We here at DC9 at Night could go on and on about our love for Deep Ellum. What's great about the neighborhood is its concentrated number of music venues, local businesses and its, well, character. The well-worn buildings accent the fact that the neighborhood is truly one of Dallas' richest in history, and it's thriving again with places like Off the Record and The Bomb Factory having opened in recent months. The trick, of course, is maintaining that identity while continuing to grow. But the city of Dallas wants to potentially ruin that for you with major development deals.
The latest development deal that might head to the neighborhood is an $8 million redevelopment that was signed off on by the City of Dallas Economic Development Committee on Monday. The deal would give Westdale Properties incentives worth more than $1.5 million to "revitalize" the block that intersects at Malcolm X Boulevard and Main Street. The plan will add 30,000 square feet of retail space to the area.
Though we're very thankful that Westdale Properties leases to The Bomb Factory and Wit's End, they've also brought us Deep Ellum Lofts, 3200 Main and more luxury apartment buildings that make Deep Ellum, for lack of wanting to use a better term, expensive as shit to live in. It's also forcing a neighborhood gem like Bucks Burnett's 8-track museum to go out of business.
What is going to occupy those 30,000 square feet of retail space? We can only hope it's not a Baby Gap, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters or any nonsense like that. Though this could end up being a great move for Deep Ellum in the future, we're afraid it won't be long before Deep Ellum has more Uptown in its blood. If they're locally run businesses that will at least be a good start.
Last year 42 Real Estate's plans to reupholster Deep Ellum were released. The plan involves 65,000 square feet of commercial space and 25,000 square feet in service lots in Deep Ellum. A thriving neighborhood is bound to attract such interest, but where will it lead? What we do know is that the roads and sidewalks have been garbage in Deep Ellum for what seems like 5,043 years. When will things like that be fixed, City of Dallas Economic Development Committee?
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