Neighborhood resident Olive Talley has helped organize meetings between Stonelake representative Robert Baldwin and more than 20 neighbors to discuss the rezoning request. They have a lot of concerns because this particular block bumps right up to homes, she says.
Talley expressed concern that, among other things, a restaurant would be constructed atop the building. This type of development could lead to increased traffic, noise and parking issues, she says.
“We don’t want this [neighborhood] to become another Lower Greenville Avenue,” Talley says.
The property, a 0.8-acre plot with a 10,000-square-foot office building, is zoned as a neighborhood service district. However, Stonelake wants to rezone it to a commercial retail district.
Baldwin says the neighborhood service designation limits the size of any tenant to 3,500 square feet. Commercial retail zoning, on the other hand, could allow a retailer to fill the entire 10,000-square-foot building.
If the rezoning request is approved by the City Plan Commission, and eventually the Dallas City Council, Stonelake could attract a national, name-brand tenant, Baldwin says, “something like an Ace Hardware or something that needs more space,” Baldwin says. “[Stonelake] is just trying to get their options out as to what else can go in there.”
Baldwin, who lives in the neighborhood, says he understands residents’ concerns and, therefore, has eliminated some of the typical uses for commercial retail-zoned property, such as a drive-through. In addition, it’s unlikely the existing building would be altered, he says.
“I suspect the building is going to stay the way it is right now,” Baldwin says. “ The building is in pretty good shape. There’s really no reason to tear it down.”
Baldwin says he doesn’t know what potential retailers Stonelake has talked with.
The rezoning request is still being discussed, and another meeting with neighbors is expected to take place before Stonelake introduces the proposal to the city plan commission June 21.
Stonelake last year purchased the Skillman-Oram property and the Skillman Live Oak Center, the strip of shops on the east side of Skillman between Oram and La Vista, as well as the retail triangle that houses Wine Therapist, CrossFit White Rock and the former Molly Maguire’s/Tipperary Inn.
As a result, the center’s decades-old sign was replaced and a couple of stores moved. Paperbacks Plus, which had been in the Lakewood area for 35 years, moved to 10801 Garland Road, near Casa Linda Bakery. The Consignment Solution moved across the street. Replacing these two businesses will be Matt’s Rancho Martinez, which lost its Lakewood shopping center lease to Mi Cocina.
Stonelake also owns a grass field a couple blocks west of the triangle, on the east side of Mecca between Lewis and La Vista. It had asked the city to rezone the land and allow for a parking lot there, but later withdrew the request.