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TREC Announces Finalists for Dallas Catalyst Project

TREC members will vote for one of these three projects next week, Nov. 14, to be the recipient of the new three-year, $1 million grant initiative.

On November 14, members of The Real Estate Council will vote for one of three projects recently selected as finalists for the Dallas Catalyst Project. The winning project will receive $1 million in grants from The Real Estate Council Foundation over the next three years, as well as pro bono professional services work from member companies.

Meet the Finalists

Forest Theater Project 

As residents have gradually moved out of the Fair Park neighborhood, the area has been largely neglected, resulting in decaying infrastructure and a spike in poverty, crime, homelessness, and blight. St. Philip’s School and Community Center, CitySquare, and Cornerstone Baptist Church have proposed to revitalize the iconic Forest Theater and a 12,000 square-foot retail space on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

[File photo]

Through the project, which includes the installation of more aesthetically-pleasing landscaping and improved lighting as well as the creation of a communal space using the canopy of the I-45 South bridge, the applicants hope to create a new community asset that will drive economic growth to the area.

Golden Seeds Project

Roughly 70 percent of single-family houses in the South Dallas neighborhood known as The Bottom are vacant or poorly maintained due to dwindling population in recent years.

The Golden SEEDS Foundation, through a partnership with top Dallas Independent School District schools N W Harlee Early Childhood Academy and Yvonne Ewell Townview Magnet Center as well as the City of Dallas’ Eloise Lundy Recreation Center, is looking to change that by renovating houses there and making the homeowning process easier for buyers.

The applicants are also proposing to protect current homeowners in need of major repairs who wish to remain in the community by helping them stay in “host houses” while work is completed.

Mill City Renaissance Project 

Named for the twine and cotton mill owned and run by African-Americans in the early twentieth century, Mill City is a historically significant neighborhood near Fair Park.

But like much of South Dallas in recent decades, Mill City has experienced a decline marked by deteriorating buildings, crumbling infrastructure, limited investment, unemployment, poverty, and crime.

Led by the South Dallas Innercity Development Corporation, the Mill City Renaissance partners, Texas Trees Foundation and North Texas Capacity Builders, the Mill City Renaissance Project would continue the neighborhood’s revitalization efforts by employing a broad front of new housing development, home rehabilitation, energy efficiency upgrades, work readiness training, job creation and the installation of environmentally important trees and plantings in public areas as well as a half-acre gateway garden.

Dallas Catalyst Project voting is open to all TREC members. Register to vote here.

About the Dallas Catalyst Project

TREC Foundation introduced the Dallas Catalyst Project in April to Ignite Positive Community Change. It will combine the efforts of several partnering organizations to tackle a significant challenge within a defined geographic area in Dallas. More than 70 nonprofits attended an information session in May and nearly 40 projects were submitted with the combined effort of more than 150 nonprofits. 

This article first appeared on www.recouncil.com.

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Bill San Antonio is the Marketing Communications Coordinator at The Real Estate Council (TREC).

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