A few days back, the author thought they were breaking news about the Harold Simmons Park’s new location. They had heard that the originally planned 200-acre park would no longer be situated between the levees near the Trinity River. Tony Moore, who leads the Trinity Park Conservancy responsible for building the park, confirmed this change. However, it was later realized that Ken Kalthoff from NBC 5 had already reported this information three months earlier.
The author then decided to dig deeper into the specifics of the new location. Kalthoff’s report was vague about where exactly the park would be relocated. Tony Moore had mentioned that the park’s infrastructure would be built outside the levees but still connected to them. The author took to the Dallas Central Appraisal District’s website to investigate properties near the Trinity Overlook Park, which is owned by TPC Beckley LLC, sharing an address with the Trinity Park Conservancy.
Further investigation revealed that numerous properties in the vicinity were recently acquired and are now controlled by either the law firm Munsch Hardt or a lawyer named Phillip Geheb who works there. The author found that about 70 properties, covering approximately 17 acres, are controlled by either the Trinity Park Conservancy or Munsch Hardt. These properties are valued at around $15.5 million. The area was once a neighborhood of single-family homes, and some of the lots are quite small.
Angela Hunt, a former city councilwoman who works at Munsch Hardt, was contacted but did not respond. Her colleague, Phillip Geheb, also chose not to disclose any client information. Tony Moore, when presented with the findings, declined to comment but expressed excitement about the park’s expansion.
It appears that the Harold Simmons Park, initially planned to be a 200-acre area along the Trinity River, will now be reduced by about 90% and relocated to an area in West Dallas. This area is currently occupied by a bail bondsman and a fabricator of structural steel. Two large garden-style apartment complexes will benefit from good views if the park is built as planned.
What remains unclear is who initiated this change. Was it the Simmons family, who had initially donated $50 million for the park? How do they feel about the park being moved away from the river? Will public funds be required to complete the park? These are questions that still need answers. The author mentions that Mark Lamster, an architecture critic, is also looking into the matter, suggesting that more information may be revealed in the future.