Surplus Walmart property part of a new town center concept going up in Garland

The site was to be a Sam's Club sat vacant for years

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Developers, neighbors and Garland city leaders held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for construction that has already begun near I-30 and Beltline Road.

It comes after many years of doubt about what would happen on the site that was to be a Sam’s Club store with more vast parking lots.

Instead, Walmart sold the land to Anthem Development Company, in which Scott Beck is a partner.

“What is Walmart reimagined? How can you create a mixed-use neighborhood that is connected hand in glove with Walmart,” Beck said.

That’s what Anthem is working to answer with Lofts I-30, a 340-unit, $64 million residential development, within walking distance to the adjacent Walmart store and neighborhood restaurants.

Amenities will include resort-style swimming pools, a fitness center, a dog park and even a dog spa.

It’s also adjacent to a DART bus transfer station, so the project is a transit-oriented development, too, in this Dallas suburb.

“The way this is pulling together a lot of different uses, I think it does become a center of activity,” Garland Mayor Scott LeMay said.

Garland City Council Member B.J. Williams said he saw many other proposals for the long-vacant site over the years, that neighbors did not favor.

“There was not going to be business as usual here. We saw those presentations, I can’t tell you how many times,” Williams said. “People were disillusioned. So, we used a new approach. We put the constituents, we put the people first.”

Neighborhood input on the project that Anthem is building included Jonathan’s Place, a non-profit down the street that serves abused and neglected children.

CEO Allicia Graham Frye said she is very protective of the children served on her organization’s 29-acre site.

“I thought that the neighborhood would change and we would lose that tranquility,” Frye said. “And just sitting down and talking with them and seeing where their heart really was, I felt at ease.”

Beck said more suburban projects like this should happen in North Texas.

“With over 300 people per day moving into the Metroplex, these types of projects are well needed because not everybody wants to be inside the urban core,” Beck said.

Developer Scott Beck and his partners with Anthem Development are also doing the Midtown redevelopment of the former Valley View Mall in Dallas.

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