Dallas Will Allow a New Katy Trail Mid-Rise, Highland Park's Objections Be Damned

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Google Maps
The building that's on the site now.
Over the objections of their Park Cities neighbors, the Dallas City Council voted this afternoon to approve a zoning change that will allow for the construction of a new luxury mid-rise apartment building on Cole Avenue site currently occupied by the Saltillo Apartments.

See also: Highland Park, Fighting Luxury Apartment on Katy Trail, Insists It's Not Against Density, Just Tall Buildings

A group of Highland Park residents, their mayor and their attorneys showed up at the meeting to again voice their disapproval for the change, which they complained would cause traffic and parking issues in addition to sullying some Highland Park residents' view of the Katy Trail.

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Dallas Man Writes Letter to One of the World's Foremost Urbanists, Social Media Magic Ensues

Categories: Development

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Twitter (Jeff Speck)
The letter.

After reading Jeff Speck's book Walkable City, Brian Reinhart had to respond. The book spoke to the issues he and his friends faced in Dallas so clearly, outlining many of the problems they've had and the aspirations they have. He wanted to give Speck "an update on the lay of the urban land in Dallas."

With all the discussion that's occurred over the summer about the state of urbanism in Dallas -- whether at the New Cities Conference, the U.S. Conference of Mayors or even last week's "Connecting Dallas Beyond the Automobile" panel -- the letter provides an interesting snapshot of how things are for at least one man who is really giving Dallas a go as if it were what he wishes it was.

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Urban Orchard Market, Downtown Dallas' Only Grocer Folds After Less Than a Year

Categories: Biz, Development

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When Urban Orchard Market opened to moderate fanfare last October, there was hope that maybe, finally, Downtown Dallas was grown up enough to support a grocery store.

It's not. Ten months after opening, the jaunty "Now Open" banner still hanging above the door, the market has quietly closed. A downtown resident who identified himself as Dennis arrived at the storefront off Jackson Street on Thursday morning to find the doors gated and locked. He had planned to pick up a loaf of bread.

"Now," he declared with mild regret, "I have to buy CVS bread."

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Highland Park, Fighting Luxury Apartment on Katy Trail, Insists It's Not Against Density, Just Tall Buildings

Categories: Development

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Google Maps
Developers want to demolish this and replace it with something taller.
What kind of rich people would be more fun to have living along the Katy Trail -- family-oriented rich people who prefer short buildings, or fast-paced rich people in high-rises?

The current property on 4719 Cole Ave. is not habitable for any type of rich people. The Saltillo apartments building was built in 1970 and has been known to keep a loud and proud "all bills paid" sign out front and is beige.

Developers noticed and have unsuccessfully tried over the years to get it torn down and replaced with luxury high-rises, only to fail against Dallas' multifamily zoning restrictions that limit buildings on the property to no more than 36 feet in height.

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Major Dallas Rezoning Being Undertaken with Unusual Transparency

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Drumguy8800
Downtown Dallas as seen from Lake Cliff Park
If there's one thing Unfair Park has taken away from the high-stakes civic lesson that's been the Cityplace Sam's Club case thus far, it's this: The notices sent to homeowners telling them about proposed zoning changes in their neighborhoods are terrible.

The notices are meant to let people who own property within 200 feet of a site up for rezoning know about the change, in case the neighbors object to, say, a big honking warehouse store in their 'hood. In practice, the city's complexly layered levels of special zoning make the notices opaque and essentially meaningless. Mixed-use zoning, for example, sounds like just the thing many people say they want: dense, walkable outcroppings of businesses and homes that reflect their neighborhoods. Sometimes that is what it means, but thanks to Byzantine mechanisms like planned development districts and specific use permit waivers it can also mean a 130,000-square-foot discount Sam's Club.

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Temporary Injunction Denied in Cityplace Sam's Club Case

Categories: Development

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Trammell Crow
Once more, with feeling.

