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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Talk is potentially cheap

The land grab in Arlington for the Cowboys stadium evidently continues apace. The city made a big deal out of the incentive package they were offering those who were in the way of the bulldozers. Firm owners to receive fair market value plus $10,000 and moving expenses. Homeowners to receive fair market value plus $22,500 and moving expenses. Even apartment/home renters would receive $7,500 and moving expenses.

All of this sounds good and is probably the least the city should do. However, now it is not at all clear that the city will pay the incentive dollars, and now that Kelo has sealed the deal, it is probable that the city will decide that, after all, the incentive money is adding to the stadium expenses and therefore the city just won't pay the incentive money.

From today's Star-Telegram comes this story about the deal. Here's a snippet:
When homeowners in the path of the Cowboys stadium project received offers from the city for their homes, some were struck more by what wasn't written into the contract.

There's no mention of the $22,500 bonus plus moving expenses that officials have said will be paid to owner-occupants who sell willingly. Homeowners said the contracts are also missing final City Council approval.

Homeowners did receive a letter stating that they could be eligible for the incentive money. But the letter isn't legally binding.

If I have learned anything over the past few years it is that real-estate contracts, especially in the state of Texas, are particularly tricky. If it isn't in the contract, it doesn't exist. If it was in the contract and it was taken out, it doesn't exist. If you want to address something that was never in the contract but is an important issue nonetheless, it doesn't exist.

I am betting the city will offer incentive money to a few home and business owners but will tire of that and will eventually stop paying the incentive money. As for the renters - I am afraid the city will leave those good people hanging.

Here are more posts on this topic: Crime issues and Buyers' Remorse

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