Council Won't Vote on Greenville Ave. Bowling Alley, Arts District Signage Today

Categories: City Hall
bowling alley-3.JPG
A conceptual rendering of the proposed bowling alley that was to be voted on by city council today
Well, we had planned on following up this afternoon on two items of interest: Developer Craig Hall's plans to fill the Arts District with giant signs attached to his Hall Arts Center, which we told you about Monday, and that much-debated, and that proposed Lower Greenville bowling alley next to Good Records, which the City Plan Commission shot down in July. Alas: Anna happened to be at City Hall this morning, when Mayor Mike Rawlings told those who'd come to speak for and agin both projects that they'd have to come back another day. Both items were being pushed back.

The council hasn't officially voted to defer the items -- that won't happen till 1. But council member Angela Hunt, who's opposed to Hall's zoning change in the Arts District, tells Unfair Park that she's asking both be pushed back because she needs "more time to see if neighborhood leaders and business owners can find common ground."

Susan Reese, whose Madison Partners owns the building where the bowling alley would go, says she's fine with the delay: "Whatever Angela thinks on that is fine with me," she tells Unfair Park this morning. "It's always been our goal to get everybody on board, because it's a great project, and if she wants it delayed, that's fine by me."

Reese insists there's plenty of support from those who live "closest to the project," and says those who oppose the $1.5 million project, which would include a restaurant and lounge overlooking the lanes and be operated by Barcadia's Brooke Humphries, keep insisting it's nothing more than another bar in Lower Greenville when it's anything but.

"The reason we like it so much is because for the new Lower Greenville, they want daytime use, which this can provide," she says. "To me, that's a gateway to Lower Greenville, and it's got to be something unique and something with daytime use and something hipper and more fun than things that have been there in the past. I'm excited, and it's a huge investment, and it's worth it. We've been in Lower Greenville and Deep Ellum for 30 years, and we want something fun, wonderful and appropriate that says, 'Here's the new Lower Greenville.'

"It definitely does have a bar component, but the hardest thing about the space, without a graphic in front of you, it's hard to show people why it's not just a bar. But if you look at ths size of the building and take out what can no longer support foot traffic, there are 3,600 square feet for the restaurant and lounge area. That's all. It's really not a 14,000-square foot bar. It's a building with 5,000 square feet of bowling alley you can't walk on, and restaurant space you can't walk on. We don't want them to think it's a 14,000-square foot bar, because it isn't.

"And you have to keep in mind: It's a boutique bowling alley. No, it's not 24 lanes, there's not going to be league bowling. It's the kind of bowling alley where you look down at the bowling alley from the mezzanine while you have dinner and a beer. And my experience with Brooke and in getting to know her, it'll be the coolest thing in town. She doesn't attract a rowdy crowd. Everyone loves Barcadia. She knows how to run a business."

The question remains: Will the city council let her?
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Ryan
Ryan

There are plenty of boutique bowling alley photos in the gallery at www.fusionbowling.com if anybody wants to get an idea what boutique bowling might mean. Usually, these types of settings are very high-end and combined with other uses (restaurant, lounge, stage, etc) -- nothing like the dirty, smokey bowling alleys built in the 1960s.

Person
Person

I wish the neighborhood members that are against it would at least give their reasons as to why they oppose it.  I know there's years of animosity and distrust between the landlords and residents, but if this can't get passed, then the future of Lowest Greenville Avenue is in trouble.  I've lived down here for 6 years and my view is: What independently owned business would want to invest time and money on this street if even the good ones get shot down?

Jason
Jason

The neighborhood members oppose it for the following reasons:  People who will go to this bowling alley will pee on their lawns, they will park on their streets, they will fight; The bar will attract "hoochie mamas" and "gangbangers".  One resident in particular will cite city code.  Another will tell you "Not In My Backyard" but what he really means is not in my front yard outside my picket fence.  Oh, yeah.  That one won't use his real name.  He'll come up with witty names to post as, but he will use his real name when he wants to show off his nifty lil neighborhood website. 

The one thing they won't tell you are names of actual businesses or a precise description of businesses they would like to have there.  They will use the terms "bad bars vs. good bars" and "daytime businesses".  They will tell you they miss the days of yore when there was a furniture shop down at the end of the street.  They will tell you that the city does not have a code designation for "entertainment district" so please don't put those words next to each other in a sentence.  It will get you nowhere.

