Xero Project Winner

 
The winner, for the much talked about Xero Project, has been announced. The block behind City Hall has been designated for an experimental building that will "connect the city of Dallas with greenways while bringing local agriculture, public orchards, community gardens, private planter boxes, and food stalls into the city." The architectural renderings of the winning proposal are VERY cool, check ‘em out! I hope the project is actually useful and gets executed well: financially, politically and artistically.

It claims to be more than a building, but a plan to remake the City of Dallas with the following:

- A ground level courtyard for agriculture and public open space
- A tower with open air terraces and a solar panel/planted screen to produce onsite energy and food
- Townhouses on a spiraling podium base
- Micro-retail facing the greenway

The Dallas Observer Blog had already written about this project in some detail here a few months ago. I always appreciate how they shine a light on the financial aspects:

"At the moment, the property’s actually owned by Chavez Properties — which, yes, is the same real estate company from which the city bought the property upon which it expects to build the convention center hotel. Central Dallas CDC, the affordable-housing arm of Central Dallas Ministries, has the property under contract, Greenan tells Unfair Park, but doesn’t expect to close any time soon."

I actually want to know more. How are tax dollars getting allocated? Who is paying for what? Recurring costs? It claims to be self-sustaining … is this complete or only "in some ways?" Please share a link in the comments if anyone has access to these financial details.

Another interesting thing to note are comments from that article are not all positive:

Buckeye says:
Unless they figure out solar-powered air conditioning, this thing is still going to be plugged into a big bad coal-powered electricity plant.

catbird says:
The taxpayers will "sustain" this steaming pile. The idea is such a dead end.

david says:
forget about Bush being mentioned in the headline. What’s important here is that finally some big fishes are willing to give green buildings a little push.

This goes to show that transparency it not even enough. For a project to "go-over well politically," the city really needs to be proactive about thrusting these logistical details out in public, so people don’t have to go searching. Again, any links beyond the project page for this site would be great. The only info I could find is this: "With the support of the city, the land has been purchased, and this block will soon become a reality." I need more than that.

also by Chris Jagers

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