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DALLAS-In a seven-hour session, a divided Dallas City Council Wednesday put its seal to $82 million in two Tax Increment Financing districts. For months, the controversy has dominated talk around town, with opinions flowing freely from building owners, developers, brokers and elected officials. For the previous story on GlobeSt.com, click here.

The CBD’s Main Street mixed-use project slid through without a hitch earlier in the day on a unanimous balloting. The New York City Palladium had a considerably tougher time, garnering just one more vote than was needed to push ahead on its $600-million plan for a 20-acre tract just across the freeway from the CBD.

“A ‘V’ is still a ‘V’,” Ken Wong, Palladium’s partner in Dallas, told GlobeSt.com after the 9-6 vote on the Victory project. “Clearly, it’s the most pivotal vote that we’ll face.”

Palladium was poised to walk away from Dallas if it didn’t get the OK on a $43-million TIF package. Wong doesn’t expect that it will be clear sailing even with the approval, but it does make it possible for the team to now focus all energies on the next step: “pre-leasing, pre-leasing, pre-leasing.” He predicts ground will break a year from now on the mixed-use plan that calls for 520,000 sf of retail and a 350,000-sf office building, which is already half leased to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, a CBD tenant with a principal as a minority partner in the Palladium project.

The City Center TIF got part of what it wanted yesterday. It did get its cap raised to $39 million from $30 million, but failed to convince council to say “no” to Palladium. The Main Street project, calling for 290,000 sf of retail, is being led by Madison Marquette of Cincinnati and Madison Retail Group of Washington, DC.

Susan Mead, voicing a personal opinion as opposed to her role as director of the Downtown Partnership, told GlobeSt.com that she thinks “it was a poor decision by city council based on their own consultant’s report. And, I think they will live to regret it for many years to come.” She confided last night that 30 of the 60 potential tenants for the CBD were approached by developers from both sides of the freeway. “They said they were going to wait until the vote before deciding,” Mead said. “We can’t compete against that because we aren’t as heavily ‘incentivized.’

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