Friday, July 14, 2017

There Is A Need - Please Help

I want to tell you about a special need that our community currently has, and I hope that you can find it in your heart to help. Scout Troop 517 has been operating in Arlington for the last 25 years. They are a special needs troop and contains challenged scouts of all ages both male and female. On or around 29 June their trailer was stolen containing approximately $10,000 of special need equipment that made camping out possible for these scouts. https://www.dallasnewscom/news/arlington/2017/06/27/special-needs-scouts-stuck-homeafter-trailer-stolen-arlington-church.
.   Now the reason that this incident has affected me so is that most of these scouts are friends of the YMCA. Each year, for the last 5 years, I have sent these friends to a Rangers game so that they could enjoy baseball. Someone has stolen their camp trailer that was stored at the First United Methodist Church, with all of the necessary gear that allowed them to go on campouts. Luckily the residents of the City of Arlington have taken issue with this injustice and several have offered to help, in essence making lemonade out of lemons. I was approached today by Mr. Brad Thompson, who has started a website to raise money to replace the stolen equipment. He felt that he simply had to do something to assist those in need who required a helping hand. So he started a fund at: . I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to help these special scouts to go to this website and make a donation. Brad currently has $8,600 and is looking to raise the full $10,000, that will allow these scouts to continue to enjoy the pleasures of the great outdoors and permit them the opportunity to appreciate nature. I hope that you can find it in your heart to help out.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Drury Plaza Hotel

This is the Drury Plaza, that was voted on and passed unanimously at the 27 July Council Meeting.  As you can see it is situated on the Northwest corner of Road to Six Flags and Center St. across from Calloway's Nursery.  This is another integral piece of the North Arlington puzzle that will greatly benefit our community.  First let me explain the project and then I will explain why the benefit.

The hotel is a 9 story structure with 268 rooms.  There will be an additional building to the west and then a restaurant located on Road to Six Flags and an art sculpture on the corner.  As a pilot stationed in St. Louis for 18 years, I was a professional hotel dweller.  St. Louis is the corporate home of the Drury family and I was very skeptical of this product, for the last year.  I was a NO vote on this project.  But I got on an airplane and went to St. Louis unannounced, and simply walked into the Drury Plaza in Chesterfield.  This Plaza was 10 years old, and I wanted to see what it looked like after 10 years of operation.  I was thoroughly impressed with every appointment and aspect of this hotel.  The lobby, rooms, personnel, and facilities were all extremely nice.  The quality was on the same par, if not better, than the Hilton or Sheraton currently in Arlington.

The model of Drury is not to have a restaurant inside the hotel.  This was problematic for me, I like food.  But they put independent restaurants on the premises, that are also known for high quality.  This Plaza had a streak house, located next to it.  There is however, food in the hotel.  A breakfast is complimentary.  Ours will be complete with an omelet station.  In the evening they offer another buffet known as a kick back.  They will have nachos, hot dogs and taco stations for example and open the bar for complimentary beer, wine and mixed drinks. (three per tenant)  This is all included in the price of the room.  For those patrons that want a full meal, a restaurant will be located on the premises

The Drury team will also build an additional building to the west for retail and office use.  It will be located next to LA Fitness and compliment the Plaza aspect of the structure.  The Drury family will also install an object of Art, as depicted in the picture, located on the corner for all to appreciate.  This art object will be approved by the city staff.

Now the benefit of this project to the community is obvious.  The Calloway's property just got very expensive.  Coy Garrett owns most of the property on the south side of Road to Six Flags and down Center street.  This is perfect for development, or to flip to someone else, for development.  The boarded up houses on the Southeast corner, now become highly desirable.  I look for them to go away, and new development to start.  Construction on this hotel will start by the end of the year.  The Drury Family has been great to work with and they really want to be in North Arlington.  I believe that the Drury Plaza hotel will be a tremendous asset to the community.