Landmark decision

We now have more details about prospects for the old Dr Pepper building on Mockingbird, but unfortunately, the news can’t be considered encouraging.

The early success of the DART light rail line may make more intense redevelopment of the site, which sits next to the Mockingbird Lane station scheduled to open in December, an even greater possibility.

Moreover, the Dr Pepper company recently announced it will move its headquarters to Plano, squelching the idea the company might return to its one-time location. That decision seems to make it more likely that an eventual user would want to make major changes to the site.

Information from Preservation Dallas indicates that DalMac Corp., the owner of the site, applied to the City May 13 for a demolition permit. While the permit application apparently didn’t specify what portions of the building would or would not be torn down, issuance of the permit would give DalMac much greater flexibility with the structure.

At the Landmark Commission’s June meeting, a unanimous vote was taken to suspend the demolition permit for 90 days though about mid-August, which was the only delaying action the commission could take. The commission also asked the City Council to delay issuing the permit for 240 days, which would take the delay into the spring of 1997, but the Council doesn’t have the option of outright denial.

Last year, the 1940s building was designated a City landmark as part of a much-ballyhooed “solution” to the preservation community however, the adopted compromise ordinance limited protections against eventual demolition.

DalMac has stated it doesn’t necessarily intend to demolish the building, and there has been some talk of at least preserving the façade and the clock tower. But the bottom line is the company would have almost total leeway to reconfigure the site as it wishes and as business conditions and opportunities dictate.

Greenland Hills Quiets Down

An enigmatic silence seems to have settled over Greenland Hills in the wake of its traffic management plan having been taken off the table.

“The plan, which became more and more controversial both within Greenland Hills and without, appears stalled for the time being while those involved await further guidance from the Council.

One school of thought is that the affected neighborhoods should wait for the eventual completion of the North Central Expressway project so the predictably major impact of the rebuilt freeway can be studied and accounted for in any traffic plan.

Also oddly quiet is any discussion of the vaunted soundwall along the Expressway service roads. This issue became embroiled in the traffic plan discussion, with some people claiming the Greenland Hills leadership is wavering in its support for a soundwall unless they can get Monticello and McCommas configured as they wish.

Since this issue has been periodically boiling over for about 30 years now, you can safely expect to hear more about it.

Trees Are Saved, For Now

Finally, thanks to the efforts of neighborhoods, environmental groups and others, the Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee unanimously voted to recommend no change in the City’s tree preservation ordinance.

A move had been afoot in some quarters to water down the ordinance on the grounds that it was too restrictive of development. The ordinance as originally adopted however, represented a hard-won compromise many felt should have been stronger. Moreover, the perception has grown that enforcement hasn’t kept up with the letter of the ordinance.

This is yet another issue that will likely not be settled anytime soon, with a major environmental controversy shaping up about preservation of the forest along the Trinity south of Downtown when the river is redeveloped. There is some discrepancy between what the Trinity River Corridor citizens’ committee recommended and what the City staff is seeking.

On Sept. 17, the City will host a “Building with Trees” conference. Call Courtney Blevins with the State of Texas at 953-1190 for information.

News & Notes

Stein Mart to Open at Hillside Village: Hillside Village shopping center, Mockingbird and Abrams, is adding to its tenants. CenterAmerica Property Trust, a Houston-based Real Estate Investment Trust affiliate, has negotiated a lease with Stein Mart to build a 37,000-square-foot store in the shopping center near the former Amber’s space. This will be the seventh Stein Mart in the Metroplex when it opens in mid November. Stein Mart is a clothing store that provides designer brands at discount prices. Other Hillside Village tenants include Drug Emporium, Home Front, Baylor Senior Health Center and Blockbuster Video. For information on the new Stein Mart, call Lamar Haggard at (713) 665-2511.

Neighborhood Home Remodeler Joins RE/MAX: Heather Goodstein, a broker associate has joined RE/MAX Associates of Dallas, 9090 Skillman, after more than 10 years in the real estate business. Prior to joining RE/MAX, Goodstein removed many properties in the “M” streets and Lakewood area. She eventually married the contractor who worked with her on these projects. Bob Nance, owner of Lakeside Remodeling. Together they remodeled five properties on Monticello alone, Goodstein says. Goodstein came to RE/MAX for the technological and administrative support a company with national recognition can provide, she says.

Neighborhood Resident Name Precept VP: Lakewood resident Tom Navin has been hired at Precept Builders Inc., 717 N. Harwood, as vice president of tenant interiors. Navin has 14 years experience in construction, architecture and real estate. Before joining Precept, Navin was director of architecture and tenant services for Prentiss Properties Ltd. Inc. and for Bramalea U.S. Properties.

Oram Condominiums for Sale: Homes in two condominium-converted complexes in Lakewood are up for sale. Oram Court, 6208-10 Oram, has 20 homes. One-bedrooms start at $44,500, and two-bedrooms start at $65,500. Oram square, 6003 Oram, has 16 homes. All unites are one-bedrooms and start at $47,500. Sales associate Ruth Jaubert of Ebby Halliday Realtors Douglas Office is coordinating tours of on-site models in each location. Call Jaubert at 692-0000 for information.


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