Council Nixes Late-Night SUP For Proposed Greenville Bowling Alley. And That's That.

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A conceptual rendering of the proposed bowling alley that will not go in next to Good Records after all
At long last, that proposed Greenville Avenue bowling alley, next to Good Records, just went before the Dallas City Council -- its last hope following the City Plan Commission's gutter ball over the summer. But District 14 rep Angela Hunt -- who, along with Pauline Medrano, birthed the Lower Greenville Planned Development District ordinance that mandates a specific use permit for late-hours operation -- wasn't in attendance for the vote; she's out sick today. You may recall it was Hunt who asked the council to defer the vote on the bowling alley when it first came in front of the council two weeks ago. She said she needed "more time to see if neighborhood leaders and business owners can find common ground."

But in the end, it was Pauline Medrano who asked the council to support the CPC's decision to deny the specific use permit. Said Medrano, she's in agreement with the neighborhood associations who have said that "Lowest Greenville deserves a more balanced neighborhood -- more shopping, more community retail." Said Medrano, she wants that stretch of Greenville to look like Bishop Arts. So, she said: No.
 
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Susan Reese
Before it voted, the council had many questions. Dwaine Caraway, who kept insisting Dallas is "business friendly," invited Madison Partners' Susan Reese to come to his neck of the woods. "I have some places in Oak Cliff we would love to have you," he told her.

Caraway and Carolyn Davis also wanted further clarification, asking Reese: Do you really need the till-2 a.m. SUP to build the bowling alley? Reese said yes, because no one would want to sink $1.5 million into a bar-restaurant-bowling alley that had to close at midnight.

Tennell Atkins asked Medrano: What's the real issue? Parking? She said yes, but also "the intensity and the noise." He needed a list. "The clientele, maybe people who are inebriated and disorderly," said Theresa O'Donnell, head of Sustainable Development. "And the number of parking spaces," added David Cossum, the assistant director.

Sheffie Kadane: "If this was approved, that does not mean, according to what I am reading, they have to put a bowling alley there, does it?" Cossum told him: Well, actually, the SUP is contingent upon the installation of those six lanes. At which point Caraway chimed in again. He just doesn't get why Madison needs those extra two late-night hours to build the bowling alley. "It makes the difference between having a tenant who will do it and one who won't," Reese said, referring to Barcadia's Brooke Humphries, who would run the place and who may  take the proposal elsewhere.

We'll find out sooner than later: At 2:17 p.m., the council voted to uphold the CPC's denial of the late-hours permit. At which point Mayor Mike Rawlings told Reese, if there's any interest in opening that bowling alley "in the West End or downtown, I'd love to discuss that in the future."

According to the city, it received 22 letters in favor of the project, and only nine opposed. But since CPC voted it down, the item required 3/4 of the council to approve. Which, in the end, didn't matter.

Before the council took its vote, Reese reminded the council that she spoke in favor of the SUP process last year even though she felt she was being "asked to give up property rights in order to do what was right for the neighborhood." Said Reese, "I put my properties and tenants in jeopardy" by allowing the city to close down businesses after midnight if they did not get the SUP. Reese said she had "more than 75 letters in support of the project," with "three to one in favor" among those living closest to the project

After Reese spoke, Jon Hetzel showed a video in support of the project, featuring conceptual renderings and endorsements by a few Greenville Ave. residents and property owners. Larry Vineyard, also of Madison, then spoke about the company -- which leases to the likes of Good Records, Cane Rosso, Twisted Root and other "good operators." Attorney Suzan Kedron also spoke, hinting that the city's PD ordinance may be out of bounds in its attempt to supersede existing liquor laws.

After that, four opposed to the project lined up at the podium -- with Bruce Richardson, but of course, at the front of the line, speaking fast and loud.

"The reason we are here to speak with you is pretty pictures and pretty stories ... do not reflect the reality of this application." He said previous tenants -- the Beagle, Lucky's Roadhouse -- promised to be just as family-friendly, and turned into bars and live-music venues.

