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Despite Concerns About New Centennial Planned For Lower Greenville, Hunt Says She'll Give It the Benefit of the Doubt

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After grabbing a pint at Ship's Lounge the other night, we noticed plans for a new Centennial on the corner of Greenville and Ross Avenues. Turns out, the Dallas-based purveyors of fine wine, spirits and beer are opening a 7,800 square foot booze-and-food emporium, complete with walk-in humidor, selection of specialty cheeses and full-blown "Gourmet Center."

The circa 1940's building that once housed Uncle Dan's Pawn is zoned CR (Community Retail), which means a liquor store gets the city's official OK. But, naturally, we wondered if the idea of a dropping one of its size into that area kinda undermines the whole Lower Greenville cleanup plan. So we called council member Angela Hunt to get her take on the location.

"I do have some serious concerns about it," she told Unfair Park this morning. "But if the area didn't already have a proliferation of bars and other challenges, I wouldn't really have the same concerns."

Hunt says her concerns aren't with Centennial as a business, stressing that she hasn't had issues with others in her district. Instead, her concerns are all location, location, location.

"It's not as if Centennial is a bad actor," she says. "It's about the location and if it will compound the existing problem on Lower Greenville."

Although she acknowledges the area's reputation for crime and number of bars in the area, Hunt says she'll give Centennial the benefit of the doubt. "I'm hopeful that they'll be good neighbors, but what I don't want to see is, for example, folks walking out of the bars and getting additional liquor and then driving their cars through our neighborhoods."

Darrell Gibson, Centennial's marketing and wine specialist, says the company isn't expecting any backlash from the community, and they've already spoken with some of the local homeowner's associations. Gibson says the store will boast "one of the largest wine and spirit selections in the area" once the renovations are complete.

Centennial doesn't have a definitive date for the store's grand opening, though it's pushing to have the doors open by mid to late April.

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