Henderson Avenue makeover wins Dallas City Council approval


The Dallas City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a rezoning plan that will reshape a stretch of Henderson Avenue.

While the plan had strong support from neighbors, it faced fierce opposition from some vocal East Dallas residents who believe the project is too big and will bring too much traffic to the area. But the developer, Mark Masinter, agreed to scale back portions of the project.

That was enough to win Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano’s support.

"I know a lot of people are going to still be upset," he said. "I think a lot of folks wanted to deny it outright."

Masinter had sold the plan for retail, offices, green space, greenhouses and restaurants as an antidote to "stick-built apartments and bars" that the area could get with zoning in place. But some active residents, such as musician Bruce Richardson, decried it as ruinous to the area. Richardson said Wednesday that the project’s size and scope caused him "abject terror."

The vote on the case had been postponed several times as Medrano and council member Philip Kingston tried to work out a compromise.

"This was a hard zoning case, and I have friends on both sides," Medrano said. He said he received 51 emails in support of Masinter’s plans and 29 opposed.

The 4.5-acre development will be along the north side of Henderson between Glencoe Street to McMillan Ave. Since the City Plan Commission approved it last June, the buildings have been scaled back both in height and size during negotiations with residents and city officials.

The square footage has been cut twice from 190,000 square feet to the 156,500-square-foot project that was approved Wednesday. That breaks down to about 72,500 square feet of office, 72,000 square feet of retail and 12,000 square feet of restaurant space. The total retail space is equivalent to the size of a traditional supermarket, but the plan is to have several small shops facing Henderson. There’s a two-level underground parking garage with 575 spaces, down from the 820 originally proposed.

"I’m incredibly relieved. We’ve worked so hard and long on this," Masinter said after the approval.

"I started having conversations with the community about five years ago, and I received strong points of view for what people wanted to see there." He started out going door-to-door meeting with residents, he said, "because it’s a very precious part of Dallas."

That’s the same reason that some residents used to object to the development.

Neighborhood angst

Cheryl Kellis has lived in the Lower Greenville area since 1980 and said she’s concerned that the characteristics of the area that make it desirable — the old homes and mature trees — are going away.

"Developers are calling the shots. They want to turn the area into Plano," she said.

She and others spoke up during the meeting about concerns that cars will cut through the neighborhood side streets and create traffic problems. There was a request for another traffic study to be done.

Virginia McAlester, a preservationist and longtime resident of East Dallas, said the project’s height and size of the buildings break with the design of the area. "What’s most depressing to me is that this will set a precedent for other zoning changes," she said.

The Plan Commission rezoned the parcel from residential to commercial. Other residents said the zoning that carefully crafted stretches of residential with commercial districts in the 1990s is being disregarded.

Neighborhood support

But younger residents moving in said they would like to see Henderson have more of a walkable feel to it, with more places to shop and eat. Some who spoke in support of the project said they shared Masinter’s vision.

"What I see is a cluster of properties that are disjointed. The area lacks any daytime activities. There are only bars and apartments, and no one is there during the day," said Ian Blair, owner of a four-plex near Masinter’s planned development.

The City Plan Commission staff sent 214 notices to property owners within 500 feet of the development and 126 were in favor with 22 in opposition.

Masinter wanted to put an urban garden on top of the office building, but that idea died when the building was lowered. Instead, there will be about 2,000 square feet of garden at street level, he said.

"There’s still a lot to do before construction can begin," Masinter said. The renderings have to be turned into construction plans. Work could start by the end of this year. Construction will take about 20 months, so the buildings will be completed by the end of 2020, he said.

Masinter’s project is moving ahead as ownership of several buildings on the other side of the N. Central Expressway has changed hands. The family investment arm of Austin tech billionaire Michael Dell has purchased several blocks along Knox and Travis streets and McKinney and Cole avenues.

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ESPN predictions: All-in on Villanova

Villanova has dismantled every team in its path this NCAA tournament. Should the Wildcats beat Michigan by at least 10 points in Monday’s title game, Villanova would be the first team in history to win every tournament game by double figures.

