Yesterday, an anonymous FrontBurnervian passed along the following tip:
Bass Pro Shop now owned by the City of Garland. Birdie tells me that’s a tax abatement without calling it that. Weird, too, they own the Sonic next door.
The tipster sent a link along as proof. It did sound odd, but not so scandalous as it turns out. People of Garland who follow such matters know the city entered into an agreement with the developer Harvest/Harbor Point. It was on the agenda and everything. And people in Garland who had insight saw it coming. For instance, here’s what someone named Jim Spence predicted in a forum last November:
I don’t know whether or not you are aware of this but there is a clause in the final agreement between the Bass Pro developer and the City that upon completion of the Bass Pro premises, the developer has at his option, the right to ask the city to buy back all the property on the point, including the Bass Pro shop, that the city doesn’t already own, and then the city must lease it back to the developer. That way the City becomes the owner of all the development on the point and according to the City attorney with whom I went over the contract with and he verified it, would be non-taxable forever, because it would be owned by the City of Garland, which is a tax exempt entity. Look for this to happen because the developer would be crazy not to exercise this option.
Looks like his prediction came to fruition. (Note: If you want to see that final agreement, looks like Jim got permission to post it here.)