A group of Addison residents are desperate to try to stop a deal that would turn an empty Sam's Club into high density apartments.
So many residents were expected to turn out to a council meeting on Tuesday that the city had to move its meeting from city hall to a nearby conference center.
The controversy is a twist on the usual flare ups that can happen when a Sam’s Club or Walmart want to move into an area. A group of Addison residents said having them leave is even worse.
“This is what happens when Sam's pulls out of an area. It goes to the highest bidder and the city council is desperate to not have vacant properties so they sell it to the first person,” said resident Jeri Marold.
Sam's Club is in the process of selling the now-vacant land to a developer who wants to put in its place three story townhome and five story apartments with a parking garage. Sam's Club has deed restrictions baring things like grocery stores moving onto its old site that would compete with its new nearby store at LBJ and Midway.
“The intersection at Beltline and Midway is very busy as it is, to add 350 more apartments and 180 townhomes will only make matters worse,” said Marold.
Addison's former city manager lives nearby and believes the city can get something better that will add retail to the community.
"We're rushed to make a decision because of Sam's schedule,” said Ron Whitehead.
Whitehead said the city followed the law's notification requirements but should have done even more.
"We've always notified everyone and their dog when a major project came forward like this that we knew would affect the neighborhood,” Whitehead said. “This should have been done a while ago."