Take a look at the website for Uptown www.uptown-houston.com, and you’ll see their 2015 written promise about the purchase of $47 million dollars in right of way needed to tear up and widen Post Oak Blvd.
If you want to know what it says, here it is:
“Uptown goes beyond the letter and spirit of the laws government right-of-way acquisition”
I know. That is pretty funny based on what we know. But it is also sad.
At a public meeting last year at the Post Oak Hilton, Uptown officials reassured property owners they would be transparent amidst growing evidence many Uptown officials stood to financially benefit in the real estate deals needed for that controversial bus project.
They didn’t tell you the truth.
The Uptown Development Authority even announced a Special “Right of Way” Committee would be formed to make sure there was no funny business, this whole transparency thing. No one who owned property on Post Oak, or worked for companies who did.
Check the records. There is no recorded discussions or vote in the minutes of the Authority ever selecting which members would be part of the committee. So who did?
We know the four-member committee that kept no records includes Martin Debrovner, who was Vice-Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Weingarten Realty. Debrovner finally filed a conflict of interest statement in January of 2015 about his potential financial conflict because Weingarten’s owned property was needed for the bus project.
Now we know property owned by Weingarten was one of the first pieces of real estate bought by Uptown in April of 2015. The appraisal on the property was reviewed by the Right of Way Committee which Debrovner served on. Did he abstain? Who knows, Uptown minutes make it impossible to know what property is which.
Uptown finally released the real estate deal with Weingarten after months of fighting to keep it secret. $386,632 paid for just 1,455 square feet. That maybe a perfectly fair deal. That’s not the
Dolcefino Consulting filed a formal criminal complaint against Uptown last week, alleging Uptown repeatedly violated provisions of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
“The reality is Uptown flatly broke its’s contract with voters, ignoring guidelines it voted on,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “Houstonians know this a land grab,
and Uptown fights to keep it secret because you can’t put lipstick on this pic.”
The bus project may end up costing up to$300 million dollars. Houston City Hall is planning layoffs of city workers soon because the city is so broke.”
Any other questions?