In November of '09 we were introduced to St. Louis-based housing developer McCormack Baron Salazar, which was hired by The Real Estate Council to take a long, hard look at potential for development along the DART Green Line in Fair Park-South Dallas and the piece of the Blue Line that runs along Ledbetter. In January of this year, the city council got its first look at the report, which cost TREC $275,000. Long story short: The company's veep told the council we're going to need to spend more than $275,000 to develop South Dallas.
Here's the whole report. It's titled A New Paradigm: Strategies for Revitalizing Dallas' Distressed Neighborhoods and has been posted on the city's Office of Economic Development website. I probably should read the whole thing. Till then, this is from the intro:
There are a number of conditions that currently exist which create real challenges for the revitalization of Southern Dallas. The lack of infrastructure, including inadequate or non-existent power-, water-, and sewer-lines, and storm drainage have hindered real estate development. Businesses which prefer southern Dallas County have opted to settle in southern suburbs, such as Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Desoto and Lancaster, rather than in the city. The larger percentage of adults with lower incomes and education levels in Southern Dallas, as compared with the city as a whole, contributes to the lack of incentive for retail development and less need for office development.
Reason I mention it is because the city is, at this very moment, asking for proposals from consultants interested in creating "area plans" and "catalyst project concepts" for the five areas highlighted in the MBS study, identified as The Lancaster Corridor Area, the DART Green Line Hatcher Station-Spring Avenue area, the DART Green Line MLK Station Area, the DART Green Line Buckner Station Area and the Vickery Meadows/Five Points Area.
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The work will be funded in part by a Housing and Urban Development Community Challenge Grant, which will "assist in the transformation of these areas, leveraging existing planning efforts and significant rail investment to create safe, attractive community centers." That's from a detailed 39-page doc posted yesterday to the city's bids website, outlining what the city wants from prospective bidders. It's on the other side.