DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – New developments about the popular Dallas Arboretum and its efforts to build more parking.
While the Arboretum has enjoyed big crowds this year with the Chihuly glass sculpture exhibit, the city of Dallas says that it’s still studying building a new parking garage.
The garage could be built on a parking lot right across the street on Garland Road that the Arboretum already owns.
The Arboretum has shelved controversial plans it started last May to create parking on Winfrey Point and its prairie grasses.
For 17 years now, Jim Breaux has sold firewood at his Personal Touch Tree Center along Garland Road right across the street from the Dallas Arboretum.
But now he’s worried he may have to move out by February after speaking with his landlord. “It was one of those coronary moments in my life where I was thinking about how am I going to get this wood out of here, and where am I going to find to move to.”
Breaux’s landlord, Jack Keller tells me he hasn’t made any final decisions on his property.
Keller says he did have very preliminary discussions with the Arboretum, but that they’re at a standstill.
Breaux says Keller told him about another option. “He’s indicated to me he’s going to make a private parking lot out of it.”
Keller says that’s possible. The Arbooretum has already bought two nearby homes so employees could park in front of them.
The owner at Walton’s Garden Center says he too has had preliminary discussions with the Arboretum recently about selling his property, but nothing more.
The city of Dallas’ interim parks and recreation director, Barbara Kindig says there’s an on-going study whether to turn this Arboretum lot across the street from into a parking garage.
Kindig says the garage here could provide as many as 1200 spaces, and extend two floors below ground and rise four stories high.
But for now, Jim Breaux worries about finding a new location and having customers who know where to find him. “I pass here going to the Arboretum for years. I live around Flagpole Hill, so I’m familiar with the area.”
The Arboretum is also re-doing its over-flow parking lot on property. That will increase the number of spaces from 200 to more than 400.
Meantime, the city says that study on the parking garage may be be ready as early as next week, and a report on the issue could be ready by the end of the month.