4
| Housing |

Three Years After City's $850K, Lancaster Corridor Apartments Still Abandoned, Choked With Weeds

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The Oakglen Apartments are, for lack of a better term, a craphole. Long-abandoned with boarded-up windows and, unless City Hall made good on its promise to mow the city-owned property on Wednesday after WFAA ran a story about neighbors' complaints, completely choked with brush and weeds.

It's not supposed to be like this. We don't mean in the abstract sense that apartments are built to be inhabited or that property owners, city of Dallas included, are supposed to keep their properties up to code. We mean there were concrete plans, and that those plans were funded with $850,000 in the city's HUD money. Today, the 64-unit Oakglen Apartments are supposed to look something more like this:

Piecing together exactly what happened isn't easy, as neither the city nor the developer has returned our calls, but the broad strokes are easy to follow. On February 23, 2011, the City Council approved the loan to a North Carolina-based nonprofit called Builders of Hope, a rookie on the Dallas housing scene that should not be confused with the well-established, well-respected local nonprofit Builders of Hope CDC.

Builders of Hope's Dallas arm was EcoLogical Community Builders, which was established by Oak Cliff stalwarts Zac Lytle and the late Bennett Miller. The group also got $200,000 to rehab residences on Starks Avenue in the Bexar Street corridor into senior and workforce housing. Aside from the DISD portable they repurposed into a house, that also failed to get off the ground.

Property records show that BOH/ECB did indeed buy the Oakglen property with the HUD funds, but the rest of the proposed $2.6 million redevelopment never happened. Why? Perhaps the property needed more work than the nonprofit thought. Perhaps rehabbing properties in blighted parts of southern Dallas is a different beast than in a gentrifying Oak Cliff. In any case, the city's back to square one.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.