"Every concept is like this one," he said. "Only 36 people can bowl on six lanes in two hours. The rest of the people in that space ... are doing something else," he said, meaning: drinking. Then he showed some photos from The Highball in Austin: "It is not your dad's karaoke. .. Everything is not as it seems. Everything is as it's always been."

One resident spoke of wanting a "more balanced neighborhood," of his concern over dwindling property values. Stephen Melendi, president of the Belmont Neighborhood Association, said this ain't the Lucky Strike in Fort Worth, which is bigger, has one bar and doesn't have a neighborhood of homeowners surrounding the joint. They all returned to a familiar theme: This is just a bigger, bowling-er Beagle, nothing more.

Attorney Mike Northrup also spoke, again, referring to The Beagle "as the straw that broke the camel's back," meaning: It was too big, and brought too many people -- and too much noise, too many cars-- into the neighborhood. Northrup, speaking on behalf of five neighborhood groups, said the bowling alley would be just one more same-ol'-same-ol' in a neighborhood trying to get rid of big, bad bars: "We can hear the rowdy drunken patrons walking to their cars in the neighborhood."

And, in the end, the anti- side got what they wanted.

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67 comments
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Shamus
Shamus

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Dallas is becoming the Detroit of the south - political corruption, declining home values, vacant buildings, greed, apathy, etc...  You name it!!! The stupid reality shows don't help either!!! 

Ahab
Ahab

Just put a Starbucks and McDonalds in the alley and it'll be approved in a snap.

Eastdallasgirl
Eastdallasgirl

Why not put it on the old Bronco Bowl spot....or in Deep Ellum? We might need better parking, tho'. Just sayin'...

Restaurantqualityblender
Restaurantqualityblender

Hunt out sick.  How convenient.  You Observer dupes.  Go find some more glamor shots to post up, useful idiots.

Brian
Brian

The city of Dallas is like that bad teacher you had as a child - the one who punishes the entire class for the bad behavior of one classmate. 

cp
cp

East Dallas? I thought that was in Garland??!!??

cp
cp

I can't understand why they can't simply close down all the "bad operators". There. Problem solved. Do the residents in Uptown bitch and moan this much about drunk people walking around all over McKinney Avenue at all hours of the night or the noisy streetcar screeching along its rails at midnight?  

Lee
Lee

This latest round of SUP denials pretty much closed them all down.  180, Lost Society, Shade, and Yucatan are all either dead or are on death's door.

Tony
Tony

Because fuck ideas. Am I right?

Coleman
Coleman

Ok, i'm gonna say what everyone has been thinking. Bishop Arts District is...kinda boring and contrived.

Jay
Jay

It is...it really is...

Guest
Guest

I was not thinking that at all.

I was thinking about boobs.

Rangers100
Rangers100

LMAO. She wants it to look like Bishop Arts.

That is the funniest/saddest thing I've read in a good while.

Jd
Jd

I couldn't agree more Rangers100.

14-1  is a terminal disease for the City.  Get out while you still can! 

bink sez
bink sez

Dallas is hopeless. These people are idiots.  Dallas is the best example in the world of a city that can never really be a real city because it's run by Republicans who are clueless as to what one looks like!  Inner city neighborhoods and downtowns are opening bowling alleys all over the country.  Only this horseshit place would make a huge issue out of it, after having run off other businesses previously. Hopeless.  Stupid.

md
md

The developer that has an estate in the Park Cities is likely a Republican and the people who live near the venue are likely Democrats. They are just older and have more money than you.

Rangers100
Rangers100

Hear, hear. North Dallas is full of a bunch of Republican losers who don't really want a great city. They want a giant version of Frisco.

And Angela Hunt is their black- I mean "bum" (wink, wink) hating queen.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

this is sad day if parking and noise were the problem,why is it only for two hours.People going to venue will park before 12PM so what. City of Dallas tax revenue will never improve when they close businesses based on pass behavior of a few drunk people.Anyone living near Greenville Ave knew that district was there when they decided to move there.

md
md

"People going to venue will park before 12PM so what"

They're going to park before Noon?