The tournament has tipped off. Your picks are locked in. It’s time to find out how your bracket is holding up. Check your brackets

In the Wildcats’ way is the Wolverines, with the combo of Moe Wagner and a maddening defense. How will it all end?

If you believe our experts, Villanova is on its way to another title.

Expert predictions: National title game

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El Pollo Loco Announces the Grand Opening of New Restaurant in Richardson, TX

COSTA MESA, Calif., March 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — El Pollo Loco, Inc. (Nasdaq:LOCO), the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken chain, opened its newest restaurant in Richardson, TX today. The new El Pollo Loco, located at 1400 E. Beltline Rd., marks the first restaurant to open in Richardson.

“We are excited to expand our presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth market and bring our fans another conveniently located destination to enjoy our signature citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and authentic Mexican-inspired entrees,” said Gus Siade, Senior Vice President of Operations at El Pollo Loco. “The DFW market is a special one for us and with now more than 10 restaurants in the area, El Pollo Loco is thrilled to serve the community of Richardson. We are eager to serve our loyal fans and new customers the delicious flavors and passionate service our brand is known for.”

The 2,660 square foot restaurant has seating for 64 guests and the dining room features the Company’s new ‘Vision Design,’ which highlights an authentic, Mexican-inspired atmosphere and encompasses El Pollo Loco’s menu and brand identity. The new design features warm textures, rustic elements and a focus on the Company’s signature open kitchen layout which allows for guests to view El Pollo Loco’s signature chicken as it is fire-grilled. The restaurant and drive-thru is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For promotions and news on the new Richardson location, fans can follow the restaurant’s local Facebook page. El Pollo Loco fans are also encouraged to join the new Loco Rewards Loyalty Program and receive a free chicken avocado taco after signing up. Loco Rewards members will be able to earn points, redeem rewards and manage offers directly from the new El Pollo Loco mobile app, which is available for download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

About El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO) is the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain renowned for its masterfully citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and handcrafted entrees using fresh ingredients inspired by Mexican recipes. With more than 475 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Utah, El Pollo Loco is expanding its presence in key markets through a combination of company and existing and new franchisee development. Visit us on our website at www.elpolloloco.com.

Like: www.facebook.com/ElPolloLoco
Follow on Twitter: @ElPolloLoco
Follow on Instagram: @ElPolloLoco
Subscribe: www.youtube.com/OfficialElPolloLoco
Join Loco Rewards: www.elpolloloco.com/rewards
Join our team: www.elpolloloco.com/careers


Kate Kohlbrenner

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WaterWalk Breaks Ground in Richardson, Texas

WICHITA, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WaterWalk, Jack DeBoer’s fifth national brand, announced today the groundbreaking of its third property at 2210 North Glenville Drive in Richardson, Texas. This is the second WaterWalk franchise property sponsored by MBC Partners who opened their first WaterWalk franchise property in Centennial, Colorado in September of this year.

“We look forward to a smooth construction period, a strong pre-opening sales effort, and witnessing the operational talents for which WaterWalk management is well known.”

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The planned two-building, four-story, 153-room hybrid hotel and apartment concept has a projected opening date of November 2018. Law Company of Wichita, Kansas is serving as general contractor and Woolpert of Dallas, Texas is serving as architect and civil engineer.

WaterWalk was created by entrepreneur Jack DeBoer, founder of Residence Inn (now Marriott), Candlewood Suites, Value Place (now WoodSpring Suites), and Summerfield Suites (now Hyatt House). WaterWalk’s first property opened in Wichita, Kansas in November 2014 and its second property opened in Centennial, Colorado in September 2017. Three additional locations are under construction and seven construction starts are planned for the next eight months. The next two locations to open will be San Antonio, Texas in March 2018 and Las Colinas, Texas in May 2018.

