We had spring Addison rains all week on and off; however, nice sunshine and warm temperatures should make for a great weekend. I hope you have a chance to get out and enjoy one of our 14 parks!
Our next Regular Council Meeting is Tuesday, April 26 at Town Hall. In Executive Session early in the evening we plan to cover an update in our dispute with Farmers Branch over the water quantities in the Farmers Branch Creek at Vitruvian Park and easement matters with Ashton Dallas related to some easement acquisitions for our undergrounding utilities on Belt Line Road. We then plan to have Work Session items that include the selection of folks to serve on our Advisory Committee for the Master Transportation Plan, as well as an update for Council on some final plans for Taste Addison.
Our Regular Council Meeting agenda will include the recognition of our newly promoted leadership team in our Police Department, as well as recognition of the retirement of our City Prosecutor Larry McCallum who has been doing legal work with Addison for 43 years. We will also have a presentation from Larry Kanter with an update on his most recent work and the presentation and acceptance of the FY2014-15 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report often referred to as the “CAFR.” Finally, we hope to finalize the infrastructure reimbursement agreement with Fenway Development for the Addison Grove project.
As you can see the Addison Grove project is beginning to take real shape. Below is a rendering of the first phase of the townhomes that will be facing Beltway Road and on the far south side of the 17-acre tract. Hopefully you will notice that our green space is fully intact and the townhomes have fencing to delineate the new homeowners’ yards from the public green space. The construction for these homes is expected to begin late this year and the initial prices are projected to be in the $400,000 range with prices expected to rise. I know there is some incorrect information circulating in the community, so we wanted to provide you with the facts. The arc of time is beginning to show us the wisdom and future of this project. This is a link that was attached to the P&Z presentation that took place this Tuesday evening that may provide you with more detail.
On Friday afternoon Mayor Pro Tempore Janelle Moore represented Addison at the 2016 US-China Business Leaders Summit here in Addison at the InterContinental Hotel. She welcomed the very large audience to Addison and shared with them some of our Special Events history, including our years with the World Affairs Council and our Spotlight on China events. She also talked about our innovative TreeHouse program and our aggressive economic development efforts and successes.
This has been a great week to see Addison-based businesses move up to the “next level” or to raise the bar. On Monday afternoon I dropped in to see Calvin Carter, founder and CEO of Addison-headquartered “bottle rocket,” who was recently featured in Addison Magazine. Calvin shared with me that they were doing quite well and had in fact just opened a new branch office in London! “On the heels of our annual mobile summit hosted this year at Addison’s Conference and Theatre Center, I’m proud to announce Bottle Rocket’s recent launch of our London office. This is our first overseas office and builds on our geographical expansion into New York that we announced last year. While Addison remains both our headquarters and primary studio where we ideate, build and maintain high quality mobile apps and solutions, our presence in London will allow us to better serve the global needs of our customers.” Very cool, Calvin and “rocketeers!” We continue to be very proud you are here with us in Addison, we love watching you grow.
Then on Wednesday evening, we were able to see another growth and success story in our Addison business community as startup “Pick up Now” had a graduation party from our Addison TreeHouse as their team “moved on up” from our TreeHouse to new full-time-on-their-own office space right here in Addison. “Pick Up” has grown from one employee in our Addison TreeHouse to 10, with more expected soon. Their business and service model is similar to Uber; however, instead of personal transportation, they supply a pick-up truck and driver to help haul your “stuff.” They have over 150 drivers in North Texas and they will be expanding into other Texas markets very soon. With $600,000 in seed money followed by several million more in capital infusion from Ross Perot Jr., it is fair to say there is plenty to celebrate for Pickup Now . . . another Addison success story.
Early on a rainy, very busy Wednesday morning, we had our entire Economic Development team out to greet folks who work at 15301 Dallas Parkway in the beautiful Colonnade building. We partnered with our friends at Metrocrest Services and the Addison Business Association to greet some of the 3,000 folks who work in that over one million-square-foot building in the heart of our very dense Class A commercial district. Metrocrest Services joined us with key staff members Senior Director of Development and Community Engagement Nicole Newkham and Development Manager Mike Harris and ABA shared President Gage Hunt with us to join Council Colleague Ivan Hughes and me, along with key Addison staff members Director of Public Communications Mary Rosenbleeth, Addison Conference and Theatre Centre Sales Leader Natalie Rogers, Economic Development Manager Drew Dietrich, and our Director of Economic Development and Tourism Orlando Campos. We distributed almost 600 bananas, granola bars, and restaurant guides, in addition to information about Metrocrest Services and Taste Addison, to many of the smiling folks on their way into work in the building. This has been a very successful program that connects us with our very large employee base and lets them know we are very proud to have them with us here in Addison . . . lots of very positive feedback: “You all are so nice,” “I would never want to work anyplace else!” “I am so glad you all brought Taste Addison back!” “Addison is so much fun,” and “WE love Addison.”