What they will also not tell you is that they primarily represent mostly homeowners and not very many of the young apartment renters who are the majority of that particular area of lower greenville.  They will include about six or eight Homeowners Associations that are not directly effected by this bowling alley.  They will not tell you that they are old and out of their prime for the area they live in.  They will not tell you about the good business owners who they have essentially run out of business with the SUP process they approved along with Hunt & Medrano.  

And, oddly enough, a few of the people who oppose the bars down there and like this SUP process are also people who talk of "smaller government" and "less regulation".  Go figure...

What the people who disagree with the Homeowners Associations won't tell you (myself included) is that it's a clusterfuck.  It is beyond repair at this point.  Everybody is in the wrong down there - the NA's, the landlords who own the commercial property, Hunt and Medrano, some of the bars, city code enforcers.  Everyone.

I think it's easier to say this in hindsight but the money the city is putting into that area is a huge waste.  The only good thing will be the repaved roads.  Eventually, those businesses down there will be boarded up.  Then, anew, hopefully that area can be redeveloped.  It will be like Deep Ellum.  I really feel sorry for the businesses that are left down there.  I just hope they can get a fresh start in another part of town and take their customers with them when they go.

PS:  @RWilonsky - What's the status of 7-11 down there?

Avi S. Adelman
Avi S. Adelman

As the person whose name is not supposed to be mentioned, I can only laugh at your statements.

I opposed the SUP remember??? All of my so-called horrible predictions actually came true - empty storefronts with jacked-up rents, no new tenants cuz tenants need parking and there ain't any, and a city cowering (sp?) to the bars that sued to stop the damn process (thank god another one got busted for possession of lots of meth).

I have not been involved in the process directly because I don't have the time - you might have heard there's a big party this weekend called Taste of Greenville Avenue??

And after the party, I am gonna take a long and well-deserved break.

I do keep my ears to the ground and can tell you the comments re homeowners v renters is baseless, there are six NAs not eight, and three are directly impacted by the bowling alley concept. This is NOT an entertainment district and saying it three times does not change that fact. This area was never ever designed to host the large crowds we had here, which is why it self-destructed.

The construction is interesting, but the goal of bringing more nighttime retail is gonna stop when the $16K per month rent fee is published. And the last thing the property owners want is daytime retail since it does not sell alcohol to cover the 10% tithe of your profit they demand.

The 7-11 and Shell station both have SUP signs on their windows - about time too, but that's another issue.

And by the way - The bowling alley is a bad idea. They claim to earn $4million per year in sales. But the best year the Beagle (RIP) ever had was $1.15 million. Do you have any idea how many frames of dwarf bowling you would need to make that kind of money?

Jason
Jason

I hear what you're saying but I just don't see what businesses in the unforeseeable future would be able to survive down there.  If the same people who run Beauty Bar and Barcadia can't operate a business down there then I don't know who could.

This is all very sad for that neighborhood.  Like I said before, I just hope the current business owners can make it out of there and find a new location that works for them.  There business relies way too much on foot traffic and being in a neighborhood that is a hot spot.  That part of Greenville is far from it.  

And, like I've said all along, I just think this SUP process is using a grenade to get rid of a fly.  There was either no foresight in its ramifications or it is all by design.  Although, I really think it's about a few people having god complexes.

Avi S. Adelman
Avi S. Adelman

No apology required here.

My column on the issues about the SUP is found here -

http://www.barkingdogs.org/new...

Better to read it at your own pace than me regurgitate it here on Unfair Park.

Point to note: I stated that even valet/attended parking lots would need an SUP. Only last month did the City confirm it. Since the parking lots are NOT legal (eg zoning) they could not even collect money. So almost all the attendants are gone, despite protestations of increased crime (did not happen).

The bowling alley is a regional bar in disguise as a family oriented neighborhood-friendly business (see Reese's comments). That's a crock designed to soften the blow (pardon the pun) of a bar activity after 9pm when bowling will stop and drinks will flow.

I am not anti-bar. Just call it a bar and stop lying about it being family friendly. I did an informal survey of families in the area (I have two daughters at home). I could not find another parent who would even think of walking down there any evening after the concept was clearly explained (not counting the single dad, who saw an MILF hotspot).

