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Urd Budget Includes Money To Buy Armory

Money to pay for the former Dallas Armory property is included in the Dallas Urban Renewal District budget, presented on Thursday.

Money to pay for the former Dallas Armory property is included in the Dallas Urban Renewal District budget, presented on Thursday. Photo by Jolene Guzman.

DALLAS — The Dallas Urban Renewal District proposed 2017-18 budget includes money to purchase the old armory property, help pay for Dallas Downtown’s RARE program participant, and continue street and building façade improvement projects.

Jason Locke, the city’s community development director who also works with the district, introduced the district’s $548,000 total budget Thursday. The district’s budget committee consists of the same people as the city of Dallas’ committee.

Locke said much of what is included is based on recommendations from the district’s advisory council.

He said $100,000 is set aside for purchasing the old Dallas armory property, though not all that may be spent this year.

“That reflects a total purchase price, not a payment price, of the armory property,” Locke said.

Committee member Pete Christensen asked if that property wouldn’t be a better site for the new senior center than the current property adjacent to the old Carnegie library.

“The issue is that we’ve already basically committed to that site. We’ve committed to that site near the Carnegie Building,” Locke said. “That’s where all the environmental reviews have happened. That’s where the land use approvals happened.”

Furthermore, City Manager Ron Foggin pointed out the grant paying for the new center only applies to the current site.

Locke said the plan for the armory property includes a private developer.

“The purpose of the district is not to build public buildings on publicly owned land,” he said. “The purpose of acquiring that property is to basically ensure that it develops with a high-quality private development so that property comes back on the tax roll.”

Street improvement projects account for $60,000 and include sidewalk improvements and adding “wayfinding signs” in the downtown area.

“All of those things that really have helped the downtown blocks really become that much more attractive,” Locke said. “It’s been a significant investment over the years, and we want to continue doing that.”

The proposal has the district designating $4,000 to help pay for a Resource Assistance for Rural Environments participant to work with the Dallas Downtown Association.

“That really contributes to the urban renewal mission, downtown, where all of these programs and dollars are focused,” Locke said.

A grant program currently open to businesses in the 500 to 900 blocks of Main Street has been expanded in the 2017-18 budget.

“It will now be available to folks in other areas in the urban renewal district,” Locke said.

About $86,000 is directed to the district’s annual debt payment, and an additional $86,000 is held in reserve.

Another approximately $147,000 is in contingency.

Jason Locke, the city’s community development director who also works with the district, introduced the district’s $548,000 total budget Thursday. The district’s budget committee consists of the same people as the city of Dallas’ committee.

Locke said much of what is included is based on recommendations from the district’s advisory council.

He said $100,000 is set aside for purchasing the old Dallas armory property, though not all that may be spent this year.

“That reflects a total purchase price, not a payment price, of the armory property,” Locke said.

Committee member Pete Christensen asked if that property wouldn’t be a better site for the new senior center than the current property adjacent to the old Carnegie library.

“The issue is that we’ve already basically committed to that site. We’ve committed to that site near the Carnegie Building,” Locke said. “That’s where all the environmental reviews have happened. That’s where the land use approvals happened.”

Furthermore, City Manager Ron Foggin pointed out the grant paying for the new center only applies to the current site.

Locke said the plan for the armory property includes a private developer.

“The purpose of the district is not to build public buildings on publicly owned land,” he said. “The purpose of acquiring that property is to basically ensure that it develops with a high-quality private development so that property comes back on the tax roll.”

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