Late Thursday afternoon I welcomed a group to the Addison Conference Centre as the National Association of Property Managers utilized our space for one of their meetings and a vendor fair. I reminded them of the close proximity of our 180 restaurants and invited them to try all of them while in Town – actually I am still working on that project myself.
On Monday evening our Addison Conference Centre was the host site for the 8th annual Spring Council Candidate Forum sponsored by Addison Magazine, Sooner Management, Addison Circle Community Association, South & Western Insurance, Fast Signs and the Addison Morning Rotary Club, with great food provided by Pollo Tropical. The emcee for the evening was longtime Addison resident and frequent volunteer Bob Heckman. Judge David Kelton returned once again to preside over the Q&A portion of the event. Bob Heckman estimated the overall attendance for the evening at between 120 and 150 very interested and respectful Addison residents.
Current Council Member candidates Mary Carpenter, Janelle Moore and David Heape participated; candidates Paul Walden, Al Angell and Jim Duffy did not participate.
Emcee Bob Heckman explained that the format would follow the identical format as it has in the past with an opening statement from each candidate, followed by two generic questions for each candidate and then two individual questions selected from a list of questions requested by the candidates. This first part of the process took about 45 minutes, with the balance of the evening until almost 9pm reserved for questions from the audience. Topics covered in this first portion included the candidates’ respective biographical information, their vision for Addison, their accomplishments as Council Members, and their individual areas of focus. Then there was time for numerous questions from the audience. The questions from the audience touched on ways to stay competitive with cities to our north, our current employee compensation philosophy, the new Addison Grove project, their vision for economic development, their views on housing policy, comparisons and differences of the Addison Grove project and the Vitruvian Park project, budget comparisons to past years, Addison Circle retail vibrancy compared to Village on the Parkway, Addison Circle pedestrian and traffic improvements, DART and the Cotton Belt Line, and the wind turbine project.
After the Q&A portion the candidates stayed around for quite some time to answer individual questions and chat with the audience.
A special Shout Out for longtime Addison resident Alexis Padden who lives on Azure with her Mom and Dad for her recent recognition as one of only 155 girls from the Northeast Texas Council to have earned the Girl Scout Gold award in 2015-2016. My office was notified this week that her achievement will be officially recognized on May 21, but we did not want to wait that long to let Alexis know how proud we are of her for representing Addison so well! Congratulations, Alexis!
On a beautiful Addison evening, we enjoyed our Third Thursday of the Month Coffee with the Mayor hosted by Sue Richter and her team at Sidewalk Café in Addison Circle. We had a nice turnout for a pleasant conversation about everything from Addison’s progressive and unique compensation philosophy for our employees, the status of various developments around Town, the importance of our economic development and even the future of this newsletter. The highlight of the evening, however, was the opportunity to meet Virginia. She just moved to Addison and she saw on our website that we had a Mayor’s coffee. When I say she just moved to Addison, I mean Thursday, April 21 was her very first day in Addison! Virginia moved from Washington, DC to be close to her daughter and now she has 10 new Addison friends and a very warm feeling about her choice of Addison as her new home. I would say that is a pretty good first day in a new community. Welcome to Addison, Virginia….
Our next Mayor’s coffee will be the First Wednesday of the Month, May 4 at 10am at Dunn Brothers Coffee at 3735 Belt Line Road.
On Friday afternoon more than 40 employees from Hilton Worldwide’s Addison office joined forces with our parks department to begin an important renovation on Addison Town Park, Addison’s oldest park. The volunteers were removing bushes, laying sod and spreading mulch to make this park safer and more inviting for our residents. Thank you, Hilton, for all the volunteer hours you commit to Addison and the surrounding community each and every year!
Saturday, April 23, 10am – 11:30am: Community Garden at the Addison Athletic Club. Bring your children of all ages to decorate their own container and plant their own Texas native and adaptive plant! Cost is FREE for Addison residents. Register at the Addison Athletic Club or call (972) 450-7048.
Monday, April 25: Early Voting begins. Get all the details here.
Tuesday, April 26: Regular Council Meeting; 6pm Work Session, 7:30pm Regular Session. Addison Town Hall, 5300 Belt Line Road.
Saturday, April 30, 2016, 9am – 4pm: EdRev Dallas, Addison Conference Centre. EdRev Dallas is a celebratory day for students with learning differences, their parents and educators. It is a day to think a little differently and is comprised of lunch and a host of interesting workshops and speakers including an inspirational key note by David Rendall author of “The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness.” Other workshops include topics “Turning Lemons into Lemonade,” “Beyond LD & ADHD,” Community and Parent resources, “My Brain & Me, Let’s Talk LD” and a student led celebration about LD.
You can register online at www.Pen-Dallas.org/EdRev.
Monday, May 2, 6:30pm – 8:30pm: Composting Class, Surveyor Water Tower, 4000 Arapaho Rd. This is another in a series of classes offered to Addison residents by the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. Classes are free and you can register here.
I hope you have a great weekend and find a way to enjoy this beautiful Addison weather.
All is well in Addison.
See you soon,