Lower Greenville Improvements Pay Off with New Trader Joe’s Grocery

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.

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Change is Just Around the Corner for Lower Greenville

A year from now, Lower Greenville will be transformed, and it’s clear that residents and property owners are excited about the changes.

Tonight I spoke at three different meetings to discuss the New Lower Greenville. The first meeting was hosted by long-time property owners Marc and Roger Andres who brought together fifty or so retail brokers who are like location scouts for the retailers/restaurants they represent. Other property owners in attendance included Madison Partners and Greenway Investments.

Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano and I shared with the group the plans and timeline for Lower Greenville: streetscape construction will start this summer and be finished about eight months later and the new late-night permit requirement begins in September.

Jon Hetzel of Madison Partners announced that the city had just given them the green light to move forward on their plans for an outdoor eatery trailer park at the old Arcadia site. Construction on that should begin in a couple of months.

The group was treated to some sweets from TrailerCakes (which makes an amazing peanut butter and jelly cupcake — trust me on this). TrailerCakes and Good Luck Food Truck will be among the eateries coming to Arcadia Trailer Park, and that alone is worth getting excited about.

The retail brokers liked what they heard — they were relieved to know that we have a plan in place to make the street safer and attract better businesses. They were also impressed with the significant city investment in a beautiful, retail-friendly streetscape.

The next two meetings were to talk with neighborhood groups about the Lower Greenville changes. Both the Richmond Place Condo Association and the Cochran Heights Neighborhood Association were pleased to learn that the changes we’re implementing aren’t years away, but will happen in the next few months. They loved that we’re getting the problems under control, fixing the street, and making this a walkable, family-friendly area.

Lower Greenville’s transformation is a win for everyone — neighborhoods, property owners, and businesses — and change is just around the corner.

Info for St. Patrick’s Day on Greenville Ave. – Sat., March 12

St. Patrick’s Day festivities on Greenville Avenue are this Saturday, and I’ve put together a flyer explaining the initiatives the city is taking to limit the impact of the parade and party on our Lower Greenville neighborhoods.  (Note that these events are privately sponsored and are not endorsed by the City of Dallas.) Parking is also an issue on St. Patrick’s Day, so here is a map of no-parking areas.

Working together with neighborhood leaders, the Dallas Police Department, and other city departments, we’ve made significant progress over the last five years in lessening the impact of these events, improving public safety, reducing traffic impact and parking problems, and rapidly addressing any problems that arise.

As in years past, I will be available all day and night to help respond to residents’ concerns.

City Council to Vote on Lower Greenville Proposal on Wednesday

Last month, the City Plan Commission unanimously approved a plan to require Lower Greenville businesses to get a permit from the city to operate after midnight. On Wednesday, January 26, the City Council will hold a public hearing to vote on the plan.

This effort enjoys broad, unprecedented support from all neighborhood associations, major property owners, business owners, the Dallas Police Department, and City Councilmembers Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS EFFORT AND HELP US CLEAN UP LOWER GREENVILLE by doing the following:

  • EMAIL the City Council at Juanita.Ortiz@DallasCityHall.com and encourage them to vote FOR this proposal. Let them know how important this is for our neighborhood and for the future of Lower Greenville. Give them your name and address.
  • ATTEND the City Council hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 26 at Dallas City Hall (1500 Marilla St., Council Chambers on the 6th Floor). Even if you don’t speak, your presence shows important support.
  • RETURN GREEN REPLY CARD in support to the city by noon Tuesday (if you own property within 200 feet of Lower Greenville, you will have received a reply card).

Sincerely,

  • Steven Melendi, Belmont Neighborhood Assn. President
  • Patricia Carr, Lower Greenville Neighborhood Assn. President
  • John Scarborough, Lowest Greenville West Neighborhood Assn. President
  • Will Short & Selena Urquhart, Vickery Place Neighborhood Assn. Presidents
  • Ted Thompson, Greenland Hills Neighborhood Assn. President
  • Michelle Love, Hudson Heights Neighborhood Assn. President

A FEW FACTS….

Why is this being proposed?
Lower Greenville has lost its balance: too few restaurants, neighborhood pubs, and merchants open during the day and evening, and too many bars open only late at night. Nearby residents put up with the crime, noise, traffic, litter, and other problems that this over-saturation of problem bars brings to our neighborhood. Taxpayer dollars and city resources are thrown away in a losing battle to keep the area safe and under control late at night. Worst of all, YOU have few places to shop and spend quality time with your friends and neighbors. The retail mix does not reflect the surrounding area’s makeup.

Why not just crack down on the “bad bars”?
The legal processes that the city has at its disposal to address this imbalance of businesses are not enough to fix the problem. When the city is successful in auditing a bad bar and persuading a court to close it down, another bad bar just takes its place. The process starts over. This piecemeal approach to enforcement has been tried for years and is never going to fix Lower Greenville. This proposal allows citizens to have input about who is open late at night, and holds bad operators accountable.

Are you trying to shut down Lower Greenville at midnight and close all the bars?
No! The goal is simply to bring some balance back to Lower Greenville and reduce the impact of businesses that operate late at night, not close down all bars or eliminate all nightlife. No businesses will be shut down as a result of this proposed permitting process. All businesses may continue to operate until midnight with no permit.

