Saturday is election day, and this one revolves around real estate centered in one Dallas city council district: District 13, where 17.6 percent of voters have cast early ballots. That’s the highest voting percentage in any city council district.

There is the Behind the Pink Wall real estate quagmire, the condo owners and tenants who say they do not want increased density from the remaking of PD-15. PD-15 is an antiquated city document that permits a developer to go as high as he wants, but limit the footprint to 60 residential units to replace those lost in the seven-alarm Preston Place fire more than two years ago where a woman lost her life.

The fire has left the owners of Preston Place with nothing more than a parking garage. And now, owners of condos in the periphery of Preston Place find their HOAs are postponing repairs on those buildings that are most likely going to be snapped up by developers and scraped.


Update: Jennifer Gates’ office just sent the following statement: “Following yesterday’s Public Auction sale of the Forest/Nuestra ‘library land’, I want to provide an update to the community.

 As you may recall from my previous communications, a minimum bid was set in Executive Session by the City Council. The minimum bid amount was based on the most recent appraisal of the property plus expenditures already incurred by the City of Dallas.

 The reserve amount for the property was not met, therefore, no bid was accepted. It is not confirmed at this point, but we anticipate to go out for bid again, possibly with a contingency.”

You know that patch of land at 5639 Forest Lane in Melshire Estates, not too far from the Dallas North Tollway overpass, about 3.5 acres, that the City of Dallas put up for auction yesterday?

This was supposed to be the site of a brand-new Preston Hollow library to replace the one on Royal Lane, just about a mile south. Yes, that building is old and small, but it’s charming, and I rather enjoy taking my grand-daughter there because it evokes memories of taking my son and daughter there. So full disclosure, I’m kind of glad we are going to use the proceeds from the auction sale of this property to fix the old one up. But a library or dog park or mini Farmer’s Market would have been great here — pipe dreams.

But about the auction: it didn’t meet the city’s reserve. So the council and appropriate departments have to analyze the highest bid, which was $2.4 million, and decide whether to take it. Or not.

I’m told the “successful bidder” is a church, I’m just not sure which one. Very disappointing, would have loved to see there what the neighborhood really needed: the aforementioned or townhomes or zero lot downsizer homes like lock and leaves but the neighbors were dead set against anything but single-family residential. Which is likely never going to happen: even townhomes would be tough to turn, given the price of the land and the tollway so close. The church apparently bid about $2.4 million for 3.5 acres. This will be like deja vu. And do churches pay property taxes?