The three-story building planned for 6600 Snider Plaza is closer to reality after the plan to redevelop the site won city council approval Tuesday with a couple of caveats despite the objections of some residents at the meeting.
Councilmember Randy Biddle moved to approve the plan with the caveats that the first floor of the building would be retail and the storefronts would be differentiated from the rest of the space perhaps with a different color scheme on the top floor. The vote was 4-1 with councilmember Liz Farley voting against the plan.
“My hope is that your building would be just a flagship, it would be the example of…the future of Snider Plaza,” Farley told developer Jim Strode. “I’m excited about the future of Snider Plaza and you are the first, and so we are holding you out for hope for what it is going to be.”
As we previously reported, the new building is expected to house retail, restaurant, and office space. The plan also calls for a two-level underground parking garage with 48 spaces accessed from Daniel Avenue. The existing structures there were built in 1941 and 1947. Longtime Snider Plaza tenants in the structure where the building will be are moving or have already moved to new locations in the plaza. Lane Florist is moving near Nekter Juice Bar, Logos bookstore moved near Gemma Collection, Arman Jewelry moved near The Toy Store, and the tailor moved near Food From Galilee.
Discussion of the plan was continued from the Aug. 17 city council meeting so council members could further consider the parking implications of the building. Some residents at Tuesday’s meeting remained concerned about parking, traffic, and maintaining the “charm” of Snider Plaza.
“There’s not enough parking spaces provided under current ordinance,” Herb Weitzman said. “I’m not against development, but I sure do not want the charm and the pleasure that we all have shopping there to be eroded.”
Cora Billingsley said she’s concerned about parking and traffic in the plaza.
“It is a nightmare to find parking spaces at this time,” Billingsley said. “Please do not ruin Snider Plaza and put in this plain old building that has been designed for it. It is unique, it’s precious for our neighborhood, and we hope that it will be preserved.”
Matt Dixon, who said he lives in Plano, but owns buildings in University Park, put it more bluntly.
“I love University Park, I love everything about it … don’t Plano University Park, I’m begging you,” Dixon said to cheers from some in the audience.
Developer Jim Strode responded to concerns about maintaining the ‘charm’ of the shopping center.
“We have worked with architects that, I believe, are as good as any architect in town,” Strode said. “I’m not here to destroy Snider Plaza … I’ve been in the Park Cities since 1980. I’m no newbie.”
He also addressed parking concerns.
“People want to park in the front of where they’re walking into and until we figure out a way to get people, especially the employees of Snider Plaza, to park in our garage or other garages provided, I don’t think you’re ever going to solve the problem,” Strode said.
In other news:
The city council approved a development agreement with SMU. SMU agreed to install and maintain a landscape island in McFarlin Boulevard near the intersection with Dublin as part of the recently approved zoning for the Moody Graduate School.