The empty sign tells the story of this neglected shopping center.

Commercial Real Estate

Lake Highlands Village, Now Called White Rock Center, Is Still Ugly and Still Empty

Seriously. What the heck is going on here?

In October 2015, I wrote about the closing of one of my favorite neighborhood bars, Shady Side. The landowner had raised the rent, and that was that. But the leasing agent at the time told me that a new tenant would soon occupy the space. Things were happening.

Here we are in May 2017, and the place still sits empty. In fact, nearly the entire shopping center is empty. But it has a new name! The sign that stands on Buckner Boulevard used to say Lake Highlands Village. It was recently changed to White Rock Center. The new name hasn’t done much to improve occupancy. Beneath it are empty white tiles where business names should be. The white tiles match the ugly white that the entire shopping center was painted a few years ago.

Venture Commercial is the the leasing company now. A sign on Buckner says Amanda Throckmorton and Easley Waggoner are the people to call. I’ve called Waggoner repeatedly. He won’t return my calls. I’ve had two people who know him tell him that I’d like to talk to him because I’m curious why White Rock Center remains empty. He told one of those people a month ago that he’d call me soon. He hasn’t.

Hey, it’s a free country. There’s nothing illegal about buying a shopping center, painting it a disgusting white, shuttering a friendly neighborhood bar where a certain family had a tradition of playing shuffleboard on Christmas Eve, then letting the entire shopping center lie fallow. Maybe the owners are just waiting for all the few remaining leases to expire so that they can tear the place down. That would be the first question I’d ask Waggoner if he’d talk to me. For now, all I can do is drive by the empty storefronts and wonder.

Comments

  • Greg Brown

    This property is owned by an investment firm that uses it as a very large tax write-off. The fewer businesses in there, the better it is for them. I can certainly see them waiting for leases to expire and then selling it off, but then they would make money, so can’t have that. Welcome to American Economics.

  • OldLakeHighlander

    This property is owned by a sleazy investment firm that uses it as a very large tax write-off. The fewer businesses in there, the better it is for them. I can certainly see them waiting for leases to expire and then selling it off, but then they would make money, so can’t have that. Welcome to American Economics.

    • Alex Muse

      This has nothing to do with “American Economics”.

      • Greg Brown

        If you have more than seven words to share on the topic I am listening. . . . .

    • Are you speaking of Highland Capital Management? That was the last owner I was aware of. Though I admit to being confused by DCAD’s entries for the property. According to them, the individual businesses own their spots, which I know isn’t the fact.

      • Mavdog

        You are seeing both the real estate accounts and the business personal property accounts. Freedom REIT is the owner of the property, and they are connected to Nextpoint Advisors, who is an affiliate of Highland Capital.

        • Greg Brown

          What Mavdog said.

  • JohnyAlamo

    So they changed it to the same name as the shopping center where Hypnotic is located?

  • S. Holland Murphy

    Also, what happened to the Ukelady? Also also, what ever can be done to save that ugly white paint job? Blast it off? Paint all the shops different colors and go Disney kitsch? Such an eyesore.

  • NealK

    Don’t make fun of the new name. They spelled out “White Rock” in Papyrus!

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  • Jared Heath

    Its fairly obvious that your last paragraph is the answer to your entire article.