Sign of the Times on Lowest Greenville: No Southbound Traffic Till November 26

greenvilleavenueclosedsign.JPG
Courtesy Chris Penn
Ran into Chris Penn of Good Records yesterday, at which point he told me about the sign planted in the middle of Greenville Avenue yesterday by the city's Public Works department -- the one that says southbound Greenville between Bell and Alta will be closed from September 26 till November 26. Which was news to Penn, not to mention a few other Lower Greenvillians with whom I've spoken since then, despite the insistence of city officials who say there were community sitdowns in advance of the tear-up.

"It's a difficult construction sequence," says Public Works's Henry Nguyen, project manager for the $1.3-million makeover we previewed last November. "We're doing our best. We were open during the first phase, but with the new pavement done [on the east side], we have to close it due to new construction. We're trying to get it done as quickly as we can, but this kind of construction in an urban environment is inconvenient. I am watching it closely. I know it's a high-profile project, and I'm trying to keep tabs on it."

Nguyen says southbound traffic will be rerouted down Belmont and McMillian, and that northbound traffic will still be able to get through. He also says that before construction began, letters were sent to business and property owners about meetings during which they were briefed about the coming construction.

Penn and others say that's all well and good, but they simply didn't know it was going to get this bad: "It is very concerning to have the street closed altogether for two months solid, especially leading up to the holiday season," says Penn, who notes via email that that business has dropped off since crews began ripping up the street earlier this summer. "I know in the long run it will be good for the area, but let's hope we all make it out alive to get to the other end of the tunnel."

Council member Angela Hunt was out there today and says she's pleased with how construction's coming. She says, look, there's "really no alternative" to shutting down the southbound lanes, and that it'll be rough, absolutely.

"There's no doubt these are growing pains, and I understand it can be frustrating for businesses there," she says. "But this is going to be a dramatic improvement, so I hope we can live through it. It's gotta happen."
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23 comments
M Street Hottie
M Street Hottie

Nothing aka construction ever happens quickly in an area of "revitalization"! Lowest Greenville was once THE Dallas hotspot and to reitterate what somebody else said, now it's a ghost town. The City, Angela Hunt or Andres should be PAYING these businesses for their lost patrons and income. It's a shame. I have lived in the M Street/Lower Greenville area for 20+ years and although this concept is great and ultimately going to benefit the area, our local businesses cannot possibly keep their doors open especially now that you can't even drive Southbound until Thanksgiving. I'd give this project an F.

GABA GABA
GABA GABA

GAABA does NOT include any of the bars or businesses south of Belmont Avenue. Most of their time is spent dealing with the St. Patrick's Day Parade and their scholarship fund.

A shuttle idea is a good one - but who will pay for it?? The bars can't agree on anything, so how would they agree to pay this. The annual costs were once estimated at $50,000 - how do you divide that between ALL the businesses fairly, and then how do you collect it??

Dalfan
Dalfan

Thanks to Angela Hunt Lower Greenville will soon be vastly improved and a Dallas go-to place.

Bobbytightpants
Bobbytightpants

One of these days Wilonsky and the like minded will come to realize that all of this lifestyle for the hip, relatively affluent, and wannabe some other city crowd is not only idiotic, but also detrimental to the city's growth (i.e., real growth). Nope. Never mind. They won't. Progressives always think they're forward looking/thinking. Alas, they are quite the opposite. But it sure feels good to advocate the things that they do. If they were serious about bettering Dallas, for example, they would be looking at how they can attract the tech-businesses to Dallas proper. Talk about filling up and out the vast number of (beautiful) downtown spaces and building with people who will not only work there but also live there...and everything else that could follow... But no. Bike paths, streetcars, and parking lot parks are the answer. Puerile. I know that Ms. Hunt and those, like Jason Roberts, mean well. And I don't begrudge their efforts. However, they are misplaced and naive efforts.

nipper
nipper

did he also mention he's a big dumb fat fuck?

3rd Wheel Marketing
3rd Wheel Marketing

Did those letters before the construction start out "how long can you tread water?" 

I like Angela Hunt but "frustrating" for business owners? How about words like "dire", "life changing" or "fuck me with a two by four"? 

If you've ever owned a retail business, this is the nightmare scenario. 

Restaurantqualityblender
Restaurantqualityblender

C'mon people!  We HAD to have the sidewalks widened and the streets tree lined. If not, then how could we attract Kewl Kid business for Kewl Kidz of all ages? Hopefully the whole shebang will be finished in time for the hovercraft only lanes.  Fingers crossed! It's Hunt's city, we merely have the good fortune of living in it, or with it.

Person
Person

There's much business left down there to piss off.  

Jason
Jason

Oh, Ms. Hunt.  You have such a way with words: "...so I hope we can live through it. It's gotta happen." 

