Clash of Old and New Over Parking in Booming Dallas Neighborhood

Concerns on a segment of Hall Street where a new Kroger Supermarket was approved by the Dallas City Council Wednesday

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New streets and sidewalks are welcome in some places but a Dallas building owner said Friday it will cripple his business in a clash between old and new.

The street work is coming on Hall Street, east of the Central Expressway in front of a commercial building that Patrick Donlin purchased in 2016.

Donlin said he invested money to make the place appealing to tenants and six small businesses are now operating there.

“I remodeled the building in 2016 and took place in the gentrification in the neighborhood in a positive way, but also created a home to people that are local that live in the community,” he said.

The neighborhood around his building is booming, which would be good for his investment, except that he says the city now plans to take most of his parking spaces to make his property conform with others.

New sidewalks would be set back from the street as they are beside an adjacent apartment complex. The walkway would be at the front door of his building with a grassy median that eliminates head in parking at his building and also takes spaces in his adjacent parking lot.

Instead of 13 spaces, Donlin’s property would be left with four. He is concerned that could affect certificates of occupancy for the businesses that are required to have sufficient parking in city regulations.

“It’s making us harder to survive as a local small business and we shouldn't be sacrificed for larger corporations,” Donlin said.

Right across Hall Street from his business, a large vacant site that was once a public housing project received a tax abatement for the Dallas City Council Wednesday for a supermarket and apartment development.

Kroger is a partner in that project but city council supporters said the tax abatement was for the affordable housing units the developer has included in their project.

“Dallas needs more affordable housing and I think Kroger is great. I welcome them into the neighborhood, the community. I just don’t want to sacrifice our opportunity to survive at the expense of Kroger coming in,” Donlin said.

A city website indicates the street and sidewalk project on Hall Street is expected to cost $536,433.

In an email response to a request for comment on Donlin’s concerns, a city spokesperson said the project is scheduled to begin in early 2022 and that officials are aware of Donlin’s concerns.

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