Arlington Businesses Concerned About Possible GM Site

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW) – The site of what was once an Arlington landmark may soon be a sprawling expansion of General Motors.

But some neighboring businesses of what used to be Six Flags Mall at SH 360 and Division are worried about how they’ll be affected.

“This bar has been here for — since 1978,” said former GM employee Roy Coble about his favorite hangout, Mac’s Tavern and Grill. “Back then it was Turning Point, then it was Lowery’s and then it was Mac’s.”

And back then, what is now an acres-wide demolition site with enormous piles of concrete and debris, was Six Flags Mall, the life of the area’s retail economy.

Even before its demolition, the mall fell into disrepair as the business there and around Mac’s Tavern and Bar withered.

“10 to 15 years it hasn’t been used at all,” Coble lamented.

But Arlington City Council could approve a tax abatement and funding package to build 1.25 million feet of logistics space for General Motors. The car maker would house its suppliers there.

“To be able to use all of that and to get a sales tax coming into the city for people working there spending money here in the city, I think it’ll be a great thing for the city. I really do,” Coble said.

“Hopefully it’ll bring people and business, said tavern employee Natalie Johnson who an emotional attachment to her workplace.

“Even when my time is up working here this is still my home,” she said. “This has always been my place to come so, I enjoy it.”

While she’s hopeful the new logistics center will bring new customers here, she and other nearby business owners worry the fate of Six Flags Mall could be foreshadowing their demise too. They stand between the new logistics site and a neighboring railroad line.

“We’ve heard a lot of different things,” Johnson said. “But one of the things we’ve heard is they want the rail, they wanted access to the rail. I don’t know how true that is but that would hurt us. Yeah, it worries me. And I don’t know how quick it would be done but for whoever is working here it worries me for whoever is working here.”

The City Council will vote on an incentive package including tax abatement until 2019, $6 million in grant money and $200,000 in drainage and street repairs The City Council will vote on an incentive package including tax abatement until 2019, $6 million in grant money and $200,000 in drainage and street improvements.

More from Joel Thomas

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