GM buys nightclub property across from Arlington plant

08/19/2014 4:54 PM

08/19/2014 4:55 PM

General Motors has bought an 11.5-acre tract that includes the Cowboys Dancehall across Abram Street from its assembly plant in Arlington, but the company says it has no current plans for the property.

GM spokeswoman Donna McLallen said that the land became available and that the company saw an opportunity to acquire property around its landlocked plant. She said the land will be held for future uses.

The property, at 2540 E. Abram St., was sold by SLJ Co. in Dallas, deed records show. SLJ President Louis Lebowitz was said to be out of the country and could not be reached for comment. The Tarrant Appraisal District lists the property’s address as 232 S. Watson Road and values it at $1.8 million.

In addition to the country-Western club, Stereo Sound Systems, which installs car stereos, is in the building, which is about 100,000 square feet. It has been at the site since 2001.

Michael Murphy, the nightclub’s owner, did not return phone calls seeking comment. The club, believed to be on a month-to-month lease, has also been called Cowboys Concert Hall and has operated at the location, a former Kmart store, since 1994.

Ed Hindi, manager of Stereo Sound Systems, said that the business has a lease through August 2015 but that he’s afraid of being forced out sooner. He said a woman with GM has offered him one month rent-free if the business moves sooner.

“We cannot do that,” Hindi said. The owner is located overseas, and it will take time to find a new place, he said. The business has about 15,000 square feet and six employees, he said.

City officials said GM has not indicated how it might use the land.

This year, GM celebrated the plant’s 60th anniversary. In 1954, the plant had 1,850 employees and 1.2 million square feet. By the end of 2013, it had grown to 4,591 workers and 4.3 million square feet on about 250 acres.

Over six decades, the plant has built more than 9.7 million vehicles, GM said. It converted to truck production in 1997 and is the only GM facility to produce full-size sport utility vehicles, including the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.

Recently, the plant has been so busy trying to meet demand that it was running extra shifts during the week and on weekends.

Last fall, GM opened a stamping plant in Arlington as part of a $530 million expansion and overhaul of the local plant to prepare for the new SUV models.

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