Thursday, September 24, 2009

If You Build It They Won't Come

I'd like to welcome a guest blogger today, Eric Foster of the aptly named Gun Barrel City, Texas, and his words on the next phase of real estate development in Dallas;

I am the son of a non-starchitect, i.e. Star Architect, a buzzword reproduced in the current D Magazine. This issue regurgitates the old bromide that Dallas is has an Edifice Complex like that is a big surprise.

Fair Park was just the first of these Edifi-Compli to be aborted on to the streets of Dallas, and then left to be abandoned by its citizens for all but a few weeks per year. And soon to be a bigger ghost town as the museums, one by one find new Edifices downtown ‘where the lights are bright’… for now. Cheap frames covered in Art Deco facades.

Deep Ellum was next, and it has been rediscovered by the real estate predators, only to be left again and again, as we find new places to gentrify.

Las Colinas is another. The empty shells now including Texas Stadium, stand testament to our constant search for new and different, and then when "They" start to move in, abandon it for....

VICTORY.... Park that is the ultimate "if you build they won't come" because there are not enough "rich they" to show up. If this is Victory imagine what defeat must feel like.

And then there is Turn-Style Heaven that is Arlington, the latest Not-Fair-Park. You don’t live there but you can buy a season pass.

And Coming Soon: The AT&T Performing Arts Center, the latest Complex-Edifex. 30 years in the delivery, it arrives with so many "future site of" parking lots that will eventually be the property of German Financiers. And don't forget the Park that doesn't even exist, built over the freeway that was designed to cut off US from THEM and worked too well.

But where are the jugglers, the caricature artists, the chess players, the strolling violinists that were so prevalent in the illustrations from 30 years ago in the Arts District? Oh, they'll be hired for Opening Week. But then in reality they are moving back into the abandoned shells of Deep Ellum and Fair Park squatting and renting the Edifi-Compli's of Old.

And 30 years from now when ‘US’ open the latest host of Tax Deductible Gardens of Stone to FINALLY fix Downtown or Uptown or Ghost Town to draw in the people who can't afford to live there, go there, and especially park there, we will look back on the abandoned ruins of the Arts District, Victory Park, Los Colinas, Willow Bend, Deep Ellum, and Fair Park and

Keep silent...

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