Empty storefronts flank Maria Pardo’s Argentina Bakery in Irving Town Centre.
After 20 years in business, Half Price Books closed its store in the shopping center. The bookstore had been a neighbor to Pardo’s bakery for the last seven years. On the opposite side, the space formerly occupied by Football Fish Seafood Restaurant is for lease, too. “For me, a lot of things are getting bad,” Pardo said. “A lot of tenants are moving out. It doesn’t look good.”
Now, city staff members are working on a 28-year, $10.6-million plan to redevelop a 4.3-mile stretch of North Belt Line Road from Shady Grove Road to State Highway 161. If successful, Pardo and other store owners will see aesthetic improvements that may help to bring in new businesses. “Irving has to keep moving forward and refreshing our infrastructure,” said Irving mayor pro tem Gerald Farris, who serves as chairman of the city’s planning and development committee.