A warehouse developer plans to build a distribution center in South Oak Cliff, but community members are protesting the decision and petitioning the City to make a change.
Stonelake Capital Partners intends to construct a warehouse to store 18-wheeler trucks on a 19-acre piece of land in Oak Cliff between Polk Street and Hampton Avenue.
“To put a distribution center that will house 18-wheelers in that community is an insult,” Rev. Frederick Haynes III told the Dallas City Council during the open comment portion of the meeting on Wednesday. “It’s offensive and must be stopped.”
Haynes has served for 40 years as senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church, which lies in the same community as the planned distribution center. The area is also home to David W. Carter High School and many single-family homes.
“If they decide to begin construction, they will find me laying down in front of any construction machines that try to begin construction on a distribution center,” he told NBC DFW.
Rev. Haynes implored council members to “do the right thing.”
“Most of the people in my neighborhood are senior citizens that are right there in that area,” said Lovey Hawkins, a longtime resident, per NBC DFW. “You are talking about 18-wheelers and a warehouse? No. No way.”
Hawkins said residents “are going to pitch tents” before they allow a distribution center to be built in their neighborhood.
“They are not putting a warehouse there,” she told NBC DFW. “We will get out there in tents and stay.”
Zoning does allow the property in question to be used for a distribution center, according to District 8 City Planning Commissioner Lorie Blair.
However, she said she still opposes the warehouse because of the effect it could have on the community.
“It’s their right to build it,” Rev. Haynes told the City Council. “But it ain’t right.”
Joe Dillard III, director of project management at Friendship-West, also addressed the City Council, describing the distribution center as a “hardship.”
Stonelake Capital Partners said they purchased the property because its zoning allowed them to build a distribution center.
“The 19-acre land site along Interstate 20 which Stonelake acquired in 2021 was widely marketed for sale and has been zoned for our intended use for over 22 years,” the company said in a statement to NBC DFW.
“Stonelake acquired the property along Interstate 20 only because it was fully entitled for the development of a logistics building.”
“Stonelake is not seeking to rezone the property – we are simply requesting permits for our Class-A development because our plans fully comply with the existing entitlements and the City of Dallas code including environmental,” the statement continued.
“The property is currently vacant land which has never previously been developed and will become a Class-A building and place of employment.”