Wondering if you looked down to see her fingers crossed.  I mean, it's only business owners' livelihoods on Lower Greenville that get tested time and time again.

Paul
Paul

What is being done?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Is it a case of "Pardon our dust, because dig we must."?

WashHater
WashHater

Didn't the Andres play a role in jamming this construction project down everyone's throats? I wonder how much rent abatement they're providing to the companies affected by their pet project during times like this.

Oh wait. Considering their track record, they're probably raising the rents as we speak.

Guest
Guest

Any idea how many establishments may go under because of this road work?  It looks like a ghost town whenever I drive by...

Aaron Barker
Aaron Barker

let's all go to Good Records and spend money cause Dallas needs Chris Penn and the good things he does at Good Records!

Cant Stand Angela
Cant Stand Angela

HA HA HA - you made me laugh!

Thanks to Angela Hunt, she now has more money in her campaign treasury from the property owners (well, maybe it's not legally listed but she has their money) than she knows what to do with.

She knew this plan would not work from Day One. If Andres still charges $16,000/month rent for a pizza joint, how long will they stay in business?? If the bowling alley concept is being opposed by the neighbors, why is she saying it's such a good idea? Cuz Madison told her it is, that's why.

Jason
Jason

I have to disagree with you, Mr. tightpants.  What types of tech businesses are you thinking of when you say this?  Maybe I'm misunderstanding you.  The "lifestyle for the hip, relatively affluent" defines all cities where tech industries rule or are a large part of the economy - Silicon Valley, San Francisco proper, Seattle, Austin, San Diego.  

Tech industry employees, we're talking mid- to low-level employees, are the majority of any business and are young. Young people are progressive.  By definition, throughout time, young people are hip and forward thinking.  Companies look for an employee base when choosing where to locate a business.  If Dallas does not keep up then we will lose that base to other cities where young people want to live.  Lower Greenville is and needs to be one of these parts of town where the young go and play and spend money.  Upper and lower Greenville (as well as the surrounding neighborhoods - Lakewood and Knox-Henderson) have what young people are looking for:  restaurants, bars, live music, retail that fits their lifestyle, apartment and condo living, and more young people just like them.  

I'm not sure you really know what young people look for now in a city.  To call their efforts puerile is shortsighted on your part.  Everything you listed is exactly what young professionals are looking for in a city, and major cities across the country are looking to provide for these individuals and are attracting tech companies.  Cities I've mentioned before look seriously at what Richard Florida has defined as a Creative Class.  Even though he hasn't written a book in a couple of years on the subject, his ideas are still relevant.  

The problem with Lower Greenville is that the parties involved in its future - Neighborhood associations, retail property owners, and city officials - are trying to sculpt, curate and force their vision of the neighborhood; all with ideas that conflict with what the neighborhood should be.

Plus, while I'm not a fan of Angela Hunt (and she is my city representative), I don't think her efforts are those of the city's overall.  Those are just her efforts for her neighborhood constituents, which happen to include a part of town where young, "progressive" if you will, and relatively affluent people live.  Don't confuse this with being the city's overall agenda.  Every city needs to have neighborhoods that offer things for the young working class.  If Dallas wasn't forward thinking in some aspects of its growth we would simply be Ft. Worth.  And, nobody should take that as a slight against Ft. Worth.  What they do fits their city and the businesses that are based there.  

I really think your comment is simply a non sequitir and a bit misguided.  Again, unless I misunderstood you.  

Taco Cabana Fan
Taco Cabana Fan

The rents are probably going up due to the construction of patios where none existed before. That's how the Andres's were lured to support the project by Hunt last year.

They have left most of their properties empty for the past two years, hoping to drive down the area's values so they can buy everything out.

What few tenants they are have are not getting abated - Char Bar, Pussycat, Lost Society, Taco Cabana, Billiard Bar (pussycat just got locked out by the landlord). They are being forced to suck it up for the good of Andres.

These guys are convinced that national businesses are waiting in the wings to swoop in and lease crappy old buildings that need to be torn down first for $16,000 a month or more. The question is always the same - Where is the parking?? It ain't.

Taco Cabana pays $14.000 per month in rent. They will close down next year when their lease expires. Why? Because Andres wants $18.000 plus a piece of their sales. Taco Cabana does not play that game. Look at their recent renovations - it's just a paint job, not a wholesale fix like the Taco Cabana at Park Lane.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

One of the city's favorite pass times is driving established businesses in to bankrupcy.   This is no exception.  

scottindallas
scottindallas

I don't think it's the city that threatens Good Records, it the way media is distributed today. CD players are obsolete

nipper
nipper

lets don't and say we did..

Jd
Jd

Yea before the city puts him out of business. 

Guest
Guest

If that's true about Taco Cabana, Andres is an idiot.

Evan
Evan

yeah and vinyl's been dead since the 80s, right??

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