What other changes are envisioned for Lower Greenville?
If this permit requirement is approved, the city will spend $1.3 million of 2006 Bond Funds for an extreme makeover for Lower Greenville. Starting THIS SUMMER, the blocks between Bell and Alta will be repaved with wider sidewalks, street trees, antique lighting with matching trash bins and benches, parallel parking, and improved pedestrian crosswalks. The rest of the street from Belmont to Bryan will be redone in the 2012 Bond Program.

Who supports this proposal?

  • Belmont Neighborhood Association
  • Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association
  • Lowest Greenville West Neighborhood Association
  • Hudson Heights Neighborhood Association
  • Vickery Place Neighborhood Association
  • Greenland Hills Neighborhood Association
  • Lakewood Heights Neighborhood Association
  • Major property owners
  • Business owners
  • The Dallas Police Department
  • City Plan Commission
  • City Councilmembers Hunt and Medrano

Plan Commission Approves Lower Greenville Plan

Late this afternoon, the City Plan Commission voted unanimously to approve a plan to require businesses on Lower Greenville to obtain a permit from the city if they want to stay open after midnight.  According to Andrea over at Unfair Park, the center section of the chambers was packed with supporters.

The unified support for this effort is unprecedented in Lower Greenville — all of the surrounding neighborhood associations, major property owners (Andres Properties and Madison Partners), and business owners have come together to transform Lower Greenville from a dangerous liability into a remarkable community asset.  Many, many thanks to everyone who took off from work today to spend their afternoon at City Hall.  I know it was a long wait, but your presence spoke volumes about the broad-based support this important effort enjoys.

We’re taking back Lower Greenville and over the next twelve months, we’re going to see an amazing transformation.  Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on this!  The plan will now move on to the city council, and I’ll let you know when the public hearing is set (sometime in January or February).

TOMORROW: Plan Commission Hearing on Lower Greenville

Tomorrow, the City Plan Commission will vote on a proposal to require Lower Greenville businesses to get a permit from the city to operate after midnight. This effort enjoys broad, unprecedented support from all surrounding neighborhood associations, major property owners, business owners, the Dallas Police Department, and Councilmembers Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS EFFORT AND HELP US CLEAN UP LOWER GREENVILLE by doing the following:

  • EMAIL the Plan Commission at Yolanda.Hernandez@DallasCityHall.com and encourage them to vote FOR this proposal.  Let them know how important this is for our neighborhood and for the future of Lower Greenville.  Give them your name and address.
  • ATTEND the Plan Commission hearing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, December 16 at Dallas City Hall (1500 Marilla St., Council Chambers on the 6th Floor).  Even if you don’t speak, your presence shows important support.
  • RETURN BLUE REPLY CARD in support to the city by noon today (if you own property within 200 feet of Lower Greenville, you will have received a reply card).

Sincerely,

  • Diana Souza, Belmont Neighborhood Assn. President
  • Patricia Carr, Lower Greenville Neighborhood Assn. President
  • John Scarborough, Lowest Greenville West Neighborhood Assn. President
  • Will Short, Vickery Place Neighborhood Assn. President
  • Ted Thompson, Greenland Hills Neighborhood Assn. President
  • Michelle Love, Hudson Heights Neighborhood Assn. President

A FEW FACTS….

Why is this being proposed?
Lower Greenville has lost its balance: too few restaurants, neighborhood pubs, and merchants open during the day and evening, and too many bars open only late at night. Nearby residents put up with the crime, noise, traffic, litter, and other problems that this over-saturation of problem bars brings to our neighborhood. Taxpayer dollars and city resources are thrown away in a losing battle to keep the area safe and under control late at night. Worst of all, YOU have few places to shop and spend quality time with your friends and neighbors. The retail mix does not reflect the surrounding area’s makeup.

Why not just crack down on the “bad bars”?
The legal processes that the city has at its disposal to address this imbalance of businesses are not enough to fix the problem. When the city is successful in auditing a bad bar and persuading a court to close it down, another bad bar just takes its place. The process starts over. This piecemeal approach to enforcement has been tried for years and is never going to fix Lower Greenville. This proposal allows citizens to have input about who is open late at night, and holds bad operators accountable.

Are you trying to shut down Lower Greenville at midnight and close all the bars?
No! The goal is simply to bring some balance back to Lower Greenville and reduce the impact of businesses that operate late at night, not close down all bars or eliminate all nightlife. No businesses will be shut down as a result of this proposed permitting process. All businesses may continue to operate until midnight with no permit.

What other changes are envisioned for Lower Greenville?
If this permit requirement is approved, the city will spend $1.3 million of 2006 Bond Funds for an extreme makeover for Lower Greenville. Starting NEXT SUMMER, the blocks between Bell and Alta will be repaved with wider sidewalks, street trees, antique lighting with matching trash bins and benches, parallel parking, and improved pedestrian crosswalks. The rest of the street from Belmont to Bryan will be redone in the 2012 Bond Program.

  • Who supports this proposal?
    Belmont Neighborhood Association
  • Lower Greenville Neighborhood Association
  • Lowest Greenville West Neighborhood Association
  • Hudson Heights Neighborhood Association
  • Vickery Place Neighborhood Association
  • Greenland Hills Neighborhood Association
  • Major property owners
  • Business owners
  • The Dallas Police Department
  • City Councilmembers Hunt and Medrano