Lee
Lee

In-sane.  Everyone's talking about cleaning up Lower Greenville, but they vote against a bowling alley?  I can't believe they're that paranoid about it transforming into a loud bar just because of an SUP application.  I've bowled at AMF Lanes in Richardson past Midnight and guess what?  It was still just a bowling alley there.

The biggest insult to these guys was that right before they get denied, they get the dog and pony show of everyone else trying to get them to come to their neighborhood.

As a Greenville resident and bowler, I find it shameful that this was denied.  We were lucky that a bowling alley even wanted to come to our side of town.

beeleegeez
beeleegeez

I cannot express how disappointed I am that this concept was denied its SUP. All 4 of the speakers in opposition of the bowling alley were all out of touch, middle-aged white guys that simply do not know what progressive neighborhood development is.

Bruce Richardson's presentation was obnoxious and made sweeping generalizations about the clientele the bowling alley would attract, most of which was based on a tenant (The Beagle) that has not been open for years.

Yes The Beagle sucked. It sucked because it was a bar for douchebags, not because it was a bar.

An eclectic bowling alley concept next to Good Records= Great addition to the neighborhood.

Bottom line, people don't sink 1.5 million into a space to create an elaborate smokescreen to bring in a mega bar to ruin the neighborhood.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Other bowling alleys in Dallas sale liguor and this application was just to stay open until 2AM they can use it by right for alley,just must close at12:00. I do not think this Ordinance will stand in Court.TABC regulates liquor hours not City of Dallas. They are saying you must stop selling liquor at 12:00 keep on bowling until 2AM just can't drink.

abuckley1970
abuckley1970

I wonder...if the city had been doing its job all these years would this whole process even be necessary in this area?  I think not.  I mean, how many citations have to be issued before a business is shut down for being an illegal dance hall or an illegal bar?  (rhetorical) 

As far as the 'gamble' aspect - hell, every rezoning, plat or permit can turn into something other than what was originally represented.   Cue: Code Enforcement - but what's in a name.  The neighborhoods have some grievances - I can see those - but their issues should've been handled by laws already on the books.

This application reminds me of the 'minority report.'  We're going to stop you BEFORE you commit the crime....

ThatGuy
ThatGuy

How true.  If the city would have enforced its own rules, it never would have gotten out of hand. One crooked inspector killed it all. 

Rawlins
Rawlins

I understand what you say here but Patti, there's East Dallas and there is far eastern Dallas: First, Jupiter Bowl in northEAST Dallas is farther from the lower Greenville location that it is from Richardson.  In other words, for any intents & purposes....Jupiter Bowl is great but it's within walking distance of Garland....and although I went there a lot, by any argument, it's a totally different part of town.  And this Lowest Greenville idea was a concept place more than just a bowling alley per se.  A small bowling alley, yes, with a bar with food in block that has been devoid of any successful enterprise since the early 1970s.  I grew up 5 blocks from this spot & saw the plans first hand, knowing what has happened over the last 30 years in that dormant strip between Ross & Henderson/Bryan/Munger. 

Daniel Vaughn
Daniel Vaughn

Bruce Richardson and the LGWNA continue their "Keep Greenville Vacant" campaign. I live down the street from Mr. Richardson and have not once been asked my opinion of this issue (or any regarding Lower Greenville) despite repeated requests to be involved, but this "Neighborhood Association" is not interested in the opinions of the neighborhood.

Rangers100
Rangers100

You're too cool to live in that area. Please move to downtown, Deep Ellum, Oak Cliff, etc. Far better places for you. Let these losers have the Frisco-lite they want. There are better spots in this city that need and want the contribution of people like you.

Lee
Lee

Couldn't agree more.

Travis Rex
Travis Rex

Give them a Walmart!..seems like they have traded in every worst case scenario for what is essentially suburbia..they deserve it.

Osteology
Osteology

They want daytime retail?  Just look down the street at the Fiesta parking lot.........

cp
cp

No they want little kitchy coffee shops and boutiques. Basically they want the West Village lining Lower Greenville. 

Osteology
Osteology

I get what they WANT.  They want Lakewood shopping center or Preston village.  But, I think what they will get after the vacancies drive down property values can be found down on Ross currently.

jfpo
jfpo

They're already getting WalMart...just hasn't been announced  yet.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Susan, bring it to deep ellum, we'll welcome the business with open arms.

