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Arts District Leaders Reject Plan to Tax Klyde Warren Park Neighbors

Photo: Bradford Pearson
Photo: Bradford Pearson
Wilonsky has a follow-up scoop on his original scoop about the proposed Klyde Warren Park public improvement district, and it’s not good news for the park:

…as you’ll see below, with “deep concern” [Dallas Museum of Art Director Maxwell Anderson, Perot Museum of Nature and Science CEO Nicole Small, AT&T Performing Arts Center President and Acting CEO Doug Curtis, Dallas Theater Center Managing Director Heather Kitchen, Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick, etc.] opposed the PID for myriad reasons, chief among them the fear that its expansive boundaries — which stretch from Uptown to downtown and take in office towers, condos and hotels — will hit hard those already paying into the Downtown Dallas Improvement District or the Uptown PID. The PID that Grant is proposing would assess property owners a 2.5 cent fee on every $100 in appraised value, or about $250 a year for a $1,000,000 property. Those who signed the opposing letter warn Grant that asking property owners to fork over even a few more dollars annually means “they are far less likely to support the Dallas Arts District, its cultural institutions and District-wide events and activities.”

But more to the point, the letter says, the proposed Klyde Warren PID would raise a few hundred thousand dollars annually for a single entity with a $3-million annual budget. To exclude the city-owned-and-supported buildings in the Arts District, the newly opened Perot and the infrastructure that connects them would be “a missed opportunity,” says the letter. The arts organizations’ leaders want a sit-down with Grant to discuss creating a PID that would benefit not just the park, but all the groups residing in and near the Arts District’s boundaries.

Okay, so it’s two things, really. One: the Arts District folks are concerned about the double-dip some property owners will take, making them less likely to donate to the Arts District. But then the second point is basically, “Well, and we’d like our piece, too. Don’t forget us.” The two notions contradict each other, and amount to throwing a bunch of darts at a board and hoping one of them hits the 16 you need.

If the Arts District doesn’t support the PID because it isn’t a universal, all-encompassing aide, that’s fine. It makes sense. But then it shouldn’t present the poverty argument.

4 comments on “Arts District Leaders Reject Plan to Tax Klyde Warren Park Neighbors

  1. The expense of the eventual maintenance of the park has been my beef since the conceptional PR announcement. It was obvious who would be stuck with the job. With regular budget cuts, the DPD already cannot afford to properly maintain their current properties, much less another big high maintenance park.. Regardless, Willis Winters and his fine staff and crew do a marvelous job despite their financial “road bumps”. Now they will have to further dilute their budget to cover the maintenance of little Klyde’s playground.

    Although it is never mentioned seems to be quietly kept under the carpet, I still have concerns about the exhaust emissions from the cars on Woodall Rogers directly under the park. That air cannot be healthy to humans in the park and cannot be healthy to the plant life either. A case in point is the ill fated vegetation planted in the center median along Central Expressway. It never had a chance.

    Maybe the Warren family and their other big donors should step in and create a self-funded foundation to cover 100% of the maintenance costs. The Dallas taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay and it probably wouldn’t put too much of a dent in little Klyde’s inheritence .

  2. I thought they planned on getting a chunk of their budget from the restaurant? What’s the latest update on that?
    Perhaps they should scrap the (lousy) idea of the ice rink and use that $$ to fund ongoing maintenance?

  3. Just in case anyone was wondering, the “rent” (based on 20% contribution) for the restaurant would be $96 – $115 per square foot, or $41,000 – $49,000 per month. And good luck with that.