I know it’s the TASK Force, but maybe that’s gonna be my new nickname for them: TSK TSK. I have been busy with personal issues, but I emerged this week to learn that almost all the folks on Jennifer Gates’ Task Force for Preston Center want to hold off on the proposed skybridge to link the parking garage over to the former Sanger Harris/Foleys building across the street. The skybridge will pave the way for the developer, Crow Holdings, to snag a big name grocer for the area. Come on folks, this is not a permanent structure. There are skybridges all over Dallas that give us walking shortcuts and keep us dry. Besides, the skybridge is NOT PERMANENT! $750,000 is a drop in the bucket for a developer like Crow.
I’m getting a little concerned that the “Northwest Highway and Preston Road Area Stakeholder Task Force“ is just going to turn into the “TSK TSK Just Say No Anything and Everything Force.” So we just leave Preston Center west of Preston to crumble away?
The Dallas City Plan Commission and City Staff supported a specific-use permit for the bridge, saying it “will facilitate a safe and efficient means of allowing patrons who utilize the upper level of the parking garage to traverse across the street in a safe and efficient manner, as well as ensuring vehicular movements are not impacted by the proposed retail use.” Which we think will be a nice Tom Thumb, about the size of the one on Northwest Highway across from NorthPark Center: 50,000 square feet.
Former mayor Laura Miller has risen and joined forces with former foes to fight the bridge, She’s worried it will bring on just more traffic and congestion to the “already overburdened” shopping center. The shopping center is not overburdened; it’s not well planned. I don’t think a skybridge is optimum, but they are all over Dallas, this one is attractive and can come down when City Hall says the word.
Let’s say Crow Holdings gets the skybridge long enough to get the tenant in the building, then takes it down in a couple years when the retail tenant is blowing and going so well no one misses the skybridge. Maybe no one uses it, like high occupancy vehicle lanes. I think there is a code going on here: help us get this tenant in and it will be good for Preston Center as well as Dallas. Then, if folks get SERIOUS about an improvement plan for the parking garage, take her down.
Meantime, I’m going to call Jennifer Gates and see if she’d like to borrow a cup of Xanax.