Dallas Arboretum to buy another Garland Road property for future parking

Aerial of Legal Directories

Another piece of land on Garland Road is poised to become a parking facility for the Dallas Arboretum.

The Legal Directories Publishing Company, Inc. owns a stretch of land between MidSouth Bank and Sonic on the west side of the road. The property is now a family trust, and the Arboretum has been in talks with the owners about purchasing the land for at least four months, says a source in the family.

Those talks became a contract last week, the source says, for a roughly $2.5 million sale with plans to use the property for parking.

We just reported on the Arboretum’s long-term need for parking, beyond what the new Garland Road garage will provide. The latest parking study projected they’d need more than that by 2018 as attendance continues to grow. When asked about the plan, including which spots are being considered, Arboretum board president Mary Brinegar gave a only general statement, saying “Parking plans are still in a formative phase with many options under consideration.”

According to the Dallas County Appraisal District, Legal Directories owns about 2.66 acres at 9111 and 9115 Garland, valued at $1.98 million. It’s zoned as community retail (CR).

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CR zoning allows for a lot or a garage, so no zoning approval is needed to construct either facility, as long as it meets the requirements. That includes buffers for surrounding neighborhoods: 15 feet in front, 20 feet on the side and 20 feet in the rear. There’s also a 54-foot height maximum. Parking garages are exempt from the 4-story limit if they meet the height requirement.

Just west of the Legal Directories’ property, roughly 2.03 acres that recently sold was listed at $3.3 million, and is zoned as a planned development (PD) that allows for up to 41 single-family attached homes. There are now plans to convert the land to a residential community (not high-rises, though).

Keri Mitchell contributed to this report.


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  • Ben

    Thanks, I wasn’t up to date. I guess I just wish their leaders would plan their actions better since they affect the community around them. It seems like such a waste to me to build a new parking lot, change traffic lanes and install a stop light, then destroy it to build parking garage that could of done in the first place (not to mention the new tunnel makes the stop light seem unnecessary and I’m sure the city got the bill on all the street work). I also can not comprehend building an amusement park in the middle of a city with a budget of over $50M, an undeveloped piece of land and not plan to have parking in place when it opens. Not only is it irresponsible, the city would never let another entity do the same (parking study before cert of occupancy). On another note, as someone who lives in the area, yes I would like to see something other than parking garages and lots lining Garland Road.

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  • EastDallasite

    IF they provide pedestrian access to businesses in the design, it will. If they don’t, it won’t. They didn’t do that on the one they are building now.

  • Patti Miller

    Do your research. The building is not unused.

  • The Arboretum is paying for the Garland Road garage/underground walkway with a private loan, not city revenue bonds. I linked to a previous article in this post, but here are some more links:

    https://lakewood.advocatemag.com/2013/08/13/dallas-arboretum-parking-garage-to-open-by-fall-2014/

    https://lakewood.advocatemag.com/2013/06/19/dallas-arboretum-parking-garage-meets-zoning-requirments-but-will-it-fly-with-garland-road-neighbors/

    We’ve also written about the $80,000 parking study:

    https://lakewood.advocatemag.com/2013/10/01/will-dallas-aboretum-continue-grow-will-need-parking-yes-yes/

  • Ben

    Any links to whatever you are reading would be useful…They are called revenue bonds, and if revenue falls short the city is on the hook to pay them off. I am not anti Arboretum or against their expansion, my opinion is that they should not receive so much help from the city, and that they don’t need it.
    Thanks to Ted and Hal Baker we have the invoice for the parking study Parks and Rec paid 80k for. Is it crazy for me to wish that money would of gone to a park or trail that everyone can enjoy without having to pay an entrance fee or have a membership?

  • NIMBYs Suck

    Try reading some more recent articles not ones written 18 months ago. The new garage will be paid for by the people using the garage for parking.

  • Jesse

    How would this not benefit businesses? People parking at this location will be more likely to visit Hypnotic or Sonic, or whatever else may be near there?

  • Jesse

    People paying to park there will pay it off. They raise money through donations, entrance fees, and parking fees. They receive some city money mostly as a utility/water credit. Name another major attraction/company in Dallas that does not receive some sort of discount or kickback from the city/county/state.

  • Ben
  • NIMBYS Suck

    Isn’t them buying a place to put a garage the exact definition of using their own money and resources to solve the problem? It is not like they are using eminent domain to acquire the property.

    Look, there are several things about the arboretum to dislike (Winfrey Point, etc.) but this is not one of them. More people with money to spend will only be good for the neighborhood.

  • Ben

    I don’t care about the use of the property, any willing buyer can do what they want. I’m tired of the Arboretum “leadership’s” inability to solve their own problems with their own money and resources.

  • NIMBYs Suck

    You people find anything to whine about. “Oh no! Someone is taking an unused building and turning it into something that will bring people with disposable income to Garland Road.” Seriously you would rather have a big empty building?

  • Ben

    Why is everywhere except the Arboretum being considered for a parking garage. Am I missing something? There is a huge parking lot on the Arboretum’s land, just build a garage and observation deck there.

  • Lee Gibson

    You’re right, of course, and the reason is that the Arb doesn’t give a hoot about the neighbors or their businesses.

  • EastDallasite

    It is, isn’t it?

    I just wish the Arb parking would be a better neighbor for the businesses. From what I understand, the parking garage for the Children’s museum will not have any sidewalk connections to the rest of the Garland road enterprises. Now, it’s not next to a lot of businesses, if I recall correctly, but THIS side most certainly is next to some enterprises who would probably benefit some additional foot traffic from Arb visitors. If we’re going to have a sea of visitors along Garland Road it would be nice to allow it to benefit the area.

  • Clay

    This is getting ridiculous