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Dallas City Council Kills Trinity Toll Road, Paves Way For Mike Ablon To Create Park

PQR's Frost Gardner, PegasusAblon principal Mike Ablon and Page's Pete Winters

Ding dong, the Trinity toll road is dead. Dallas City Council formally struck down the controversial road, parkway and all its other manifestations. But the 13-2 vote to kill the road was not the most controversial one cast by council at its Wednesday meeting. 

By a 9-6 vote, after hours of debate, a local government corporation was created to build the Trinity River park. Council members, particularly Scott Griggs, who represents Oak Cliff, petitioned to add amendments controlling the LGC’s powers. 

Mayor Mike Rawlings' choice to head the LGC is a familiar face to the commercial real estate world. 

PegasusAblon principal Mike Ablon will lead the LGC. Ablon is best known for his redevelopment of many Design District properties and office holdings in Preston Center (though the company sold One Preston Centre in July).

Ablon has been outspoken at Bisnow events and elsewhere about Dallas’ need to create more walkable neighborhoods so the future of Dallas may not require cars. 

Of the six council members who voted against the formation of the LGC (Kevin Felder, Omar Narvaez, Philip Kingston, Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano and Mark Clayton), several were opponents of the toll road.

As it stands, the LGC can never create roads and can be dissolved with a two-thirds council vote. The LGC will design the park, though the Army Corps of Engineers will have final approval because the area sits in a flood plain.