After City Forced Him to Move, Dallas Auto Mechanic Still Fighting to Get Back to Ross Avenue

Hinga Mbogo's small auto repair shop on Ross Avenue today sits empty, another vestige of the days when the then-seedy stretch of road was a hodgepodge of used-car dealerships and body shops.Near the vacant property, another new apartment complex is going up not far from new townhouses and near a new bar and a new restaurant and new federal credit union. The former Dallas ISD headquarters next door is awaiting its reincarnation as an apartment complex. The corridor these days is beginning to resemble the "gateway to the Arts district" that the City Council envisioned years ago. And Mbogo longs to be back there, where he spent more than 30 years building his business.Instead, he and his crew toil away in a shop he leases that sits two miles and seemingly a world away from Ross Avenue. Outside, crowds of homeless people congregate underneath Interstate 30 near the Austin Street Shelter and CitySquare's Opportunity Center.Mbogo's new digs aren't all bad. Hinga's Automotive on Chestnut Street is bigger and bustling with so many cars that he had to hire more people. It's just not what he wants, and he vows to keep fighting until he can go back to Ross Avenue.Mbogo became symbol for property rights advocates nationally last year when he fought Dallas City Hall last year and lost a zoning case. He is still holding out hope that he will ultimately prevail."The fight has not been fair, but that's beside the point," Mbogo said. "The city -- they don't care about the little guy. They're going to do what they're going to do.  Continue reading...

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