skillman-and-abrams-300x215Earlier this month Carol Toler reported that the Tom Thumb at Skillman and Abrams will close its doors June 1. Shoppers who have regularly frequented the location since the 80s are already mourning the loss of their neighborhood supermarket.

Kathy Stewart, chair of the land use committee for the Lake Highlands Area Improvement association says “I think I can speak for the committee and the neighborhood that it will be a loss for the Lake Highlands community. Many of us have shopped there since it was a Simon-David. I too have concern over the loss of the anchor tenant for that shopping center.”

The good news for loyal Tom Thumb shoppers is that there is a Tom Thumb just three miles northeast in the Royal Highlands Plaza that is getting a serious remodel.

Comments on our previous story about the remodel ranged from wary to cautiously optimistic. One reader comments “Last time I went in there, there was a group of kids playing tag in the aisles with no parents in sight. That was the last time I bothered going there. It is surely a welcome sign, however. The low occupancy rate at that site makes it a ghost town.”

The remodeled Tom Thumb has potential to spruce up the Royal Highlands shopping center and as Tom Thumb management relocates employees they are sure to send some of the beloved employees at the Skillman Abrams location over to the remodeled location.

Tom Thumb’s Director of Public Affairs, Connie Yates, is optimistic about the renovation of the Royal Highlands Plaza Tom Thumb, which is projected to be complete by the end of June.

In addition to aesthetic remodeling including upgraded lighting and flooring, Yates says that the Tom Thumb in the Royal Highlands Plaza “will feature a Starbuck’s Coffee Bar with Wi-Fi, an expanded floral department, increased organic produce, and expansion an of the current bakery that will include an increased selection of European-style Artisan breads.”

Some neighbors worry about the future of the Skillman Abrams shopping center without Tom Thumb.

Merriman Park Estates board member Kathleen Thompson says “Obviously we don’t expect something like a Central Market or Trader Joes, the demographics at that corner don’t support it, but the neighborhood would probably support a Kroger Signature. Whoever goes in there has to be able to compete with the Super Target and Sam’s Club. Many of us are most saddened about losing our pharmacy, and being able to run in and grab something quick, which based on size alone Target and Walmart make difficult.”

Unfortunately a Kroger won’t be anchoring the Skillman Abrams shopping center, owned by Brixmor Properties, anytime soon. Kroger spokesman Gary Huddleston was not aware of the impending Tom Thumb’s closure. He says “we are always looking for new locations in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, but our only scheduled projects for 2013 are in Wylie, Forney, and Flowermound.”

Dallas City Councilman Jerry Allen isn’t collaborating with Brixmor to bring in a tenant yet. Allen says, “The landlord has not approached me and that only would happen if they needed me to help inform the prospective tenant about Lake Highlands.” Allen adds “but we knew there was a strong possibility of this store closing.”

The leasing representative for the Skillman Abrams location was unavailable for comment.