Weekend vigil at McCommas and Greenville (photo provided by Jerod Costas)

Vigil at McCommas apartments (photo provided by Jerod Costas)

After a week of demolition between rainfall, the apartment building at Greenville and McCommas, located directly east of The Corner Market, is now a pile of rubble.

A group of neighbors hosted a candlelight vigil over the weekend in memory of the building. It’s the same group that created the Facebook site Save McCommas Colonial, where former resident Jerod Costa has been posting photos and video of the activity all week.

Not everyone appreciates their enthusiasm — namely Stillwater Capital, the company that bought the apartment complex a couple months ago and demolished it to make room for 36 new condominiums.

In January tenants received a notice from the management company, Indio Management, informing them that they needed to vacate the building by Feb. 15, and those neighbors were sad to see the building go. They left flowers along the fencing, and at least a couple people posted signs on the front of the building that say things like, “Not a tear down,” “RIP McCommas,” and “Our cats miss McCommas.”

Last week Stillwater sent a cease and desist letter to the neighbors.

“Guess they didn’t like the signs,” Costa says. “They said they suspected us of vandalism. I’m assuming they meant the poster board signs which is definitely not vandalism.”

Costa sought advice from the district’s city councilman, Philip Kingston, who told them to not respond to the cease and desist.

When we talked with Kingston a week ago he was mostly neutral about Stillwater’s presence in the neighborhood, but the cease and desist pushed a button.

“What babies,” he concludes.

According to Stillwater’s website, they plan to put in a subterranean parking garage with private parking spaces to accommodate the condos, which will be two- and three-bedroom flats.

Neighbor Doyle Rader, who lives down the block, told us a couple weeks ago he’s concerned about extensive construction for an underground parking garage.

“That’s going to wreck everything,” he pointed out. “I’m worried about what it’s going to do to the street and the alleyway.”

Rader says he is also concerned about the loss of history in the area.

“The building was built in the 1930s and aside from a few maintenance issues, it’s still in good condition,” he says. “My concern here is that Dallas is about to lose another piece of its history and possibly adversely impacting one of the city’s historic neighborhoods.”

Kingston said in a Facebook post he’s “encouraged by the interest of the neighbors in the McCommas/Greenville area.”

Although neighbors and the city weren’t able to stop demolition, Kingston explained that the city recently “put in a demolition delay for historic structures in the core starting in December. Before that, it was either landmarked or it was naked. I intend to expand that demolition delay to the other historic parts of town this year,” he says.

We’ve reached out to Stillwater for comment, and we’ll update with any information they provide.

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