For as long as I can remember -- which admittedly is only about 20 years -- Duncan's Liquor has held down the northwest corner of Northwest Highway and Lawther Lane a stone's throw from White Rock Lake. That won't be the case for much longer.
The property still belongs to the Duncans, according to Dallas Central Appraisal District, but a developer, Winston Acquisition Corp., plans to build a 350-unit apartment complex on the property, right next to the White Rock DART station. The Advocate has been covering the project for a while now -- it seems that some folks in Lake Highlands are wary -- but the proposal is only now making its way to the City Plan Commission.
Winston, per the commission's agenda, wants to change the zoning on the property from single-family to multifamily residential to accommodate the apartments. A site plan shows a narrow building sandwiched between Lawther and the DART rail, with a small tree conservation area on the north end of the property and a pedestrian link to the DART station.
Doug Mahy, vice president of the Merriman Park/University Manor Neighborhood, said surrounding homeowners mostly support the project, which will cater to higher-income renters.
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"We're feeling pretty happy about," Mahy said. "We're not concerned about it becoming an eyesore or a problem."
That said, there are still some potential deal-breakers for neighbors. Mahy will oppose the building if it's too tall or if the entrance and exits are designed in a manner that increases traffic congestion. So far, though, the developer has been cooperative, performing noise and traffic studies at neighbors' requests.
Mahy is even hopeful that people who move into the apartments for the DART station and access to the lake will decide they want to buy a house in the area. That's as good an outcome as can be expected if something's going to be built there.
"Frankly, it would have been fabulous if that could have been turned into green space, but ... realistically, there's too much money going in there for that."