Proposed Apartment Complex Near White Rock Lake to Go Before Planning Commission

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A proposed apartment complex and retail space near Dallas' White Rock Lake will go before the city planning commission on Thursday.

Called "The Trailhead," the proposed seven-story, 305-unit complex would include two-bedroom apartments and space for retail, according to the developer.

If approved, it would stand on the former sites of The Lot and Local Traveler restaurants.

Some neighbors have questioned if the site, located where Gaston Avenue, Garland Road and Grand Avenue meet, is the best location.

The intersection is notorious for congestion and is expected to be redesigned by the Texas Department of Transportation later this year.

East Dallas resident Krista de la Harpe said she has been paying close attention to the proposal.

"It's very difficult for people right now to fathom a huge high development when we don't even know what this road and intersection is going to look like," de la Harpe said.

A former member of the city's landmark commission, de la Harpe said it was important for neighbors to educate themselves about the project and let city leaders know their thoughts.

"It's up to us, the citizens, that really have to come out and look at it, do some research, attend some meetings and see what these plans are and have your voice heard," de la Harpe said.

Neighbors gathered at the proposed site on Saturday after developers agreed to raise a boom to show the proposed height of the building.

Blake Kresl lives along the nearby creek and worries about the precedent approval may set for future development.

"We have the Arboretum over here. We have the lake. It's supposed to be much more recreational and quiet over here and we're about to get a slew of very tall, very densely packed buildings that really don't fit the character of the neighborhood," Kresl said.

Jeff Fairey owns the property next door and is open to the project.

"For me, I like it," Fairey said. "I think it could be a great asset rather than all this area turning into fast food alley."

Mill Creek Residential is behind the proposed mixed-use space and said it has held more than 40 community meetings to get feedback from surrounding residents.

"First and foremost, we've been open arms with the community," Mill Creek Residential Vice President Kevin Hickman said. "We've got a lot of feedback and we've made a lot of revisions through that process."

Hickman said they altered their original plans to lower the building one story, reduced the number of units and include plans for wide sidewalks to accommodate people who use the nearby trails.

The proposal goes before the city planning commission on Thursday, which will be broadcast online. If approved, it will go before the city council.

Friends of the Santa Fe Trail have endorsed the project, while others have started a website called "Save the White Rock Skyline," calling on people to oppose the development.

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