An Arlington developer wants to open an upscale liquor store in Viridian, but not all residents are thrilled at the idea of having one close to home.
Mojy Haddad, president of Oakhollow Group and CHS Architects, said he wants to attract more restaurants to his young shopping center, Waters Edge at Viridian. Part of his plan is to open a 3,072-square-foot boutique wine and spirit shop and bring in a mix of customers.
“A lot of restaurants that I’m trying to bring in, they don’t want to come unless we’re at critical mass,” Haddad said in a phone interview.
The master-planned community just north of Green Oaks Boulevard does not have a liquor store of its own. The closest stores are in Euless and about two miles south of the shopping center.
However, dozens of Viridian residents have raised concerns with Haddad’s plan. Around 50 residents sent letters to city hall, worried the store is too close to Viridian Elementary and preschool Children’s Lighthouse.
“This was not what was represented by builders upon purchase of our home,” wrote Robin Ellis. “There are two early childhood facilities across the street from this location, just outside of the limit.”
Lindsey Risso Patron, who moved to Viridian with her family in 2020, said she has found empty beer cans and dirty diapers along the beach at Lake Viridian over the summer.
“Early mornings we have stopped by and found our beach trashed. Literally,” she wrote.
The city received 10 letters in support of the liquor store, including Robert Kembel, who leads the planning company behind Viridan development.
“I know Mojy Haddad is committed to bringing quality Tenants to this shopping center and this will be no exception,” he wrote. “I believe this will be a good addition for the Viridian Community as well as keeping the sales tax from this use in Arlington.”
The other nine letters said they trusted Haddad’s work, or said the area could stand to have more store options.
Haddad said the complaints from residents have “been blown so out of proportion” and represent a small amount of the thousands of residents. While he cannot keep people from littering, Haddad said his liquor store would likely not produce as much trash as a restaurant.
“People will buy the bottle, go home and drink it,” he said. “They don’t go out there and throw the bottle out there. That’s just not happening.”
The zoning for Haddad’s center allows him to sell beer and wine. The proposal, he said, was approved years before Arlington became a wet city in 2013. Before the vote, Arlington residents had to travel to Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens or Fort Worth for booze other than beer and wine.
Arlington city council members will decide whether to approve the request that would allow Haddad’s company to build the liquor store at their meeting Tuesday evening, which starts at 6:30 p.m. in the council chamber at 101 W. Abram St. Meetings are also broadcast through AT&T U-verse Channel 99, Time Warner Cable on channels 16 and 15.1 and streamed online.