RG4N's 11th-Hour Gamble

RG4n wants a third party to reconcile their Northcross plans with the developer's.

Responsible Growth for Northcross is calling for a third party to facilitate their beef with Wal-Mart developers Lincoln Property to head off the threat of a lawsuit. Taking a cue from the belabored but ultimately successful negotiations for the redevelopment of the Concordia campus, which languished between neighbors and developer until ROMA Design Group worked out mutually agreeable details for the project.

The press release:

RG4N CALLS FOR THIRD-PARTY FACILITATOR
City Management and Outside Counsel Fail to Move Northcross Negotiations Forward

AUSTIN, Texas, March 26, 2007
Responsible Growth for Northcross (RG4N), the group opposing the Northcross Mall redevelopment plan, today called for a third-party facilitator to assist with negotiations between Lincoln Property Company, which owns Northcross Mall, and neighborhood groups.

In a letter provided today to Austin Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman, RG4N stated that the minor revisions made to the development plan by Lincoln and Wal-Mart do not address priority concerns in any meaningful way. Responses from Northcross-area neighborhood associations stated similar disappointments. However, RG4N also highlighted the failure of City management to play an objective role in facilitating negotiations between the developer and neighborhood representatives.

"Lincoln and Wal-Mart made no real effort to address the concerns of the neighborhoods. That in itself is pretty galling, but what is even more distressing is how City management has so blatantly worked to advance the developer's interests rather than advocating for the neighborhoods or working as a neutral facilitator to reach a mutually agreed solution," said Paige Hill, president of RG4N.

Austin Assistant City Manager Laura Huffman requested feedback by today from RG4N and neighborhood groups to the proposed changes to the Lincoln/Wal-Mart plan. RG4N's letter to Ms. Huffman requests that a neutral third party facilitator be selected to settle disputes, similar to the Concordia project, for which the ROMA Design Group is, with strong City support, facilitating discussion between the developer and the Hancock neighborhood.


Rather than seek a similar path to resolving the Northcross issue, the City chose to pay $224,000 in taxpayer dollars to hire an attorney from Scott, Douglass & McConnico, LLP to fight the neighborhood groups and help Wal-Mart
build a Supercenter at Northcross. RG4N continues to call upon City Council to cancel all contracts with Scott, Douglass & McConnico, LLP regarding Northcross, and instead use City resources to develop a real solution and avoid legal action.

For example, RG4N sent a letter to City leaders on Feb. 12, 2007 requesting staff and financial support for a community charrette to further develop the neighborhoods' vision for the Northcross Mall project.

To date, there has been no response to this request.

About Responsible Growth for Northcross:

Responsible Growth for Northcross is a group of citizens from the Allandale, Brentwood, Crestview, North Shoal Creek, Rosedale and Wooten neighborhoods currently fighting to stop the planned redevelopment of Northcross Mall by Dallas-based Lincoln Property Company, which includes a Wal-Mart Supercenter. Responsible Growth for Northcross is working to develop a mutually beneficial, growth-oriented solution for Northcross Mall. The proposed RG4N solution preserves the character, diversity and quality of life of the six neighborhoods surrounding Northcross. It addresses the need and concerns expressed by Austin citizens, businesses and organizations, and strives to ensure a successful, highly profitable endeavor for Lincoln Property Company and all concerned.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Clan Buys Tex-Mex  Site
Wal-Mart Clan Buys Tex-Mex Site
Bentonville Comes to East Sixth

Amy Smith, Aug. 19, 2013

Wal-Mart: One Stance on Dems, Get One Free
Wal-Mart: One Stance on Dems, Get One Free
Wal-Mart gives money to Dems, warns employees about their pro-union policies

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 1, 2008

More Politics
Fish or Gay Bait
Fish or Gay Bait
Response to D6 candidate Matt Stillwell's least-common-Dem politics

Kate X Messer, Nov. 3, 2014

Frito Pie Surprise!
Frito Pie Surprise!
What's a nice candidate for governor like you doing in a place like this?

Kate X Messer, Oct. 7, 2013

More by Wells Dunbar
Top 10 City Council Stories
Top 10 City Council Stories
Dais and months

Jan. 6, 2012

City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
To the beating hearts of a great city

Dec. 30, 2011

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Politics, Growth & Development, New Urbanism, Wal-Mart, Responsible Growth, Northcross

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle