Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Another Fort Worth Development Bites The Dust

Elsie Hotpepper directed to me the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Developer backs out of deal for Cultural District hotel article you see partly screen capped here.

A time or two or maybe more in the past several months, and as recently as yesterday, in a blogging titled I Wonder Why A High-Rise Building Boom Is Not Reshaping Fort Worth's Skyline? I have blogged about development in the downtown Fort Worth zone being stymied by the uncertainty caused by the slow motion pseudo public works project known as America's Biggest Boondoggle, officially known as the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision.

I suspect that is the reason why Elsie Hotpepper directed me to this Star-Telegram article.

This hotel deal that collapsed was not an enterprise where a developer assessed there was a great demand for his product, and hence economically feasible to build.

Instead of this hotel deal coming about via market forces, it came about, like so many of Fort Worth's boondoggles do, by the city offering an incentive to a developer to develop something which the developer would not develop, unless, well, bribed.

In this case, in August, the Fort Worth City Council approved a 10 year deal where up to $7.8 million collected in city hotel taxes would be returned to the developer.

That deal was not sweet enough to make the project work.

So, the developer tried to get the city to increase the incentive, in other words, tried to increase the shakedown. The city said no. And then the developer also said no to building the hotel.

Now why is it I don't read of these type "incentives" attached to projects I read about in other towns? It happens over and over again in Fort Worth.

A sporting goods store runs a con on Fort Worth which it has run on many towns. Fort Worth falls for the con that this store will be the Biggest Tourist Attraction in Texas, approves all sorts of incentives. Soon that sporting goods store was not the only Cabelas in Texas. Now it is not even the only Cabelas in the Dallas/Fort Worth zone.

Radio Shack wants a new corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth. The city approves all sorts of incentives, including abusing eminent domain to destroy a public housing development, closing the world's shortest subway, losing acres of free parking.  Soon upon moving into its new headquarters Radio Shack found it could not afford it.

I've lost track of all the other instances of Fort Worth giving a developer an incentive to build something that market forces could not bring about. Oh, I remember one. The new Fort Worth Convention Center Hotel. Other towns have private developers eager to build high rise hotels nears the town's convention center, doing so without special incentives.

The City of Fort Worth, even in the best of times, has to dangle carrots to get stubborn mules to build something. And now, even with incentives, the City of Fort Worth has to also overcome the uncertainty caused by America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The City of Fort Worth really needs to send out a task force to other American towns to find out how those towns manage to have booming downtown's, with developers developing without special incentives, and while they are at it, find out how those towns manage to have sidewalks alongside most of the town's streets. And modern facilities,with running water, and no outhouses, in the town's park.

The task force could start with a look at Dallas. Then head north. And west. Or east.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this why there is no more Dos Gringos?!?!!