WaterWalk combines the space and comfort of apartment living with the services of an upscale hotel. Business travelers staying a few nights to several months for relocations, training, or projects gain an added level of comfort and convenience with a fully-equipped modern kitchen, full-size in-room washer and dryer, housekeeping, and customized breakfast options delivered weekly to their suite. Guests also enjoy an onsite fitness center, 300 DirecTV channels and a DVR, internet, and 24/7 front desk service.

For those seeking an improved apartment experience, residents of WaterWalk get more for their money with all utilities, internet, DirecTV with 300 channels, and a DVR included in one monthly payment. Additional benefits include a washer and dryer in each unit, flexible lease terms, 24/7 front desk service, an on-site fitness center, and the savings and convenience of no security deposit, administrative fee, or utility deposits.

Upon completion, WaterWalk Richardson guests will experience additional amenities not yet seen before at previous WaterWalk locations with the planned introduction of WaterWalk Prototype 4.0. New amenities will include a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with a lounge area along with an expansive outdoor green space. WaterWalk Richardson will also be the very first WaterWalk location to have balconies and a spacious new lobby. The open concept will invite guests and residents to linger and connect with one another at the coffee bar or over a televised sporting event on the 70” flat screen television in the media room. A high level of attention will also be paid to selecting comfortable and stylish lobby furniture to further enhance the guest experience.

“WaterWalk is eager to add another WaterWalk property to the thriving Dallas, Texas area and we’re honored to be doing it with MBC’s founding partners – Rob Mossburg, Chris Copps, and Bill Booth,” said David Redfern, president of WaterWalk.

“MBC Partners could not be more pleased to break ground in Richardson with its second WaterWalk franchise, and to have invested in two of the country’s most dynamic markets,” said Rob Mossburg. “We look forward to a smooth construction period, a strong pre-opening sales effort, and witnessing the operational talents for which WaterWalk management is well known.”

Companies using WaterWalk for their corporate housing needs will find a particularly convenient added level of service compared to other corporate housing facilities, including a national sales team, full support staff on-site 24 hours a day for any guest needs, increased flexibility in arrival and departure dates, and the convenience of a 24-hour notice to vacate.

WaterWalk is focused on strategically expanding throughout the United States via corporate and franchised locations. Over the next two years, WaterWalk’s expansion plans include properties in Denver, CO; Washington, D.C.; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; Miami, FL; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Overland Park, KS; Nashville, TN; and Austin, TX.

About MBC Partners

Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, MBC’s founding partners Rob Mossburg, Bill Booth and Chris Copps have a combined 90-plus years experience in private equity investing, the US lodging industry, real estate development and construction and the acquisition, operations, asset management and disposition of real estate assets and enterprises.

About WaterWalk

Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, WaterWalk combines the most appealing features of an upscale extended stay hotel with the space and lifestyle of apartment living. Guests may choose to stay a week, a month, a year, or more with one all-inclusive bill for utilities, DirecTV with 300 channels including premium channels, DVR, internet access, phone, fitness center, and 24/7 concierge services. With the full-service package, guests enjoy fully-furnished accommodations, housekeeping, and complimentary breakfast delivered to each suite. WaterWalk is the fifth national brand started by Jack DeBoer, including Residence Inn (Marriott), Summerfield Suites (Hyatt), Candlewood Suites, and Value Place/WoodSpring Suites. For more information, visit www.waterwalk.com or call (316) 631-1351.


Press Contact:
Gregory FCA
Leigh Minnier
Vice President
Company Contact:
Sherrill Carper
Director of Marketing
Company Contact:
Rob Mossburg
Founding Partner, MBC Partners

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Pigg, Tommie Catherine

Tommie Catherine Pigg, 84, of Richardson, passed away Wednesday, March 7. A memorial service will be held Friday, March 23 at 11 a.m., Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church, 3901 North Star Road, Richardson, TX. A reception will follow.

