Guess which national chain is eyeing Garland Road now?

Chipotle already has an East Dallas location on Abrams Road, but may have another on Garland Road soon. (Photo by Brittany Nunn)

Garland Road is the street to beat right now, with its lower-than-Greenville average rents drawing independent businesses like Lounge Here and Smokey Rose, while its highway status is also attracts major chains like the new Chick-fil-A and Raising Cane’s.

Now Chipotle is looking to get in on the action, and is considering the vacant parking lot at the corner of Beachview and Garland, assuming it can get approval to serve liquor. “Per our request, Councilman [Mark] Clayton remanded our case back the the City Plan Commission in order for us to apply for a specific use permit for alcohol sales as required by code,” says Robert Reeves of  Robert Reeves & Associates, Inc. , the consultant who is representing the property owner.

The parking lot on the left may soon be a restaurant with liquor sales, while the office building will soon be a Panera. (Photo from Google Maps)
The parking lot on the left may soon be a Chipotle with liquor, while the office building’s future remains unclear. (Photo from Google Maps)

As many will remember, that same owner tried to bring a Panera to the property next door, a defunct medical office on the other side of Beachview, but the bakery chain would only build if it could have a drive-thru. Clayton opposed that request, citing the Garland Road Vision, a document created in 2010 to guide development in the neighborhood, which suggests limiting drive-thrus on the already-congested roadway. The drive-thru at the new Chick-fil-A was approved thanks to the same zoning that allowed for the Sonic next door.

“I’m supportive of [Chipotle] because it doesn’t have a drive-thru,” Clayton says of this new plan.

Reeves says Chipotle is interested in the parking-lot side of the property because it is far enough away from White Rock Community Church to be approved for liquor sales. The site is part of a “Dry Overlay” leftover from the strict liquor laws that existed when Dallas was dry. But Reeves points out that the neighborhood today is far from dry with Urban Vines Wine Bistro located directly next door.

“Everything in that neighborhood is wet except for these seven lots,” Reeves says.

The office-building side of the property is within 300 feet of the church, meaning no liquor-based businesses can open there. “We don’t have a use on the office site yet,” Reeves says.

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  • Douglas Shaffer

    First, I hope you received my phone call and request to meet and talk with me face to face. I prefer to talk TO a person and not THROUGH any sort of social media. I only have time to respond to this most recent post, “based on the inevitability of selling your church and moving on and out of the neighborhood.” If you would meet me for coffee as I requested, you would know that we are exploring the possibility of selling our aging buildings to gain more resources to do good work within the neighborhood and community that we, too, have considered our home for over 26 years. We have been diligently seeking other potential locations in the neighborhood for over a year. So once again, your statement is uninformed and misleading.

    The call of the Gospel is to care for the poor, marginalized and oppressed. We interpret that to mean the homeless, the jobless, those living with HIV, the people within our own neighborhood who are hungry, struggling or pushed to the fringes of society. That’s what our community of faith desires to do–utilize our assets not to make ourselves comfortable, but to care for others.

    I AM SO SORRY that we have not had an opportunity to meet face to face yet. I do understand your valiant efforts and concerns for the neighborhood. Truly, you are an activist on behalf of the community who gives remarkable amounts of time and energy to protect your interests.

    We have more in common than you think. However my activism centers around the needs of people first and foremost. When you work with the poor and the marginalized, you don’t need to spend a lot of time on social media. Most of the people I work with don’t have the luxury of internet access unless they go to the library.

    Your accusation that our concerns are all about “the bottom line” are insulting, and quite frankly, beneath the integrity that I think you have. You have successfully broken my heart. The neighbors have triumphed at the zoning meeting…How do I lead my vibrant congregation to finding a new place to do missional work and ministry in a neighborhood where a voice like yours stands so strongly in opposition without fully understanding even what our desires and goals are?

    You win Lou. Feel free to tell the neighborhood that we are selfish and heartless and moving. I give up trying to implore you to use your voice with accuracy. Say whatever you feel you need to and let the truth be damned.

