DALLAS -- Neighbors on the edge of Uptown say they were misled about the building of a proposed Sam’s Club by development company Trammell Crow and are offering pictures to prove it.
The development is called East Village and residents say Crow’s early plans for the project, across the street from the Cityplace Tower, changed direction without consulting the neighborhood.
“We feel like we were misled, or possibly deceived,” said neighborhood activist Carl Smith.
Before Crow signed up Sam’s Club, early drawings called for a grocery store, two smaller anchor stores, and a walkable community.
But some vocal residents of the Cityplace neighborhood have just broken down renderings of Trammell Crow’s East Village development and are making note of the differences.
In a picture from before Sam’s Club signed a lease, the neighbors point to renderings of people walking their dogs and restaurants with outdoor seating.
Resident Christina Casas said Crow showed her that concept 14 months ago.
“It’s comforting. It’s welcoming. People joining together, seeing their neighbors,” Casas said.
Now that Sam’s Club has signed on, the smaller stores are gone and a patio restaurant looks more like a drive-through.
“It’s not family-oriented. It’s not walkable," Casas said. "It’s not enjoyable."
At a community meeting last week, a resident recorded an exchange in which neighbors called out a Trammell Crow representative for changing the plan without consulting residents.
“We did think it would be grocery-anchored. We did think we could get a grocery here. And then maybe have a few junior anchors,” said KC Bills, a Crow representative, to community members. “That’s not how the leasing worked out, and that’s not who was interested."
Crow released a statement Monday which doesn’t address any of the neighborhood’s concerns, but does say the project will create new jobs and tax revenue.
However, Bills did tell the neighborhood gathering that in response to their concerns, it added landscaping, trees, and a three-foot hedge row to screen the building.
Many say they were not notified of Crow’s plans because, under city rules, only residents within 500 feet of development get a letter from the city that a major new development is being planned.
On Thursday, the City Planning Commission will discuss reopening the zoning for the project so the neighbors can weigh in.