Update: Developer proposes closing La Vista between Live Oak, Skillman

The company that owns the Skillman Live Oak Shopping Center wants to close a one-block section of La Vista to create outdoor spaces for its new tenants, Matt’s Rancho Martinez and the Mecca restaurant.

Property owner Stonelake Capital Partners has proposed closing La Vista from Live Oak to Skillman, according to a letter neighbors received from the city’s Department of Sustainable Development and Construction.

Some neighbors are opposed to the proposal, which apparently wouldn’t require vetting from the City Plan Commission.

Karyl Leonard of the Consignment Solution told City Councilwoman Angela Hunt in a letter that the change could divert traffic away from her business. Closing the block also would eliminate about 30 parking spaces, and neighbors worry that the restaurants will cause parking woes on their streets.

Matt’s is expected to open soon at La Vista and Skillman, and Mecca is expected to open in mid-August in the old Tipperary Inn space.

Update: Santos Martinez of Masterplan Associates, which is representing Stonelake, says the plan calls for a promenade on La Vista. It would be closed to traffic by removable bollards, so the street could be closed for special events but open to traffic and parking sometimes.

Stonelake’s proposal must be reviewed by city departments and then appraised. Once its value is determined, Stonelake can cut a check to the city and then City Council will vote on whether to sell the street to the company.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.
Written By
More from Rachel Stone

This weekend: Bikes, cycling, two-wheeled transportation, health seminar, masks

Cyclesomatic is finally here. Tagged as "10 days of bicycle love," it...
Read More
  • Blevy

    It is a weird intersection, for sure.  But, I am already worried about parking–as the new owners took parking spaces away from MetroPaws.  And, the Dry Cleaners is as much a local institution as it is a business.  The Gaston part of their parking can be dicey, as cars come pouring down the street at rush hour, making it dangerous to pull out. I worry that developers have more say about these things than residents.  

  • Sammy

    I worked in the old Colbert Volk building now housing the Wine Therapist and Mecca many years ago – LaVista is awkward in that people turning there going south on Skillman throw off the people focusing on Live Oak and going east on this little section trying to get on Live Oak/LaVista is dangerous.  So I think it’s a good idea…

    If night parking could be secured at the Lakewood drive through bank that would solve some of the other concerns.

  • leia

    I love the idea….except for what it will do to parking. With just the Drycleaners, Crossfit, Lakewood Landing & Cosmo’s that area’s parking can be tricky. Losing those spots will probably be bad, especially for those nice people at Uptown Cleaners…..

  • Anonymous

    this isn’t important enough to close LaVISTa.I lived around this area growing up etc.Why does all these investors come here & change our history. THIS IS PART OF OUR HISTORY .go somewhere else (like out of town) What a selfish thing to do.

  • Tuckerblack

    yeah…. and all the neighborhood groups and protests  and “historic preservation committees” etc. et al did such a wonderful job on saving the freaking awning of an old gas station (failed Wacovia Bank building)… which is now an overpriced, vacant eyesore, totally out of character for Lakewood with little hopes of anything else but….. you guessed it… another dang bank.
    And I guess that “evil” chain, Mi Cocina has really hurt Lakewood as well… packed at 5:30 on a Friday… but not with Lakewood folks I’m sure…
    Love Matts and the patio idea.. bring it on!

  • sjd

    In general I love walking patio type areas.  But not here.  I frequent businesses in this shopping center ALL the time.  Parking is maxed now, with all the construction vehicles working at Matt’s.   I cannot imagine what it will be like once Matt’s opens.  To have no parking on both sides of LaVista is crazy.  Less parking can mean loss of business.  If I cannot park on Greenville, I go somewhere else to eat or shop.   I envision myself on a 100+ weather day carrying my sick animals 2 blocks just to get to the vet.  Not cool.

  • This is a great idea! I was hoping new Matt’s would have a patio as nice as the old one! It’s so easy to just go around on Gaston instead of cutting through on this little diagonal, it shouldn’t interfere with anyone’s driving.

  • Lark

    I love the idea. That entire intersection has always been weird. Additionally, I think a parking study will show that the parking is never maxed out there. Do we really want to keep looking at tired vacant businesses.

  • Hasta La Vista La Vista!

    I wonder how much Stonelake payed the city for the city owned parking spaces that they excavated for the current patio that is under construction?

  • great idea

    Short sighted to say the least.  If this could be a walkable area, or even for people to dine outside, it will change the feel of the shopping center, much to the better!

  • lavista75214

    spare me.  you go one building length down and turn.  simple.

  • J. Erik Jonsson

     Seldom used?  I don’t think that’s what the traffic study concludes, Santos.

  • Keg94

    You are absolutely right!  Lakewood Shopping Center will probably close once this 1-block section of seldom used road is shut off to traffic.  There will be no other ways to get around the neighborhood. 

  • Small, walkable neighborhood commercial centers are gold mines. If you live near one, get ready for the rush.

  • J. Erik Jonsson

     What an asinine idea.  First, the street gets a lot of traffic, which is generally an indication that people would like to keep using it as a street.  Second, Stonelake in its many meetings with neighbors conveniently left out this part of the project.  Hmmm.  Third, does anyone think it’s a coincidence that the abandonment would cut off access from the west to the competing Lakewood Shopping Center?

  • Elizabeth Ardanowski

    Hmmmm.  Seems to me that Matt’s and Mecca knew full well that there is a street there with much needed parking when they signed their leases in those properties.  The developer also knew what they were getting.  What are they proposing to do about all the parking spaces they want to overtake?  That area is too crowded parking-wise at peak times already!  Once again, it will cause headaches for nearby residents, who actually own their properties.

  • Anon.

    This would be great if the shops (Wine Therapist and Consignment store) could face onto La Vista and use the space as a great outdoor area. Movable seating. Shade umbrellas. Much better than a terrible intersection.

  • lavista75214

    i think it is a great idea.  i’d love to see a pedestrian destination, not to mention patio areas where i’m not forced to breathe in car fumes.  i truly can’t fathom how closing this one little block is going to divert any traffic away from anyone’s business.  i live right down the street on la vista, where we walk down to the shopping area quite frequently, it would be great to have an area to walk to where we didn’t constantly have to worry about being hit by an impatient driver.  oh, i forget,  it’s dallas.

  • jd

    Closing that short stretch of street isn’t crazy, it is a funky intersection and removing that portion doesn’t make it that much harder to navigate. Can’t blame the developer for asking for it.

    What doesn’t make sense is removing the parking!

  • Steve

    If it doesn’t go through the Planning Commission, where does it go? Straight to City Council?

  • Tomatodallas

    Here we go again. This type of thing has been proposed before, even going one time as far as a proposal years ago to close the whole area all the way from the Skillman/Live Oak Shopping Center to the Lakewood Shopping Center. Unfortunately people don’t realize that restaurants & businesses come & go, so let’s preserve the neighborhoods! Oh wait, developers don’t want that.

  • Lala7625

    I’m totally confused by how closing La Vista between Skillman and Live Oak would give Mecca any outdoor space as it’s on the Live Oak side and not the La Vista side.  These jerks at Stonelake are really getting under the skin of us neighborhood folks, first with the Skillman-Oram rezoning, then with trying to turn the one little patch of grassy area we have into a parking lot for parking we don’t even need, and now this.  If you can’t figure out a way to keep our area in tact while you set out your “improvement” plans, then please, go away.  If we wanted to live in Uptown, we’d move there.