    Another Little Forrest Hills leader had the audacity to talk to the media and characterize that White Rock Community Church had “fallen on hard time”. She said that to a radio station– and members of my community of faith heard her. Before the end of the day, she afforded me her personal time to meet and talk for over two hours. I ask you again to meet with me face to face. The number here at the church is 214-320-0043. Knowing that you have a vast following, I invite anyone from the neighborhood to call the church so we can have coffee and build some kind of bridge of understanding. My bottom line is caring for people who can’t afford a house in the neighborhood…or any neighborhood for that matter. Let’s get to know one another.

    I sincerely apologize that I hurt your feelings. I hope that you will forgive me. My passion is for truthfulness, and I’m sorry that I seemed to consistently struggled against you to bring clarity.

    Peace to you and all who are my neighbors.

  • plsiii

    Oh please tell me more about ALL the “misinformation” I’m spreading.

    My comment was based on the inevitability of your selling the church and moving on and out of the neighborhood. I will still be living here, which isn’t totally irrelevant, but even if I didn’t, it wouldn’t change the fact that I have an interest in what happens… So, I’m sorry for your exasperation over my caring about sound and sensible development that considers more than the bottomline.

  • Douglas Shaffer

    I am sorry you misinterpreted by being so direct as mean and bitter. Exasperated at Lou’s consistent misinformation is probably more accurate. Let’s meet for coffee.!!..214-320-0043, I love to meet people from the neighborhood and have constructive face to face conversations.

  • Non Believer

    Pastor Shaffer, why such a mean and bitter response? I would expect more from a person in your position.

  • plsiii

    My apologies…. I wish the THREE owners would get together and pursue meaningful development.

  • Douglas Shaffer

    “According to DCAD, two owners own just over 7 acres including this site. One owns the 3-story medical building and the parking lot across Beachview where they’re proposing a chipotle go, another owns the building behind the 3-story medical building, the Church, the parking lot to the rear of the church, and the small surgical building…”

    Lou, why do you openly lie and misrepresent easily verifiable information? According to DCAD White Rock Community Church still owns the church. No sale or change of hands has been completed. Your credibility on social media reflects you bias and you should stop spreading absolute LIES. Have some integrity…because such blatant misinformation does not make you look like an ethical voice for the neighborhood.

    For those of you who may not know, I am the Pastor of White Rock Community Church, I know what property we still currently own. Shame on you Lou, I would have expected better.

  • plsiii

    I wish Garland Road could lose its “Highway Status” it’s hindering, what is already a fantastic area, from becoming even better with more consideration for pedestrians, alternative modes of transport, not to mention encouraging fast food joints plop down everywhere 🙂

    According to DCAD, two owners own just over 7 acres including this site. One owns the 3-story medical building and the parking lot across Beachview where they’re proposing a chipotle go, another owns the building behind the 3-story medical building, the Church, the parking lot to the rear of the church, the small surgical building… By just about everyone’s estimation all buildings will be torn down and replaced with something that most likely resembles anything, everywhere else. I know exciting right!?!

    Imagine what could be accomplished in the way of a meaningful development if they were to combine forces/land (or at a minimum coordinate with one another in a substantial way) I know “meaningful” and “substantial” are vague/generic words, but no more generic than what each has proposed to do with the land thus far. Also, part of the “meaningful” development, it would go a long way to engage the surrounding communities from the outset, not just have a show and tell at the eleventh hour.

    To think they could create a community on that seven acres. A community that wasn’t walled off from the one that already exists all around it. One that saved the few trees that exist and add more greenspace to compliment. One that embraced its neighbors (and their bicycles, and yes, automobiles) and the nearby lake and parkland. A place residents/neighbors/visitors alike could go to and stay a while. They/we could eat, shop, live, maybe see a film in a small 2-3 screen cinema, take in a view of the lake from a roof top restaurant, maybe even a small boutique-ish hotel… and bury the parking.

    OR if they get their requested zoning change they can just build a 4,000 s.f. of building surrounded by 32,000 square feet of surface parking…an Ideal use for 36,000 s.f. of what little vacant land remains?!? Granted the parking is less on them and more on the city’s antiquated parking requirements, however the current owners have shown little (at least outwardly) vision of, or potential for what could become of the almost two acres they own

  • erica from dallas

    I thought Chipotle was having financial problems. So with a location almost within walking distance, how many months would it last in Casa Linda. More traffic congestion on Garland Road.