The other point - The SUP was presented by Hunt as something given AFTER the business showed itself to be a good / responsible neighbor. This is a new activity. But telling us that a business owner from Henderson Avenue will run it under the conditions they demanded and then getting an SUP from Day 1 does not mean crap. That person - who may not have any issues on Henderson - is an unknown quantity here and has no history. If we make an exception for this business, then other new businesses will come in and say, Hey, you gave THEM a permit and they are new. So give us one and STFU.

Jason
Jason

Apologies.  Didn't mean to insinuate that you were for the SUP.  I found out recently that you weren't and I think I asked if anyone knew why you were against it.  Now's my chance to ask: why were you against the SUP?

Also, I'm not sure I follow why you think the bowling alley is a bad idea.  And, no, I don't know how many frames it takes to make that kind of money.  I didn't know the city used business plans as a measurement to get an SUP.  Maybe you can elaborate on what you mean.

SO tired of BS
SO tired of BS

Wilonsky, you really are a tool.  I have seen children with a more developed bullshit filter.  Why don't you just print whatever press release they cough up?

Jason
Jason

So I'm gonna feed the troll...  

Just wondering...What is the bullshit in this article that he wasn't able to get filtered?  What press release are you referring to when he stated someone (Anna) was there when the mayor said the meeting would be postponed?Did you read the article?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Your name-calling behind the veil of anonymity we so thoughtfully provide is well done; you certainly have that down. Congratulations. Perhaps in the future you could actually make a point.

abuckley1970
abuckley1970

but you are a tool for not mentioning Old Crow's success today somewhere, anywhere.  LOL  (just kidding)

abuckley1970
abuckley1970

Robert, I thought this was an adequate synopsis of this whole situation.

DallasDweller
DallasDweller

This project is a game changer. Do we want to be an exciting city that attracts young professionals and new urbanists? Our elected officials must have the courage to give locally owned businesses and unique concepts a chance. Cool venues within walking distance of cool neighborhoods is exactly what we need. Always so much talk about becoming a "World Class" city. It starts with exciting neighborhoods. Bring on the bowling!

Ellum08
Ellum08

angela didn't need more time, she needed more votes.

Yvonnecr
Yvonnecr

@d204cff80b364a6817455c499a5ada18:disqus .. I am so in favor of the bowling and what's proposed could only add to the community.. Let get with it a vote and pass it..

Grateful Citizen
Grateful Citizen

Thank goodness someone is willing to invest in lower Greenville!  What is there to think about??  Someone willing to clean up an area which many of us grew up in and remain today! 

Rawlins Gilliland
Rawlins Gilliland

I know Susan Reese very well & am proud to call her a friend...in fact last week she joined me on-air on KERA for a two-hour stint.  I can guarantee this about her: The last thing Susan Reese in ready to promote...let alone build...is a rowdy trash-the-neighborhood component to threaten the area.  Quite the opposite.  With Susan, what you see is truly what you get...or more to the point...what she says is what she means & who she is.  This is my original neighborhood & I can tell you that one block where this is being pitched is the dead zone in need of an upscale fun infusion.  I hope for everyone's sake that this project passes.  It's an inspired idea concept in an uninspiring era of Lower Greenville challenges. 

Osteology
Osteology

Heartily agree!  I have already requested that my council person support the SUP.  Please, if you haven't already done so, ask your council person to support this.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Ms. Reese was the landlord when this same space caused all the problems it did previously.  There's a reason why this space, with Ms. Reese as landlord, has twice been denied an SUP by the CPC. 

Gavin Mulloy
Gavin Mulloy

Agree with Rawlins.  Too many empty buildings.  And anyone have an official word on the Food trucks?

Amy S
Amy S

Dear Ms. Reese, if it fails today, please consider Preston Center - west side. Lot's of kitschy, independently owned little buildings, circled around a 2 story parking garage, well insulated from residential neighborhoods. Even a strong lunch market from the many high rise office around.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

Does Craig Hall already have a tenant secretly lined up, like BBVA, who won't sign on the dotted line unless there is signage on each side of the building? Maybe some people would be supportive if the signage is consistent with others in the area like CBRE and less like the Sheraton Hotel. Of course more people would be receptive to a sign that says BBVA than one that says CONDOM WORLD.

LJT2011
LJT2011

Or perhaps the Dallas office of HALL WINES?

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