She was born Tommie Catherine Bunting Oct. 5, 1933 in Bryan, graduated Stephen F. Austin High School in 1951, and Baylor University with a BA in Education in 1954. She returned home to marry her high-school sweetheart, James Calvin Pigg, also of Bryan. They were married 63 years before she lost her valiant four-year fight with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

Tommie was the daughter of William David and Dorothy Bunting. Her father served as Brazos County School Superintendent and was instrumental in desegregating county schools. Tommie began her own career teaching third grade at Crockett Elementary where her first class saved pennies to buy her a tiny box of glass animals. She kept that little box of animals until the day she died.

She had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel to the mountains. She loved sitting home with Calvin in front of a fire on a cold night. To know Tommie was to know a soft-pillow hug and a radiant smile. "She was so enthusiastic," writes friend and author Tim Sandlin. "The little things excited her. She loved without question."

Tommie is survived by her husband, James Calvin Pigg, her younger brother William David Bunting, Jr., and his wife Joyce, her daughter Deborah Pigg Bedford, and her husband Jack, her son James Calvin Pigg, Jr., and her grandchildren Jeffrey Taylor Bedford, Avery Elizabeth Bedford and Cooper James Pigg. She is also survived by nieces and a nephew she dearly loved, Laurie Bunting Weesner, Amy Bunting Storrie and William Clayton Bunting. Memorial gifts can be sent in her honor to St. Labre Indian School, 1000 Tongue River Road, Ashland MT 59003, give.stlabre.org. Gifts can also be sent to her church, address above, 75082.

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Kobe Steel CEO to Resign Over False-Data Scandal

TOKYO— Kobe Steel Ltd.’s KBSTY 1.54% chief executive said he would step down effective April 1 to take responsibility for a quality scandal that has shaken Japan’s reputation for top-notch manufacturing.

“To demonstrate that Kobe Steel has changed and to speed up change, we need new management,” said Hiroya Kawasaki, the head of Japan’s third-largest steelmaker.

Kobe Steel—which supplies the makers of cars, planes and nuclear plants—admitted in October to falsifying quality specifications on products shipped to hundreds of customers, prompting an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. On Tuesday, the company said some of the data falsification went back 50 years.

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Kobe Steel’s announcement opened the floodgates for similar revelations at other top manufacturers, puncturing national pride in Japan’s manufacturing prowess.

In recent months, Mitsubishi Materials Corp. MIMTF 945.78% and Subaru Corp. FUJHY 0.64% admitted to quality-inspection lapses, while Nissan Motor Co. said it let unqualified employees perform final quality inspections on some cars. Those companies, as well as Kobe Steel, said no safety issues resulted.

Other scandals in recent years affecting Japan’s reputation include problems at Takata Corp. , which declared bankruptcy last year after it said it supplied more than 50 million defective vehicle air bags in the U.S.

Mr. Kawasaki blamed a corporate culture that he said prioritized winning orders and meeting delivery deadlines over quality. Kobe Steel said that two current and two former executives at its aluminum and copper division had been aware that workers were falsifying data but that they failed to stop the practice or report it to the board. Another executive only partially addressed the issue by having some of the orders halted, it said.

The two former executives were directly involved at some point in the practice, the company said, following a probe by outside legal experts. It didn’t name those involved or detail what happened to them.

‘To demonstrate that Kobe Steel has changed and to speed up change, we need new management.’

—Hiroya Kawasaki, Kobe Steel’s chief executive

To date, the company has found that 605 customers received shipments affected by data falsification. Overseas customers accounted for 222 of those.

The company will overhaul its board so that a third of its members are external directors and set up an advisory committee dedicated to compliance issues, Mr. Kawasaki said.

“I cannot but say that the roots of the problem go deep,” he said.

Kobe Steel said five executives, including the head of its aluminum and copper division, would also resign, while other executives would have their pay cut as much as 80%. The company said it would name a new CEO soon.

For all the upheaval, Kobe Steel’s results have yet to take a major hit. The company has said the scandal would reduce net profit by ¥10 billion ($94 million) in the year ending March 31 to ¥45 billion, up from a loss the previous year, thanks to higher steel prices and strong demand for construction machinery.

