Prospects are better than ever for saving the old Dr Pepper building on Mockingbird at Central. Recently, a new round of negotiations started among all involved parties, including the property’s owner (Dal-Mac), nearby neighborhood leaders, and elected and appointed City officials.

A recent attempt by Dal-Mac to have a demolition moratorium on the property lifted met near-unanimous opposition from the Landmark Commission and the City Council.

Since the negotiations started, the book retailer Barnes & Noble has come forward as a possible anchor tenant for the building with a 43,000 square-foot store. Several other retailers can occupy smaller spaces in the building. The interior will have to be converted for the retailers, but the facade will probably remain the same.

City staff also is pushing to have a historic overlay placed on the building, which would make alteration of the facade more difficult. The Plan Commission postponed the action until January to allow time for more negotiations.

AN SUP IN JUNIUS HEIGHTS: The Council recently considered the application for a Specific Use Permit for the Parkmont Apartments at 5510 Junius, at the corner of Augusta in Junius Heights. This 31-unit complex is the largest multi-family development in Junius Heights.

The owners are trying to sell the property to someone who wants to make improvements. They negotiated with neighborhood representatives to obtain an SUP with a nine-year time limit.

The Plan Commission recommended a permanent SUP, but it was not clear what the Council would support – the Plan Commission’s recommendation or the neighborhood negotiation.

The outcome of the case would have implications for the smaller multi-family properties in Junius Heights.

FIESTA IS COMING: Fiesta Supermarkets is still likely to construct a store at the location of the Sears building at Ross and Greenville. The plan would close off Hudson Street, add more parking and create a retail strip along the west side of Greenville Avenue.

Councilman Chris Luna has been quoted as saying Fiesta will not be able to adapt the present building because it is too large. However, the company apparently is planning to save some of the decorative elements form the facade.

Close by, DISD’s plan to construct an elementary school on the former Merchants State Bank site at Henderson and Ross continues to be controversial. Neighborhood residents and businesses oppose using the site for a school.

Among their concerns are traffic along Ross and Henderson and nearby bars. Area Councilmen and other interested people have discussed the issues with DISD, but so far, no agreement has been reached.

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