The year 2002 is going to be a very busy one for District 10 and the entire City of Dallas. We start with a new mayor. At the time of the writing of this article, the election has not yet been held so when you read this we either have a new mayor or another election coming up Feb. 16.

In April, DART is scheduled to open the station at LBJ and Skillman-Miller. New directional ramps also are scheduled to open at the same time at LBJ at Miller to help off-load some of the traffic congestion from LBJ and Skillman. The City of Dallas has now awakened to the reality that these stations can create a great deal of sustainable development and is hiring a full time staff member to work with DART, the City and potential developers to streamline this process. My thanks to Linda Koop, a member of the DART board who lives in District 10, for pushing this idea through from DART’s side. The Skillman and LBJ station has great potential for redevelopment as well as new development as well as new development. I hope to bring you more exciting news about this as the year progresses.

If you have not noticed at the same intersection of LBJ and Skillman but in the southwest corner, Fox and Hound has opened a new restaurant in the closed theater site. What a great new replacement for an eyesore that did not seem like it would ever go away. My thanks to Bob Breunig for buying that property and helping to revitalize retail in Lake Highlands.

Speaking of revitalizing retail, Kathy Dickey and Jim Christon along with the owners of the Northlake Shopping Center should receive an award for the transformation of that property from a pig to a jewel to be copied in reinvigorating retail in the urban setting.

The new Albertsons should open in February with Ebby Halliday taking the end closest to Northwest Highway and Ferndale. Special thanks to the existing tenants of the center, most of whom relocated in the center to accommodate the renovation. Now, shop in this shopping center. Show other developers that if you pour your money into Lake Highlands, we will pour our money into the stores you bring!

But Jim Christon is not done. At the northwest corner of Northwest Highway and Jupiter, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse’s has a contract to build one of their stores. All is not done yet, but another old, outdated shopping center in Lake Highlands could be transformed, setting the stage for all the old dealership properties to follow by example.

Jim Christon is my hero.