The impact next fiscal year will hinge on overseas litigation, said Ryosaku Kadowaki, head of Kobe Steel’s management strategy.

Write to Mayumi Negishi at mayumi.negishi@wsj.com

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Optex Systems Announces $7.7 Million Contracts for Laser Protected Periscopes

Optex Systems Announces $7.7 Million Contracts for Laser Protected Periscopes

RICHARDSON, TX–(Marketwired – February 19, 2018) – Optex Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Optex Systems Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB:OPXS), a leading manufacturer of precision optical sighting systems for domestic and worldwide military and commercial applications, announced today it has been awarded three separate multi-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) awards through Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for Laser Protected Periscopes for a total combined amount of up to $7.737 Million over a 3-5 year period.

Danny Schoening, CEO of Optex stated "We are pleased with the progress that we’ve made in negotiations with DLA to establish long term, multi-year contracts for these Laser Protected Periscopes using our proprietary technology. The field reliability of the Optex product continues to exceed our customer’s expectation and therefore the Optex proprietary process continues to be the periscope of choice by our armed forces and many of our allies."


Optex, which was founded in 1987, is a Richardson, Texas based ISO 9001:2008 certified concern, which manufactures optical sighting systems and assemblies, primarily for Department of Defense (DOD) applications. Its products are installed on various types of U.S. military land vehicles, such as the Abrams and Bradley fighting vehicles, Light Armored and Armored Security Vehicles, and have been selected for installation on the Stryker family of vehicles. Optex also manufactures and delivers numerous periscope configurations, rifle and surveillance sights, and night vision optical assemblies. Optex delivers its products both directly to the military services and to prime contractors. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at www.optexsys.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including those relating to the products and services described herein. You can identify these statements by the use of the words "may," "will," "could," "should," "would," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "continue," "estimate," "project," "intend," "likely," "forecast," "probable," and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, continued funding of defense programs and military spending, the timing of such funding, general economic and business conditions, including unforeseen weakness in the Company’s markets, effects of continued geopolitical unrest and regional conflicts, competition, changes in technology and methods of marketing, delays in completing engineering and manufacturing programs, changes in customer order patterns, changes in product mix, continued success in technological advances and delivering technological innovations, changes in the U.S. Government’s interpretation of federal procurement rules and regulations, changes in spending due to policy changes in any new federal presidential administration, market acceptance of the Company’s products, shortages in components, production delays due to performance quality issues with outsourced components, inability to fully realize the expected benefits from acquisitions and restructurings or delays in realizing such benefits, challenges in integrating acquired businesses and achieving anticipated synergies, changes to export regulations, increases in tax rates, changes to generally accepted accounting principles, difficulties in retaining key employees and customers, unanticipated costs under fixed-price service and system integration engagements, changes in the market for microcap stocks regardless of growth and value and various other factors beyond our control.

You must carefully consider any such statement and should understand that many factors could cause actual results to differ from the Company’s forward-looking statements. These factors include inaccurate assumptions and a broad variety of other risks and uncertainties, including some that are known and some that are not. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual future results may vary materially. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement. You should carefully evaluate such statements in light of factors described in the Company’s filings with the SEC, especially on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. In various filings the Company has identified important factors that could cause actual results to differ from expected or historic results. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. Consequently, you should not consider any such list to be a complete list of all potential risks or uncertainties.

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Strategist: Sell-off was a deleveraging event

New York Times CEO: There will be many times more digital subscribers than print Stifel Financial CEO: We’re a mirror of what’s going on in the economy, and it’s going to be a good year Bombardier CEO: ITC ruling a major victory for Bombardier, innovation and customers American Airlines CEO: Growth in our hubs creates connectivity for our customers Royal Caribbean CEO: Small cost changes are driving terrific revenue and earnings increases BMO Financial CEO: US-Canada trade relationship arguably the most successful in modern commerce WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell: We’re yet to see whether Trump’s foreign policies work

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