The Friends of Santa Fe Trail announced support for The Trailhead at the Gaston-Garland-Grand intersection. Formerly the sites of The Lot and Local Traveler restaurants, developer Mill Creek Residential is requesting a rezone to build an eight-story project with 320 apartment units and up to 13,600 square feet of commercial space.

“Over the last few months, the team at Mill Creek has shared their vision for the proposed development at the former sites of the Lot and Local Traveler with the Friends of Santa Fe Trail, and we are excited for the potential this project brings,” Friends of Santa Fe Trail President John Sturdivant says. “FOST works hard to make the trail a wonderful experience for all trail users and make the trail available to everybody. This project will help us with both of those aims.“

The Santa Fe Trail begins near the White Rock spillway, winding past the Lakewood Country Club and Woodrow Wilson High School for 4.3 miles. At its termination just short of Commerce Street, a trail user can then take a left to Fair Park or a right to Deep Ellum. Friends of Santa Fe Trail was born in 2008 to support, enhance and advocate for the trail.

Sturdivant, a Lakewood Hills resident, says Mill Creek “engaged with us in a productive and open dialogue and listened to our feedback.”  At a March 2 Friends of Santa Fe Trail board meeting, the project was endorsed “without dissent.”

“We want a diverse set of neighbors to help provide the greatest public access to the trail,” Sturdivant says. “We also have concerns about potential alternative uses of this unique site if their project does not proceed.”

And what of neighborhood concerns about traffic at the 3G intersection?

“Traffic was not considered in our support of the project,” Sturdivant says.

Leslie Hearn, organizer of Save the White Rock Skyline, a neighborhood group formed to oppose The Trailhead, calls the Friends of Santa Fe Trail endorsement “short-sighted.”

“If this rezone is allowed, there will be a proliferation of high-density development at this part of White Rock Creek and the Santa Fe Trail that comes with increased traffic and negative environmental impact,” Hearn says.

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