While I was in West Virginia, I read Steve Brown’s report that a Sam’s was coming to Uptown East at Cityplace, courtesy of Trammell Crow. I thought maybe I had altitude sickness or something. Total head scratcher. Here I have been interviewing builders and developers on how Uptown development is splashing over east of central, where we are starting to see some great multi-family developments taking shape close in to the urban core. They are even starting to call this area “Uptown East.”
And then I learn that Trammell Crow Co. bought 17 acres from Affiliated Computer Services on North Central Expressway at Haskell Avenue last summer. Gonna call it East Village. So far, so good. But then Steve gets wind from folks at a Las Vegas conference that:
“The office buildings on the old ACS site will be replaced by a large Sam’s Club store and a several small retail buildings lined up along the North Central frontage road, show pictures of the development Crow is displaying at the International Council of Shopping Centers conference.
Crow has done buildings for Sam’s Club and its parent company Wal-Mart before. They are both tenants in the Timber Creek Crossing shopping center in northeast Dallas which Crow developed.”
It’s no surprise that Sam’s Club would want a location in central Dallas.
Competitor Costco has been looking at locations, too, including the old Steakley Chevrolet property on Northwest Highway.
Even more surprising is that the City’s planning staff has given blessing to the development plan, so says Robert Wilonsky.
Staff has given its blessing to the development plan, and when Crow bought the property, Crow had it zoned for anything and everything. As in: “The zoning was granted as a conceptual planned development district and requires City Plan Commission approval of a development plan for each phase of development prior to the issuance of a building permit,” says the agenda item.
That said, plan commissioners have certainly gotten an earful from ticked-off neighbors this week, and they expect nothing short of “hell,” in the word of one commissioner who says the development plan, at the very least, is not a done deal.
Now people are mad and trying to stop this madness. One reader tells me “I emailed Philip Kingston at the city and he said they don’t need a zoning variance, so there may not be anything they can do. A Change.org petition has been launched . It requests that council member Adam Medrano and Mayor Mike Rawlings both see the light and stop this deal before the first Walmart trucks arrive.
One resident told Wilonsky that a Sam’s Club will aggravate traffic in the area. Tue, but personally, I think we are just going to have to get used to the increased traffic here, in Lakewood, Preston Center, all over town. What I don’t understand is that every single developer in the world wishes to duplicate the West Village with it’s magic mix of residential, retail, and commercial. And this is the perfect place to do just that. Also, I know that crime at Ciytplace has been an issue in recent years. How do you wipe out crime? Put more people ands lights in the ‘hood, get people out on the streets.
And this is NOT a NIMBY, in my opinion; it’s a waste of great real estate potential. Totally anti-urbanism. Who is going to walk to Sams and pick up an 18 pack of paper towels to carry home like a sherpa? Can you imagine hauling laundry detergent, or a case of Diet Dr Pepper on the DART train? And what about the practically brand new Sam’s Club and Walmart just 6 miles north in the Timbercreek shopping center at Skillman and Northwest Highway?
Neighbors and aggravated residents have organized a community meeting at the Starbucks inside the Capitol Avenue Kroger tonight from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Councilman Adam Medrano has said he will attend.