Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fort Worth might get a Flood Control Drive-In Theatre !!!

I've long thought that the purpose of government projects is to transfer money to donors. 
The project needs to have some feasibility, but not much else.  Just get the taxpayer money into the hands of your friends without causing too much of a fuss. 

It's getting ridiculous. 

Arlington built George W. Bush a stadium to his exact specifications.  He moved his baseball team in, and then sold the team for far more than he paid for it.  (86 million purchase price, 250 selling price.)  The difference?  His almost-free stadium.  (Taxpayer subsidy of 205 million.)

  Well done, thou good and faithful servants. 


Arlington built Jerry Jones a stadium to his exact specifications, and then leased it to him.  I don't remember Jerry saying "Thank You", or mailing me some tickets to games.  Oh well. 


Iron Horse Motorcycles of Fort Worth went bankrupt several years ago.  The city is stuck with their manufacturing facility for reasons that I don't quite understand. 


I think "we" agreed to give them a building if they would bring X number of jobs to Fort Worth.  If you need a free building, forcibly funded by taxpayers, you might not have a good business model.  I looked at leasing the Iron Horse factory for my employer last year, but the dock locations in the building were all wrong for us.  Getting new docks added would require the permission of several layers of city government, so we declined the opportunity.  Whether you know it or not, you own an abandoned motorcycle factory. 

Does anyone out there remember the Fort Worth Rail Market?  It was supposed to be a downtown Farmers' Market, luring downtown shoppers into the rail area to pick up tomatoes and onions before they went back home to Mira Vista. 


Part of it was supposed to get funded through transportation money.  (Yes, Kay Granger was involved.  I think that Railroad Produce Stands were a primitive ancestor of Flood Control BarBQ restaurants.)  The thing is now closed.  Shut down.  Abandoned.  It never made a dime.  Go here for an analysis of the boondoggle. 

How about The Mercado de Fort Worth? 


This was a Northside con job that was supposed to be the crown jewel of Cowtown. 

When the Mercado itself last made news, it had just landed its first tenant after more than five years of sitting empty and neglected.

What was supposed to be the pillar of a $6.5 million Northside redevelopment – an authentic Mexican marketplace – had failed to ignite the expected growth along North Main Street.

....It seemed like a good idea at the time: Bring economic development to Fort Worth’s near Northside by developing an area of shops, restaurants and stalls – a Mercado, reflecting the heritage of the mostly Hispanic residents of the neighborhood – and, in the process tie the touristy Stockyards District to downtown.

It started with a sidewalk, an expensive three-block-long sidewalk, in the alley between the mostly dilapidated buildings in the 1400 block of North Main Street and the houses that backed up to them. The plan was for local merchants to set up stalls to sell their goods to tourists who would make their way from the Stockyards area, several city blocks away. The city spent about $1.5 million to pave the alley and renovate the Rose Marine Theater.

Then came the Mercado de Fort Worth building, the brainstorm of local developer Deyla Guadiana. It was supposed to be a 58,000-square-foot, Mexican-style marketplace three stories high that would be the focal point of the Mercado area. Guadiana got a $3.1 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and construction began in 2003.

The city tried to spur interest in both the walkway and the Mercado building by offering low-interest loans and a building site to anyone willing to take a risk. They didn’t find many takers.

Guadiana defaulted on the loan after failing to come up with the private financing to cover the remainder of the construction costs and the city took back the property, taking over the note and spending $1.3 million from a special economic development fund to finish the building.

Finding a buyer took years. 
 And I hope the cashier remembered to give him his change back after the purchase.  The Mercado isn't quite as empty as the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, but it's close. 

If I steal money from your wallet, and use it to buy jewelry and cocaine and cars from my friends, it's going to cause a temporary increase in prosperity for the jewelers, coke, and car dealers.  But it will never last.  It always seems to require an additional theft, doesn't it? 

I could go on and on, but here's the latest....from the Star-Telegram, which reported this with no irony or sarcasm, which might explain why newsstand sales are declining:

FORT WORTH -- The Tarrant Regional Water District next week will consider entering into a lease with Dallas-based Coyote Theaters for a drive-in theater on vacant land near LaGrave Field.
The drive-in would be there for about 10 years, potentially drawing 300,000 patrons a year to Trinity Uptown. It would also net the water district about $1.7 million in rent, according to information filed with the district.

And wild monkeys will fly out my rear end and put on an amateur production of "A Chorus Line".  I'd bet that every Texas drive-in combined doesn't draw 300,000 patrons a year.  For those of you new to the Trinity River development controversy, Congresswoman Kay Granger and her son J.D. are trying to pump a bunch of money into a flood control scam that involves million-dollar BarBQ restaurant giveaways and now, drive-in theatres.   

The drive-in would be called Coyote Theater in Trinity Uptown and would be on part of the 34 acres that the water district bought in 2010 from LaGrave Field owner Carl Bell. The site is near North Calhoun and Northeast Fifth streets, north of downtown Fort Worth.
"Drive-ins are making a comeback with a 20 percent increase in the number of venues since 2007," a district memo says. "The nostalgic outdoor theater is being reintroduced by Coyote as a high-quality, state-of-the-art, family-friendly entertainment option."

Drive-ins couldn't compete with indoor air-conditioned theatres.  Theatres in small towns couldn't compete with television, and almost all of them closed.  Theatres in cities are having a hard time competing with DVD's.  But J.D. Granger is going to reverse the trend, because this drive-in will be for.....flood control. 

The theater would have three or four screens, show first-run films and offer food, the memo says. The movies would be in English and Spanish.
J.D. Granger, Trinity River development director for the water district, could not be reached for comment Friday. The district is scheduled to consider the proposal Tuesday.

I cannot wait to post J.D. Granger's comments, if he ever has the nerve to make any.  I cannot wait.  I have no doubt that this project will be approved, and that it will quickly go broke as the Ten Commandments.  All I ask is an opportunity to post The Granger Gang's comments on building a new drive-in with your money, in the year of our Lord 2012.  Please, please, please Dear God, let me have his comments. 

Drive-ins.com lists 17 drive-in theaters in Texas, including one in Ennis and one in Granbury.
Not much is known about Coyote Theaters, but the Fort Worth site will apparently be its first location. The company does not have a listed phone number.
Coyote Theaters filed incorporation papers with the Texas secretary of state's office Aug. 2 and lists its management as Todd Minnis, Brady Wood, Scott Wilson and Glenn Solomon.

I couldn't find anything on them either.  That is the nature of the coyote.  Go in, feast on the rotting carcass, and get out in a hurry.  We'll see if the name fits, won't we? 

Wood, who was involved in some West Seventh Street corridor projects with the development group Incap Fund, was the only person to attend a tour and pre-proposal conference last month at the project site. Minnis is head of Arrow Retail, a sister company of Dallas-based Cypress Equities, which developed the West 7th office, retail and residential project.
Last month, the water district requested proposals from developers who would want to use the land temporarily. The theater proposal was one of two submitted. The district said it would like to see a project under way by May.
The $909 million Trinity Uptown project will feature a town lake and 12 miles of waterfront development.

See you at the drive-in !   You might as well go, since you're going to pay for it. 


I couldn't find a picture of a Flood Control Drive-In, so I had to make do with a picture of a flooded drive-in.  My apologies.  The picture came from here.  The other pics came from this website, or the official websites most associated with the ripoffs. 

1 comment:

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