An area of Garland with the highest number of empty buildings in the city is getting a critical boost, after neighbors say it has been plagued with crime and graffiti.
The Garland Foundation for Development and a developer recently purchased property at the old Target at Centerville Marketplace in Garland. The two hope to restore an area that's dealing with the highest retail vacancy rate in the city.
Residents like Claud George, who has lived in south Garland for 46 years, has seen new problems coming in as stores continue to move out of the area.
"We've seen graffiti, we've seen rodent problems, a lot of undesirable folks coming into the area that shouldn't be here," said George. "The area just doesn't have anything to draw anybody to."
The city hopes with the purchase of the property, the area located on Centerville Road and Interstate 635 will experience a turnaround.
The DPS Mega Center and new restaurants have recently moved into the area, but city leaders know there's still more work to be done.
"It's key because it's a gateway," said City Council member John Willis. "The Centerville Target site is the last large component left in this area for redevelopment. Site assembly is the biggest challenge in these kinds of redevelopment efforts."
At this point, the city is negotiating with the Texas Department of Transportation for access to the shopping area, from a $10 million dollar I-635 service road project that is still under construction.
"That means it has direct access to about 200,000 cars a day,” said Willis. “It's the only site in Centerville Marketplace with that kind of direct access, so it's important to get this site redeveloped.”
Locals believe the new businesses are vital to the area providing an economic boost.