Last night was an interesting evening concerning the tale of two developers. One developer came to us and wanted approval of a “W” hotel in our city. Now the piece of property that the hotel went on was a terrible location but the developer did the heavy lifting, and through diligence got the job done. Earlier, since he had the zoning, there was no need for him to come to us for a Planned Development, but on his own, he has established three quality businesses that front the “W” hotel. That is the way to effect change for the good in Arlington.
The very next case was one known as Champion’s Park. This is the property on the east side of Collins and the north side of I-30. This developer has been trying to put together a Planned Development for the last two years. Two years he came to us with the same plan. Last year he came to us with the same plan. This year he came to us with the same plan. He could have come to us two years ago and requested a change of zoning and it would have been approved without issue. But he didn’t.
His plan is to develop this property in two phases. Phase one is eight pad sights. Of these eight locations, the developer doesn’t know what business will be put in the development. He has no letters of intent signed by anyone. The second phase of the operation consists of two large pad sites. Although Arlington is in need of hotels, this developer can’t find a hotel to go on one of these sites. I find this odd because the first developer accomplished this at a much less desirable location. So this developer has no clue what will go in any pad site in this development and wants approval of his development plan. The developer did admit that the normal template for shopping centers is to secure principals and then fill in the subsequent businesses. I stated that he was putting the cart before the horse, and he had no horse. His plan is tantamount to building a Footlocker and hoping a Dillard’s shows up. Others may think this is how Arlington should conduct business but I am less convinced. If you want me to take the responsibility of putting something in a gateway property, then at least tell me what it is. I deserve that courtesy. I want to apologize to the thirty constituents that were at the meeting last night in support of this project. I hope that your support is well warranted. I however, want something more than hope for North Arlington. That is why I could not support this developer. I hope you recognized last night what my representation of your best interest looked like.