Yesterday’s demolition to make way for the Sylvan | Thirty mixed-use development along Sylvan between Fort Worth Avenue and I-30 provided a great view of old buildings coming down, as neighborhood blogger Scott Chase mentions in his post, but not much news about anything going up. The project hinges on a grocery store, and developer Brent Jackson told the crowd gathered at Bar Belmont that he hoped to make an announcement after the first of the year. He told us in July that a grocer had signed a letter of intent, and at that time, he had hoped to make an announcement by the end of the year.
Perhaps the biggest announcement at yesterday’s demolition was a slip Jackson made about his personal life. He mentioned that he would be planting quite a few trees at the Sylvan | Thirty site, and explained that he lives nearby and wants it to be a place his wife and perhaps soon-to-come children could walk to and enjoy. Jackson’s face as he made these comments (and the ensuing chuckles around the room) made it clear that his wife, Adrienne, (and possibly even he) had no idea that these comments would be part of the pre-demolition speech. I introduced myself to Adrienne Jackson afterward, asking if she was the one who would be having these soon-to-come children, and she laughed, saying she didn’t know where those comments had come from. She also told me that they live on Kessler Parkway, mere blocks from the project.
“For him, professionally, I want this project to succeed,” she says of her husband. “But selfishly, I want a grocery store.”
Cliffites living in that neck of the woods can empathize with her sentiments. Adrienne Jackson also told me that the first building being demolished, a Dallas County maintenance garage on the corner or Fort Worth Avenue and Sylvan, was the hardest for her husband to procure. Because of its proximity to downtown, it was an easy-to-reach spot for the county’s constables and other vehicles, and the county didn’t want to let go of it. The people standing around me, many of them longtime advocates for redevelopment along Fort Worth Avenue, seemed especially pleased about toppling this structure. One person called out: “Don’t stop until you reach the post office, Brent!”