I know, I know. I’m just a tool of the business interests in Irving, I have it in for the mayor, you can’t trust me, yada yada. Fine. Can you trust the Morning News’ Irving reporter, then?
Two days ago, Brett Shipp aired a story saying that the ARK Group, the developers for the new entertainment center, were reducing their commitment to the project by 10 percent. To prove this, he quoted the mayor, Beth Van Dyne, saying:
“You know, I hate to say, ‘I told you so,’ but we warned that this was going to happen.”
Sounds pretty ominous. Except it’s completely wrong. You see, the city called ARK and said it was reducing its contribution by $14 million, or 36 percent of what it had promised. (This is because the market changed, so Irving couldn’t take out a loan that big, etc.) So ARK said fine, we’ll still do the same project, but we’ll do it for less money, and we’ll reduce what we’re paying from $125 million to $123 million: a less-than-2-percent reduction. That idea of a 10 percent reduction comes from the $17 million reduction in the entire cost of the project — most of that shortfall coming on the city’s end.
You can read the correct details — aka, “the exact opposite of what Shipp’s report said” — in Avi Selk’s post. Spoiler alert — here’s the money sentence from Selk:
“[ARK] said a Channel 8 report blaming his company for the money issue was ‘not accurate,’ and I agree.”