Tammy Mutasa, Garland Reporter
The City of Garland will use a $100,000 federalgrant to study how to redevelop the Centerville Marketplace off I-635 and Centerville Road.
Changes could be on the way to a Garland retail area that has been on the decline.
The city will use a $100,000 matching federal grant to study how to redevelop the Centerville Marketplace area off Interstate 635 and Centerville Road.
Store after store have left over the years in South Garland, and residents have taken notice.
"I've lived here my whole life and, as far as I can tell, everything has gone down the drainer," Ashely Davis said. "Target is gone, Kroger, a bunch of grocery stores and everything is moving."
"I noticed a lot of the stores have been closed, been closing all the time," Maria Muniz said. "And new stores open, but they don't last a long time."
The city is now trying to figure out how exactly to revitalize the area with the grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"What we're looking for is how to best redevelop this area, be it with some residential, some commercial, to best take advantage of the I-635 opportunities, the Centerville opportunities in the area," Councilman John Willis said.
The city said in the Centerville Marketplace area, the number of vacant retail stores is twice as much as the rest of the city at 20 percent.
The area once boasted a mega apartment development. But when it was foreclosed in the 1990s, the decline got worse, and the city bought the land from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for $1.
Signs of new life as new restaurants and a Walmart have opened in the area. The city hopes for anything that will last longer than what its seen.
"I hope they will last long, it will be more convenient to stay here than deal with traffic in the other bigger cities," Muniz said.
The Centerville Marketplace area consists of 1.4 million square feet of retail space.