When you receive this issue of the Advocate, Halloween decorations will be getting ready to come down and holiday preparations for year end will be in full swing. This will be my final article for 2000.

This time last year, we were all concerned about the Y2K bug with some folks stocking up on water, food and power generators to make it through the upcoming disaster. At this time last year, Heritage Academy was just appearing on my radar screen as a small neighborhood disturbance and through the year turning into a full-scale neighborhood hurricane.

I cannot let the new year come in without thanking Bill Vandivort. For those of you who do not know Bill, he’s a neighbor who exposed much of the questionable business practices of Heritage Academy Charter School in Lake Ridge Shopping Center.

In September, this school decided to return its charter to the State of Texas. Some peace and quiet has now returned to this corner of Lake Highlands, but without Bill’s trips to Austin to appear before the State Board of Education and State of Texas Representative Committee on Charter Schools, the winds of this storm would still be blowing.

The question still remains: What will happen with available space in our older shopping centers?

The year 2001 will start out with much greater promise of providing us with the retail that, according to your response to my survey, we want to see in Lake Highlands. Rumor has it that we actually will see a Starbucks in our neighborhood. Although I have not been able to confirm it with the shopping center management, there seems to be a strong possibility of the Skillman-Audelia area brewing a good cup of coffee.

Also, the bulldozers will hopefully be redeveloping Northlake Shopping Center by year-end, with all of the existing tenants currently being relocated into their new spaces.

The DPS driver’s license operation is moving to Northwest Highway and Jupiter. The portion of the shopping center from the current DPS space to Ferndale Road, the old bank building on the corner of NW Highway and Ferndale, the L-shaped strip center behind it and the rehab building (old cafeteria) will all be coming down to make way for a new Albertson’s grocery store.

This really is going to happen.

This coupled with the remodel at Abrams and Royal, and the new Target Super Center at Skillman and Abrams will hopefully show center owners it makes sense to upgrade in Lake Highlands.

Now comes our part. When you start shopping for the holidays – start in Lake Highlands. Please see what is available here before you go there.