Consider the Deck Park

The latest push from the people who want to build a deck over the freeway is connectivity. Connect those neighborhoods north of the freeway – Sunset Heights, Alexander Heights – with downtown.

But consider this. As it stands right now, the deck park plan contemplates turning Yandell and Wyoming into a freeway access roads. The proposed deck park will replace six or seven bridges over the freeway with two. The trolley will be rerouted.

And really, the trolley provides all the pedestrian connectivity to downtown anyone needs.

Too bad the trolley is a bottomless money pit that the City can’t afford to operate anymore.

Another thing those deck park advocates point to is Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas. I’ve been to Klyde Warren Park. It’s okay. It’s just a park. It’s got six or seven food trucks on one edge. I can see how it might be hard to put together 5 acres for a park in downtown Dallas, so if you want a park, you might have to cap a freeway. But El Paso isn’t hurting for vacant lots. If we need another park near downtown, I’m sure we can find the space for it.

Also, the City of Dallas’ debt is only about 1 percent of its taxable assets. The debt of the City of El Paso is approaching 10 percent of its tax base.

And people are moving to Dallas. Dallas’ tax base is growing.

Those deck park advocates are advertising it as a wonderful amenity, but its real end use is as a place to put MountainStar Sports Group’s soccer stadium.

Consider this: the USL Championship League, in which the El Paso Locomotives play, only has 17 regular season home games. Throw in the championship series and the total number of games is just about 20, depending on who gets home field advantage. Do we want to spend in the neighborhood of a billion dollars to gift MountainStar Sports a stadium that will probably get used only maybe 25 times a year? We’re still pouring millions of dollars into the ballpark, another bottomless money pit.

That deck park is a boondoggle, in a long line of City sponsored boondoggles. They consistently over promise and under deliver. Our City Government it a tool of some money rich beggars who can’t finance their own hobbies and have to squeeze the taxpayers.

11 comments

  1. Not to mention two things: How many live within easy walking distance that could make full use of such a silly park? And, how many people live close to the freeway, on either side, with any need to go from one side of it to the other? (IOW, how does this silly idea benefit the entire city? Don’t we already concentrate too much of our debt for downtown and that is why we lack nice things out here far from DTEP)?

  2. Just like in Dallas, nothing heavy can be built on the deck. Certainly not a football stadium full of people.
    That’s why it’s a park. The growth adjacent to the park is the big economic draw, at least in Dallas. Tax revenue from park perimeter development has more than paid for their park. That’s why they’re building another one.

    1. I live in Dallas. KWP is a nice amenity for people who live and work in Uptown and Downtown, but the real driver of economic development in the area is the American Airlines Center/Victory Plaza and a thriving, vibrant arts district. The AAC has two pro sports franchises as anchor tenants whose owners agreed to pay for 2/3 of the construction cost estimate and ?% of the cost overrun. The AAC was built on the site of an abandoned power plant, not a perfectly serviceable municipal building. It’s apples and oranges compared to El Paso.

      1. To be clear, the owners of the Dallas Mavericks (NBA) and Dallas Stars (NHL) paid for 100 percent of the cost overrun. When the referendum was approved, the arena was projected to cost $275 million. When completed in 2002, construction costs approximated $400 million.

    2. I live in Dallas. KWP is a nice amenity for people who live and work in Uptown and Downtown, but the real driver of economic development in the area is the American Airlines Center/Victory Plaza and a thriving, vibrant arts district. The AAC has two pro sports franchises as anchor tenants whose owners agreed to pay for 2/3 of the construction cost estimate and ?% of the cost overrun. The AAC was built on the site of an abandoned power plant, not a perfectly serviceable municipal building. It’s apples and oranges compared to El Paso.

  3. Spread the word: “NO to the deck park!”
    Also, NO to the widening of I 10 downtown!

    OK, I no nothing about sports. But, why can’t we share space? Why can’t you play soccer in a baseball park?

  4. Joe Molinar says that Dallas has two deck parks and they are producing for the city of Dallas. Guess he got his info from Tomas Gonzalez

    1. Tommy Gonzalez said that water parks were going to be the next big thing. He had to shut them down early because they were hemorrhaging money.

      Tommy Gonzalez thought it would be a good idea to pay Great Wolf Resorts $40 million to build a Great Wolf Lodge here. Lucky for us they passed.

      Tommy Gonzalez has a solid track record of bad decisions. He blames City Council for listening to him.

      He’s got a pretty good gig. All of the authority, none of the responsibility.

  5. Klyde Warren Park cost $112 million to build, with $55 million in private funds, $20 million each from the city and TxDOT and $17 million in federal stimulus money. The foundation estimates that the park has generated $2 billion in economic development.Jun 23, 2021
    https://www.dallasnews.com › k…
    Klyde Warren Park expansion moves forward with financial approval from …

    1. It may surprise you to learn that El Paso is not Dallas.

      How many billionaire philanthropists do they have in Dallas?

      In El Paso, we don’t have any.

      1. Philanthropy here usually comes with an invisible invoice attached payable to the donor for future services. The Luther Building is a good example. Purchased by PF and then donated to the City (tax write-off for PF) then remodeled into city offices by PF’s construction company for what?
        $20MM?

        Invisible invoice.

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