the HOA reps. Big difference. There has been no legitimate third party survey of actual owners, unit by unit. Plus, about 30 to 40% of the area (perhaps more) is populated with renters. It’s a great, proximate, affordable neighborhood for single women, single men, divorcees with children, and retirees. Please tell us what Plan or Vision you see for this area: what should happen to the burned out shell that was Preston Place? I feel, and felt at the meeting, that all we heard was “no, no, no” but not one mention of “this is what we should do”.

      • Lisa Williams says

        Candy, you are aware and have heard that there is a compromise for 10 stories on NWHY and 4 stories on Diamond Head. As for Preston Place , Diplomat and Royal Orleans. They are all victims of Developers that are dangling money in front of them urging them to up the Zoning do they can make money. We are all being victimized by developers and people within the PD blind to what is appropriate, sustainable, and correct for our neighborhood. Preston Place was under insured. Not my fault. It does not give them the right to adversely effect every one else in the PD , so they can make money .
        As our Council representative, Jennifer has not brought us together to come to a compromise good for everyone. Neighbors are fighting and sad thing is she should have protected us and had a fair, mindful process .

      • Sharon Stone says

        90% is NOT just the highrises & HOA reps. I guess the official numbers will be tallied with the counting of the blue ballots for those of us in PD-15 and 200 ft. Although I have personally heard from a few residents who did NOT receive their blue ballot and were forced instead to get a notarized affidavit ( a bit challeging, especially for seniors to find a notary) , seemingly an exercise for voter suppression. A sad state of affairs indeed.

  3. Rex Edward Van Duzen MD says

    This event was disingenuous and was a poor replacement for the debate that was to have been held last Thursday. I saw three (3) hands go up, five when you include the candidates, as the opponent asked who lives in the district. There was a single days notice for the event. The hosts were builders and not friendly to the opponent who left soon after. The moderator, god bless him, was not a journalist on the scale of D Magazine. He did not know how to encourage rebuttal or keep the candidates on topic. So here we are. Two 24 story towers backed by two 10 story towers on a single vote? The opponent said 90% of the residents in the condos oppose? The Councilwoman said the PD is out of date. How does this justify gentrification of the people paying their mortgages and taxes? Two weeks to vote and there is still no traffic study?

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