Controversial Bishop Arts Grocery Subsidy Approved

Compromise reduces city support

NBC 5 News

Controversy dissolved Wednesday over the Dallas city subsidy plan for a Royal Blue Grocery Store in the Oak Cliff Bishop Arts area with near-unanimous approval from the City Council.

The store that’s getting ready to open on Davis Street requested $700,000 in economic development money from the city, half of it a grant and the rest a loan. 

Critics complained there are already two other full-service grocers nearby and that the Bishop Arts area is thriving without city subsidies.

Jose Tinajera who runs a used car lot across the street said longtime Oak Cliff residents can’t afford the high prices that upscale Royal Blue charges at other Dallas area stores.

“Honestly I don’t think we need that. Whoever wants to open it can open it if they want to, but I don’t think we should give them a part of the taxpayers’ money to help them open their grocery store,” he said.

Dallas City Council Member Chad West who represents the neighborhood requested a change in the proposal to eliminate the grant and limit the support to only a $350,000 city loan.

West said the store must create at least 26 jobs paying at least $15 an hour along with other requirements for the city money.  He said the store would provide services that are not currently available in the area.

West promised to promote Dallas Economic Development programs in other neighborhoods in the future, where businesses may not be aware of what kind of support is available from the city.

The vote was 14-to-1 in favor of the compromise with Council Member Carolyn Arnold the only no vote.

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