The Battle Over The Wilshire Village Property Goes On

There's going to be a rally tomorrow by the people who want to turn the old Wilshire Village property in Montrose into a public park.

"The rally this weekend is going to take place at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday starting at the Menil Park, then we'll walk to the property," MariaElisa Heg tells Hair Balls. "The aim is to raise awareness and potentially get some civic leaders to come out."

Heg and her group are still pushing an online petition calling for the 7.7-acre proprty at Alabama & Dunlavy to be made into a park, even as the grocery chain H-E-B has said they have a tentative deal to purchase it.

But H-E-B's plans may not be as sure as some think. Cyndy Garza Roberts, the chain's public-affairs director, tells Hair Balls that plans "are still in the very, very early stages."

That includes not just rudimentary things like due diligence on title and legalities, but even a feasibility study to determine whether a store at the location would be economically viable.

We asked her if the neighborhood protests might effect H-E-B's plans, and she didn't exactly rush to give a direct answer.

"I can say that the contract was signed prior to the discussion of the land being a park," she says. "And I can say we are continuing with the contract process. What eventually transpires, I don't know."

And it's not like everyone's jumping on the park bandwagon. One resident tells Hair Balls he would love a H-E-B there.

"Most of the near area resident are renters in what I call sub-standard apartments," says the e-mailer. "They are wanting the city to spend money on a park when there is already a park nearby. I wonder how many of the petitioners are TAXPAYERS and how many are registered voters? It is a sad day when someone tries to me what I can and can not do with my property."

One thing seems sure: Things aren't going to happen very fast with the proprerty. Garza Roberts said she had "no idea" how long H-E-B might take before deciding what to do.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly