In Other News …
Not For Sale
The sticker price of the new Mini Cooper S. But, with demand outpacing production, no one’s paying sticker.
Joseph Stefanchik really wanted a
new Mini Cooper. “I’ve always been a fan of cute, small cars,” he says.
But the 29-year-old freelance photographer had one small problem: you
can’t buy a Mini in Dallas. First there was a snag with Mini’s getting
a dealership license in Texas. When the retro-styled anti-SUVs started
arriving on these shores in March, BMW of North America (Mini is a
division of BMW) and the Motor Vehicle Division of the Texas Department
of Transportation were still mired in a dispute over application for
licenses. Then, in June, when Mini finally got right with the state, it
sought and was granted a license for only one dealership—in San Antonio.
For Stefanchik, and
other impatient drivers, distance didn’t matter as much as time. The
San Antonio store isn’t expected to sell its first Mini until early
next year. Some low-mileage Minis in Dallas are already selling for
$10,000 over sticker, but Charles Suvannunt, an IT worker in his 30s,
lucked out with a waiting list and recently picked up his Mini from a
dealer in Baton Rouge. Stefanchik, less of a do-it-yourselfer, hired a
car broker who was asking $3,000 over sticker for a “true silver” Mini
in Williamsville, New York. There was only one thing for him to do:
“I’d do it again right now,” Stefanchik says. “Someone offered me $27,000 for it just today.”
Photo Courtesy of BMW
How to Build a Better Road
When the city of Allen wanted to build a road on land that had been in the Williams’ family
for five generations, Philip and his sister Amy took it personally.
Their family donated 72 acres north of Dallas to establish Connemara, a
nature preserve. So the Williams did something about the city’s
four-lane, 1.23-mile connection between Bethany and Alma roads. They
offered to build the road themselves—only bigger and better than the
When the road is
completed at the end of this year, it will mark the end of a long,
arduous process. “You can’t hurry an artist,” Philip Williams says.
“Just like you can’t hurry a government.” So Williams and his sister
Amy Williams Monier spent half a year and half a million dollars on
Bethany Road’s collaboration phase alone. Williams Monier rounded up a
group of artists and engineers to brainstorm over every element of the
project, and, after about a dozen meetings, they came up with a doozy
of a thoroughfare, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sound.
going to be the least-polluting road in Texas,” Williams promises. To
deal with runoff, the storm water system has oversized catchment tanks
that will filter out the heavy metals from oil, rubber, and gas.
Twenty-four-foot xeriscaped berms will take the heat and air pollution
up and away from the surrounding area. Williams says the roadside will
be mowed once a year, just so the perennial wildflowers will bloom.
Plus, they’re planting 600 native, drought-resistant trees.
The city paid $5
million and Philip Williams’ company, Emerson Partners, chipped in $4
million, enough “to take away the financial pressure of delivery,”
City officials hope
the road is more than just a way for people to get through the city;
they hope it’s a reason for people to move there in the first place.
“It’s going to be an attraction for future residential development in
the area,” says Allen city manager Peter Vargas. “It’s not totally
altruistic. There’s some commercialism involved.”
Dallas following the contentious planning of a certain project south of
downtown Dallas might remember Vargas from a previous job, as the
director of the Trinity River Project. Bethany Road is obviously
different. “I’ll actually see this one in my lifetime,” he says.
A New School Board: Vote Saturday, July 27
To locate your election district, visit www.dallasisd.org/inside_disd/board/board_elections.htm