In this week's roundup of Dallas city news, the Dallas City Council was temporarily diverted from giving developers nearly $4 million in a sketchy supermarket deal. Crime is down. Pop-up parks are up. And Deep Ellum gets more murals.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
Developers are trying to get a tax break on a supermarket and apartment complex near downtown Dallas.
Located at 1823 N. Hall St., the One City View development would have apartments and a Kroger. According to NBC 5, the project is a partnership between Georgia-based Southeastern Development and Kroger, who bought what was previously public housing land in 2015.
Dallas' Economic Development Committee gave it a thumbs up, approving a $4 million property tax incentive under the absurd premise that this area is a food desert. A map on Candy's Dirt shows that there are at least three other supermarkets less than a mile from the site, and Kroger currently has a store one mile away at CityPlace.
To help them make this decision, the Economic Development Committee hired an outside consultant called the National Development Council for analysis; Raquel Favela, who was head of the Economic Development Committee for less than two years, now works at National Development Council.
The committee sent it to the Dallas City Council, who were supposed to vote on the handout on October 13. But neighborhood advocates offered objections, and that vote has been delayed until October 27.
According to a report by the Dallas Police Department, the overall city crime rate is down by 5.8 percent through the end of September, compared to the same time in 2020. However, it is taking longer for police to respond to Priority 1 calls: an average of 8 minutes, 12 seconds versus 7 minutes, 46 seconds in 2020.
The police department surpassed their goal to hire 150 new police officers, and hired 169 new officers. But they also lost 205 officers to attrition.
They also need to hire more 9-1-1 dispatchers: They're authorized to have 141, but there are currently 111 dispatchers, 33 of whom are newly hired trainees.
There's a new pop-up park called The Park at Forest-Audelia, at 9759 Forest Ln., at the northwest corner of Audelia Road. This family-friendly outdoor space is the result of an an initiative with Project Safe Neighborhood and the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, and is organized by the Better Block Foundation and community leaders in the Forest-Audelia neighborhood, who are working to show that crime can be addressed and community built through the creation of beautiful and inviting public space.
Better Block consulted with the neighbors and found their top priorities were green space, resources, activities, and a kids' play area. They've scheduled 30 days of programming from nonprofit partners and small businesses that will activate the space regularly and with purpose, especially on the weekends.
The park features sport courts, wireless internet, flexible lawn space, shade, seating, landscaping, community garden, and children's play area. Weekends will feature entertainment, arts activities, exercise classes, health and library programs, and theater workshops. A shaded stage with mural can support a full-sized band or dance group and also serves as an outdoor classroom. To see their full calendar of events, go to www.betterblock.org/forestaudelia.
They'll hold opening ceremonies on Saturday October 16 at 12:30 pm, and the park will be in operation through November 14.
Deep Ellum murals
The Deep Ellum Foundation is launching a second round in Blues Alley, a community muraling project, which will feature artwork from Dallas artists Frank Campagna, JD Moore, and Desiree Vaniecia, sponsored by Asana Partners and Madison Partners. The Deep Ellum Foundation also got a $100,000 grant from the Texas Commission of the Arts, the fourth largest grant behind the Nasher, AT&T District, and Dallas Museum of Art.