Stephanie Schumacher
Stephanie Schumacher

The old Green Room space would be awesome for that bowling on 1 side, sports bar on the other.

elbueno
elbueno

Deep Ellum is going to thrive in the next few years. Thanks in large part to the pushing out of bars in LG. Say goodbye to LG, the entertainment destination.

Anon
Anon

"community retail" is not what we have in Bishop Arts. don't get me wrong, I love the BA. but not a single place there could stay in business without the people who drive in from all over Dallas.

having said that, I do think people need to look beyond pretty pictures and a specific proposal and think about the worst case scenario that any change or approval from the city will allow. don't let a change you'd normally hate go through just because the person requesting it is someone you trust. when/if the economics shift for them, you may up with the worst case scenario and you will have no one to blame but yourself. I have no specific opinion on this particular application, but I understand the skepticism on the part of neighbors.

Brian
Brian

If you always think about the worst case scenario nothing would get done ever.  Terrible way to plan, and terrible way to live a life.

cp
cp

It also depends on the person's view of "community retail". For a whole lot of folks, that means Family Dollar. For others, that means a little mom-and-pop clothing boutique of some sort. What sustains a community? The Family Dollar. 

Ellum08
Ellum08

How convenient that Ms. Hunt was sick today. Easier to have Medrano do her dirty work?

When you have people like Bruce Richardson and Mike Northrup dictating what should go in a neighborhood, you are in a world of hurt. I hope people are starting to figure that fact out.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

I like the mayor's suggestion about considering downtown. The West End (or Victory Park for that matter) would be a perfect location for this.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

There is no street presence in Victory Park,again Developers design that for special people ,who live in those highrise buildings,that sit empty.The whole Vitory Park is closed to traffic, and to see it you must twist and turn. Dallas is so busy keeping people apart its killing itself.I wonder when will someone learn that it takes a mixed group of people to make a Place come alive. Look at any City that is moving and people enjoying themselvesits a mixed group of all. Portland ,Organ is a good example.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

The West End?  Downtown?  Maybe if Pizza Mike gets the city to build the bowling alley for them.  Theresa O'Donnell is a douche tool.

not bloody likely
not bloody likely

No it actually wouldn't. A business owner needs to turn a profit to make a venture successful. This type of concept works well in high volume, gritty entertainment districts and suburbia. It would sink like a stone in the West End. 

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

You probably would've also advised against opening an upscale restaurant on Henderson a few years ago. Just because an area isn't thriving right now doesn't mean it can't be when the right business moves in. 

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I was on Plan Commission when Henderson improvement was fought just like Greenville Ave.We had good members who could remember how Henderson was before.

Eastdallasgirl
Eastdallasgirl

Does anybody remember when there was a pet shop called Yaffee's  on Bonita Street at Henderson? Those were the days...

not bloody likely
not bloody likely

Try taking that business model to a bank and ask for a loan. 

cp
cp

No I think the difference is the urban fabric, or the grit. On the east side of Henderson you have the Lower Greenville $300,000+ homes while on the south and west sides you have more multi-family, more old worn-out little cottages (and the Fiesta, and the tiendas and taco places along Capiol/Fitzugh) and the (gasp!) Mexicans. There's multi-family along Henderson that has been there for decades, but that didn't make people want to open high-end restaurants there 10 years ago either.   

Randell Weatherall
Randell Weatherall

The difference between lower Greenville and Henderson might be the multi-family component.  Greenville is just not letting it happen, while its already happening around Henderson.

Rawlins in Blunderland
Rawlins in Blunderland

Don't say I didn't also add that 'don't be surprised when Henderson is a trashed out ghost town' ten years hence.  I grew up for 24 years between the Old Monk and Barcardia.  I always predicted it would be a restaurant go-to area.  I also now sense it has a very dicey future.  It's just the same gut instinct  had all along that it would be a cool-hood Mecca that tells me it will ultimately make the challenged strips of Lowest Greenville look like vegas.  . 

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