After the conclusion of arguments that started Friday morning, District Judge Phyllis Lister Brown ruled against a neighborhood group seeking a temporary injunction aimed at stopping construction of a 130,000-square-foot Sam's Club store near the intersection of Haskell Avenue and U.S. 75.

The decision means the city can issue building permits for builder Trammel Crow while a lawsuit challenging a zoning that allows the store goes forward.


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Round Two of Sam's Club Legal Fight Will Last Into Monday

Categories: Development

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Trammell Crow
This site was the subject of much legal wrangling Friday (again).

The second act of the East Village Association's battle to reset the clock on a zoning change that would allow Trammell Crow to build a proposed 130,000-square-foot Sam's Club near Haskell Avenue and U.S. 75 will not be resolved until at least Monday afternoon, after Judge Phyllis Lister Brown was forced to end proceedings on Friday because of time constraints.

Despite being allotted four hours on the 162nd District Court's calendar, the temporary injunction hearing still has some way to go, with both the city of Dallas and Trammell Crow yet to present their sides of the case.

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The Next Round of the Cityplace Sam's Club Fight Starts Today

Categories: Development

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Trammell Crow
We are going to use this image for every single story we write about this damn thing.

Just about two weeks ago, all seemed lost for a group of residents who were upset about a Trammell Crow development plan that included building of a Sam's Club near Haskell Avenue and U.S. 75. Zoning for the development had already been approved, so the City Plan Commission's July 10 signing off on the project was a mere formality.

Before that vote could take place though, the East Village Association, a group representing the residents, sued the city of Dallas and Trammell Crow. The association tried, and failed, to stop the commission from voting, but it succeeded July 11 in obtaining a temporary restraining order against the city's issuing building permits for the development.

That's where the case has sat for two weeks, waiting for today's temporary injunction hearing. Should the injunction be approved, no permits will be issued for the duration of the trial to determine the validity of the zoning; should it fail, building could begin before the trial's conclusion.

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Cedar Hill Could Use Three Walmarts, According to Walmart

Categories: Development

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Google Maps
Walmart is considering putting a Walmart here, but promises it will be more sustainable.
How many Walmarts does a city need to thrive? People living in the hip circle of neighborhoods surrounding downtown Dallas say we have enough Walmarts, Walmart-affiliated stores and other big boxes to sustain us and it's time to consider some development that isn't a giant box and acres of ashphalt. Residents in the neighborhood near Haskell Avenue and Central Expressway recently won a restraining order to temporarily stop Trammell Crow from building a 130,000-square-foot Sam's Club nearby, in what was supposed to be a walkable development called the East Village.

Eighteen miles away from the proposed East Village development rests the suburb of Cedar Hill, a town with a lot of nice trees and chain stores. There's a Half Price books, a SuperTarget and a Walmart, along with several Walmarts just outside city limits, ensuring that Cedar Hill residents will never go hungry for super savings ever again.

But that's not enough. Walmart is now considering putting two other Walmarts in Cedar Hill.

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Judge Restrains City from Issuing Building Permits for Cityplace Development

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Trammell Crow
Still talking about this place? Still talking about this place.
District Judge Emily Tobolowsky issued an order Friday blocking, at least for now, developer Trammell Crow's plan to build a 130,000-square-foot Sam's Club in Cityplace, just north downtown.

Residents in the neighborhood near Haskell Avenue and Central Expressway won a temporary restraining order that prevents the city from issuing building permits for the East Village retail development that includes the warehouse store. They'll be back in court in two weeks to seek an injunction that would put the project on hold until a trial decides the zoning issue.

Members of the East Village Association, a group representing area residents, claim Trammell Crow misled them about the company's plans for the project, and neighbors weren't aware of the Sam's Club until not long before the Dallas Plan Commission was set to approve the company's development plan. Neighbors say they expected something similar to West Village across the freeway, with smaller retail shops and restaurants.

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