At book club last week, my friend Sydney Susie, a longtime Lake Highlands resident, asked for the latest news on the Town Center. Town Center updates, in fact, are the first things I’m asked for at every community meeting, at every encounter at Target, at every run-in at the grocery store.
I gave Sydney the latest from Bill Rafkin, Managing Director of Cypress Real Estate Investors – that Rafkin has “a number of signed letters of intent” and that he’s focusing on “restaurants that are both family-friendly and places [LH residents] could go for a Saturday night dinner with a white tablecloth,” as the community suggested. The stand-alone Starbuck’s, complete with drive-thru, is currently being built by Spring Valley Construction Company, as is the Sprouts Farmers Market.
“When that Sprouts opens,” Sydney told me, “I’m going to march into that store and make a purchase every dang day.”
Sydney’s message is one I’ve heard from plenty of my fellow LH oldtimers. They seem willing to take the blame for the loss of LH retail over the years and are determined to use their buying power to keep these businesses blooming.
As our group sat around the table with a glass of wine and began rattling off names, it was a walk down memory lane:
The Original Chili’s on Greenville Avenue
Uncle Julio’s on Greenville Avenue
Whole Foods on Skillman at Walnut Hill
Atlanta Bread Company at Skillman and Abrams
Sweet Temptations on Skillman at Audelia
Winmark Sports on Skillman at Royal
Safeway, then Michael’s, at Royal and Abrams
JoAnn’s Fabrics at Northlake Center
The Collection on Skillman at Royal
Freckles Children’s Clothing on Skillman at Royal
Mother Mesquite’s on Skillman north of LBJ
Chili’s on Skillman north of LBJ
Dickey’s on Skillman north of LBJ
Galveston Island on Skillman at Royal
Tuesday Morning on Abrams at Forest
Schlotzsky’s on Abrams at Forest
Tom Thumb at Skillman/Abrams and Forest/Abrams
TCBY on Skillman at Audelia
Braum’s on Walnut Hill at Audelia
Fox and Hound at Skillman and Audelia
Movie theatre at Skillman and Audelia
Big Lots on Skillman at Abrams
And, of course, T.Hee’s.
At his June Town Hall meeting, Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough said Lake Highlands is “turning a corner.” Shortly afterward, Triumph Realty announced it had signed Alamo Drafthouse as a tenant in its Skillman Abrams Shopping Center, with “more interest than we have space” by other high quality restaurants and retail.
Now, Lake Highlands, what we need to do as residents and as homeowners interested in maintaining our property values, is to actually walk in and spend some money.