Monday, September 16, 2013

One Step Closer to Restaurant Row

Richardson Restaurant Park
Richardson appears to be getting one step closer to building a row of 1980s-style suburban restaurants at Central Expressway and Floyd Rd where the demolished Continental Inn used to be. So much for any dream of mixed-use development between the freeway and the single family homes in the Heights Park Richardson Heights neighborhood.

Three years ago, the city held a series of meetings to gather stakeholders' inputs on the aims of redevelopment of the West Spring Valley Corridor, which includes the land in question here. What rated highest with the stakeholders were the pretty pictures of sidewalk cafes and strolling shoppers. The city had other ideas. It purchased the old Continental Inn, demolished it, and is now (presumably) in the process of acquiring the other parcels of land on the block. Once all the land is in hand, Richardson will likely sell its stake to Hermansen Land Development, Inc., for construction of, not sidewalk cafes with strolling shoppers, but a 1980s-style restaurant row.

After the jump, why that unimaginative development may be one step closer.

The agenda for Monday's city council meeting contains this item:
In compliance with Section 551.072 of the Texas Government Code, Council will convene into a closed session to discuss the following:
  • Deliberation Regarding Real Property
    • Property Considerations in the Floyd Rd./U.S. 75 Area
The item will be discussed in secret, and because Richardson's "code of ethics" makes it a violation for council members to talk to the public about the public's business when the business is conducted in executive session, there's no way for the public to know for sure what's going on. But "The Wheel's" betting line says there's a fair chance they will be talking about property acquisition to get that 1980s-style restaurant row one step closer to reality.

1 comment:

Mark Steger said...

To be clear, I like those chain restaurants likely to go into this spot. But mostly the food, not the form. Standalone businesses surrounded by parking lots may be the best use in some areas (say, Frisco), but they aren't the best use in that particular neighborhood. There are single family homes abutting the rear of that property. There's a DART station within walking distance. New development ought to conform with the Spring Valley Plan that was so painstakingly developed just a few years ago. It's possible to have nice restaurants without all the negatives associated with 1980s-style development.