The city’s investment in a new and revitalized Lower Greenville is paying off in a big way: Today, Trader Joe’s announced it will be building a new store on the old Arcadia Theater site, to be completed by the end of next year.
This announcement is proof that they city’s investment in transforming Lower Greenville is paying off with dividends. The new streetscape improvements look terrific — wider sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, crosswalks, benches, and bike racks (soon to be installed) have completely transformed this stretch of Lower Greenville. These physical changes, in combination with the new late-night permiting process, have created a neighborhood-oriented, pedestrian-friendly environment that is attractive to retailers, like Trader Joe’s.
I remember talking with several retail brokers and restauranteurs a couple of years ago who told me the reasons they wouldn’t relocate to Lower Greenville: the perception of high crime; the fact that it was primarily a regional late-night bar strip; and the run-down appearance of the street. We have changed that. The new late-night permitting process is reducing crime and helping rebalance the day-night business ratio. The street and sidewalk improvements have cleaned up the street and created a welcoming environment for the surrounding neighbors.
But the proof is in the results: Of all the places Trader Joe’s could have moved to in Dallas — the Park Cities, Uptown, Lakewood, Far North Dallas, and elsewhere — they chose to come to Lower Greenville. Without question, this is a direct result of the changes we’ve made, and I have no doubt that without these changes, they would not have come. And this is just the type of business we wanted to attract — a daytime business focused on serving the surrounding community. It’s also a perfect fit for East Dallas.
But there are other, more subtle signs that our investment in Lower Greenville is paying off: Over the last two weeks I’ve seen some things that I’ve never seen on Lower Greenville: A dad with a baby stroller, relaxing on one of the new benches. Girls walking their dogs along the new sidewalks. An elderly couple taking a stroll. These are the types of things you see all the time in the surrounding neighborhood, but never on Lower Greenville. Now, Lower Greenville is once again part of the neighborhood.
It’s a great time to be in East Dallas. Welcome to the neighborhood, Trader Joe’s.