South Dallas residents are concerned about plans to build retail space in a “food desert” when residents and businesses lack a grocery store.
The vacant space is located in the 3000 block of Simpson Stuart Road, approximately 1 mile west of Interstate 45, south of Paul Quinn College. The space is positioned in a part of Dallas that the U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies as a “food desert.”
The closest grocery store in the area is far from the corner of Bonnie View and Simpson Stuart. A small grocer used to be in that area, but failed.
A construction company is offering to build a $5 million grocery development in return for a $1.5 million incentive from the city. The construction company would then own the property paid for by taxpayers.
Some businesses say they are being excluded.
“And we should all be a part of the plan because we know what the community needs and we have a great rapport with the community,” said business owner Subrina Brenham.
The district’s councilman says no other developer has offered to build the much needed grocery story, but the plan is still under review at city hall.
“It’s our job to listen to the plan and to the proposal,” said Dallas Councilmember Tennell Atkins. “I’m not going to turn a developer away.”