SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Polarizing conservative pundit Glenn Beck is turning away from his plans to move his media empire into a Southlake church.
The City Council was poised to hear the proposal Tuesday night, but it never happened: Beck called the mayor himself today to say, “This building just isn’t going to work.”
Shopping and restaurants dominate the section of the city where the church is located. There was much buzz behind Beck’s decision to develop the church: In addition to broadcast studios – Beck’s syndicated show airs on more than 400 radio stations – it would be a destination spot for his fans.
The center would’ve employed 100 people and spanned nearly 14 acres. The city estimated that it would be a $100,000 tax addition to the roll.
“I was totally surprised because I thought this was a good fit for our neighborhood,” said Patty Minder, who lives near the church.
Minder actually met with Beck this month when he visited the site. She was representing neighbors looking for better fencing if Beck moved in along with light that wouldn’t stay on all night.
Beck’s company planned on responding to those concerns, she said.
“Everything was, like, what can we do to make this work?” Minder said.
After several inspections, though, Mercury Radio Arts – Beck’s company – felt the building just wouldn’t fit their needs. A spokesman said they “look forward to staying in touch as we explore other options in the area and surrounding communities.”
Southlake Mayor John Terrell, who received that personal call from Beck Tuesday, said he feels the pundit wants to be in Southlake.
“I have ever confidence that what he showed with us, in terms of intent, was real,” Terrell said.
Some of Beck’s staff is already living in the area, and Beck is currently leasing a home about eight miles away in Westlake.
The company may look for a temporary home. They confirmed Las Colinas – home to the Studios at Las Colinas – as one option among others, but no decision has been made.