CMC redevelopment planned

Saturday, April 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A plan for the redevelopment of the Children’s Medical Center property. A developer wants to build a "big-box" retail store on the site, but the neighbors are concerned about traffic.

KOTV's Emory Bryan says the empty Children’s Medical Center building could be bulldozed this summer, and replaced with a major retail store. The neighbors met recently to see the plans and voice their concerns. If location is the best indicator of value, the Children’s Medical Center property might have sold more quickly, but instead it has been on the market for a year and a half. Now there is an offer for the 25 acres that depends on city approval of a big box retail site.

Dallas-based United Commercial Development has proposed one major retailer and four smaller businesses, possibly restaurants. A new development is welcomed by the neighborhood, but the homeowner’s association worries about the traffic. Les Wildman with the homeowners association says, "this street right now is already overloaded. What will be added to it is the heavy truck traffic making deliveries to the stores." The site is bordered on the east by a street with 18 homes, and the developer plans to build a high fence with landscaping to block their view. The neighbors haven't been told which retailer plans to build on the site, and the developer's attorney says it's yet to be determined.

Several sources told KOTV, a Home Depot would build on the site. They have no other store nearby, and their competition, Lowe's, is building just up the street at 15th & Yale. A Home Depot spokesperson said the chain "did look at that property, but didn't have any interest" in it, but that the chain was "looking at possible sites in other locations." No matter who builds, the hospital will be demolished; the 1950's building is considered obsolete. The neighbors aren't opposed to progress, unless it hurts the values of their homes. Wildman says, "the planning commission position is to protect the city, our position is that our home is the biggest investment we'll make in our lives."

The homeowners will meet again soon to talk about the issue with their city councilor and a public hearing before the planning commission is scheduled for May 2nd.