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IRVING, TX-With football season in full swing, the City of Irving’s quarterback is prepping for a Texas Stadium pitch to a blue-ribbon panel at the Urban Land Institute’s fall meeting next week in Los Angeles.

“There’s a lot of interest because it’s a well-known icon. We’ve got people’s curiosity and we’ve got their attention for awhile,” David Leininger, Irving’s CFO, tells GlobeSt.com about the next step in the redevelopment quest for the 32-year-old home field of the Dallas Cowboys, set to be vacated in 2008. “Everyone wants to know what we’re going to do. It’s a lightning rod issue.”

Leininger, a 22-year ULI member, will use the confab to kick off a primetime marketing blitz: booth, first-time showing of campaign pieces and website debut. “We’ve polished the presentation,” he says, adding it now includes the proposed presidential library since Irving and the University of Dallas made the short list.

The latest twist to the redevelopment options pits four locations in three cities against each other for the George Bush Presidential Library, an estimated $175-million to $250-million project. Irving is offering to kick in $50 million toward the development if UD succeeds in its bid. Other contenders are Southern Methodist University, another Dallas favorite, Texas Tech in Lubbock and Baylor University in Waco near the president’s ranch.

Leininger says just making the short list was a coup. UD is donating 200 of its 270.7 acres toward the idea. And, he says, it’s anybody’s game. The short-list contenders will present their proposals Nov. 16-17 in Washington, DC. A decision is expected in the first quarter, right in line with Irving officials’ plan to start digesting reports and making decisions about the city’s future.

PricewaterhouseCoopers and A.A. Johnson, both hired last week, have until February to complete feasibility studies on a convention center hotel, a project put on the backburner and then resurrected after city officials started to dig into stadium redevelopment options.

Local officials also are toying with a mid-February special election that could result in several new taxes. The tax talk is focused on tickets, parking and players or locker rooms, all aimed at getting additional revenues during the team’s last three seasons in Texas Stadium. Right now, the Dallas Cowboys pay a minimum of $1 million in rent annually and a bonus on gross gate receipts that adds roughly another $500,000 per year to the city’s coffer.

By March, all studies will be ready to review along with an updated comprehensive plan and transit-oriented development proposal for 488.4 acres circling the stadium. UD is the largest landowner; next is Southwest Premier Properties, with its 117.4-acre central freight station. The city’s claim is 70.3 acres.

Leininger’s ULI road show will air proposals for an urban resort, mixed-use village and eco-community. All options include office, retail and residential space. “It will be premature to come back with a deal,” he says.

The ULI panel consists of Hank Baker, senior vice president for Forrest City Stapleton Inc. in Denver; Abe Farkas, principal of the Farkas Group of Portland, OR; Robert J. Gardner, managing director of Robert Charles Lesser & Co. of Los Angeles; Alexander Garvin, president and CEO of Alex Garvin & Associates of New York City; Fred Merrill, principal of Sasaki Associates Inc. of Watertown, MA; and Patrick Phillips, president of Economics Research Associates of Washington, DC.

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