A Second Chance for Second Avenue?

One of the conceptual sketches for the Second Avenue makeover

Four years back, we wrote about Edward "Tex" Harris' dream of turning Second Avenue, a worn-out stretch of road next to Fair Park, into Dallas's Beale Street. At the time, the Fair Park-area native guesstimated that such an effort would take some $75 million, which hasn't stopped him from pursuing his goal -- to the point where, on a regular basis, he sends out e-mail updates concerning increased interest in making his dream a reality. To that point, in a few minutes the city council's Housing Committee will meet to discuss, among other things, proposed redevelopment along Spring Avenue -- plans that do, in fact, include Second Avenue, as well as the Dallas Housing Authority's Frazier Courts Public Housing Community and the Jubilee, Owenwood and Dolphin Heights neighborhood improvements.

Notes the committee's briefing, the Second Ave. do-over would "include afrocentric-oriented entertainment services, retail and restaurants," and some federal money has been committed to the project. Thus far, $148,000 in U.S. Housing and Urban Development Economic Development Initiative grant money has been committed to the planning process, while another $198,000 in HUD EDI funds has been "secured for project development." No doubt, the city would like the Second Avenue project to compliment other neighborhood makeovers in the area, where millions of private and public dollars have been spent in recent years. --Robert Wilonsky