Lazes said after the meeting the required work on D1 — concrete floors and balconies and framing for a glass storefront — could be completed before the ARK Group’s end-of-year contractual deadline.
But not much construction has been done during the rains over the two weeks since that last vote. Instead, both sides testified, there had been intense negotiations over a settlement that would give ARK Group $40 million in Thursday’s vote and $4 million when D1 was finished.
Developer Rick Lazes said of the $4 million: “More than five times the cost of the storefront gives the city assurances and protects the taxpayers that the entertainment center will be finished in a manner that is comfortable to the city and to the taxpayers.”
However, in a 90-minute closed session with its attorneys before the vote, the city changed the deal, reverting to its stance that the full payoff come after D1 is finished.
Mayor Pro Tem John Danish and council members Phil Riddle, Oscar Ward, Dennis Webb and Al Zapanta voted to approve the $44 million once the city manager certifies the work is complete. Voting against the deal were Mayor Rick Stopfer and council members Allan Meagher and Kyle Taylor. David Palmer, who had voted in the two previous meetings to pay the developer, was absent.
Irving Citizens Matter, a group formed with the belief that ARK Group provided a substandard project, was blind-sided by the council’s switch. Amid the negotiations, it had dropped its suit Thursday afternoon in Dallas district court asking the city to instead invest the $44 million to upgrade the Toyota Music Factory.
“A bittersweet decision,” Chris Allen, representing Irving Taxpayer’s Matter, told the council before the revised deal was announced. “But we feel it is in the best interest of the Irving taxpayer and the city of Irving that we move this project forward.”
Irving Citizens Matter had filed for an injunction earlier Thursday to block the payment. Attorneys for the city and ARK Group had spent much of the day waiting to see whether a judge would block Thursday night’s vote.
- Belfast council votes on listed status for red post boxes
- Anger as 200 City of York Council homes awaiting damp repairs
- Mayor denies snubbing invitation from Palace in council vote bust-up
- Campaigners delighted as Glasgow City Council votes to end long running equal pay court battle
- Delight as Glasgow City Council votes to end long-running equal pay battle
- Town council votes to recommend refusal for 75 new homes plan
- Plans for Lidget Green housing development given green light
- Heated five-hour meeting sees city spending and council tax rise given go-ahead
- Millions owed by Dundee council tenants in rent arrears
- Road safety concerns see council vote against controversial plans for 70 new homes in Suffolk village