Monday, February 18, 2008

Another East Dallas Development Bites the Dust

The picture above was the proposed mixed retail development set to replace a currently empty Carnival grocery store site on Henderson Ave. in East Dallas. Read the January '08 story on Unfair Park here. These are the types of developments areas should embrace and be grateful someone is willing to come in and better the community by sprucing it up visually, bringing tax revenue, bringing in new residents, you get the idea. But boy does East Dallas have a way of making sure these developments never leave the ground. The Observer's Unfair Park again has the follow up story about how the developers have pulled out of the project after receiving negative feedback from area neighborhoods and city plan commissioners.

East Dallas beat down Whole Foods until they gave in and are now renovating the terribly outdated and extremely unattractive facade of the old Minyard building instead of constructing a gorgeous brand new building with all the bells and whistles. I'm honestly surprised East Dallas didn't run them off completely. I certainly wouldn't have blamed WF if they did run for the hills.

I've also heard rumors that a proposed development near Central Market on Lovers Ln. is being voted down by city plan commissioners as well. This development would replace old and run down apartment/condo buildings and in its place will be mixed retail and living space.

And now this recent (un)development that would have substantially enhanced an area of Henderson that greatly needs it. How and why does this keep happening in East Dallas and why are people content to sit by and allow the city plan commissioners and a few local (and very loud) muckrakers to speak for the general population? Maybe I'm just frustrated because I personally think developments like this significantly boost an area's desirability. When people want to shop and visit a particular area they also tend to want to live there which in turn can increase property values. Look at the West Village, McKinney Ave., Victory Park.

Am I missing something here? I've yet to hear a solid argument as to why it's a bad idea to knock down an old existing building to build a brand new state of the art building. And I don't think nostalgic feelings or outdated zoning ordinances are a good argument. Zoning laws change daily in Dallas so that's a load of BS in my opinion. Anyone?

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