Who stands to benefit if District 14’s Philip Kingston is ousted?
I used the above graphic when reporting Lincoln Property’s Katy Trail project failed to pass Dallas City Council in January (after failing City Plan Commission). It was a portend that I thought the arrogance shown by the developer throughout the process hadn’t ended. I’d heard the contract between Lincoln and the Turtle Creek Terrace condos had expired and not been renewed. I’d also heard that it hadn’t been canceled either and that the property was still actively looking to sell.
Just as District 13’s election revolved around development, it appears the District 14 runoff may have some of that same razzle-dazzle.
The above post by the mysterious Wylie H. Dallas opines on two Lincoln executives (and their spouses) contributing $1,000 each to David Blewett’s campaign. He also says that Lincoln has extended their contract with Turtle Creek Terrace until the outcome of the election is known and a new city council is seated.
Wylie assumes that Blewett, a relative unknown in the race, has some connection to the project that is not in evidence. Simply making an “anyone but Kingston” campaign contribution on the heels of Kingston’s strong opposition to the project isn’t hard evidence. Although adding fuel to that fire are reports that Blewett hadn’t bothered to meet with multiple neighborhood groups despite repeated invitations in the election run-up – including Stonewall Democrats and Uptown Dallas.
Above is an excerpt of Blewett donors that includes Tim Byrne and Mack Pogue and their spouses – Pogue is Lincoln’s chairman while Byrne is the president and CEO of Lincoln Property’s Residential Division.
Sure, Blewett took campaign contributions from senior executives at Lincoln. For Lincoln, $4,000 is chump change for the possibility of getting another spin of the wheel. The question is whether Blewett has met with Lincoln and decided to side with them against the neighborhood, City Plan Commission, and the Oak Lawn Committee. And we’ll only get a feeling for that if he ousts Kingston and Lincoln restarts the Lincoln Katy Trail project.
Wrapped in this potential outcome is the larger question for District 14. Will Blewett continue the 35-year tradition of backing Oak Lawn Committee decisions? Or will he compromise their effectiveness? Having survived a divisive leadership struggle in 2018, is Oak Lawn Committee ready for another crisis?
Kingston responded by giving more detail on the case against Lincoln Katy Trail and his warnings to Lincoln going back two years. History buffs will know that oversized redevelopment projects on this plot have died once before – back when Angela Hunt was the council member instead of the developer representative. Both met with a fierce outpouring of near-universal opposition.
To balance his record with Lincoln, Kingston also points out his history of being largely helpful to Lincoln on other cases (so Lincoln Katy Trail wasn’t a vendetta).
Lord knows Kingston has a problematic personality and a trail of self-inflicted wounds, but on the issues – homelessness, affordable housing, and reasonable area development – he’s generally spot on.
We’ll know what District 14 thinks on Saturday.
Remember: High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the National Association of Real Estate Editors recognized my writing with three Bronze (2016, 2017, 2018) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make? Shoot me an email email@example.com. Be sure to look for me on Facebook and Twitter. You won’t find me, but you’re welcome to look.