Dallas City Council Shows Continued Support for Red Bird Development

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The Dallas City Council is showing continued support for important business development at the old Red Bird Mall site.

It's part of a promise the city said it's committing to in an effort to keep jobs and opportunities flowing in southern Dallas.

The discussion at Wednesday's City Council meeting centered around the business process outsourcing center at the site that has helped bring hundreds of jobs to the area in the past year.

In 2019, the city approved a $2 million economic development grant for Chime Solutions -- a human resources and staffing firm -- to expand its business at the site at Highway 67 and Interstate 20.

The company said it breathed life into a dead mall in its home base of Atlanta so it wanted to do the same in southern Dallas as part of its expansion plan.

They built a 51,000 square foot facility and filled it with full-time call center jobs that came with benefits.

The City Council said many of the people they ended up hiring live in the area, many of whom were on vouchers or lived in Dallas housing projects.

"During this pandemic, 1,300 new jobs around Red Bird Mall. Most of those people within a 1- to 5-mile radius. And they're still hiring another 250 jobs which is a great deal,” said District Councilman Tennell Atkins.

However, since the pandemic, a lot of those employees have been working from home instead of at the center.

At the Dallas City Council meeting on Wednesday, the council agreed to amend their earlier agreement with the company that involves expansion requirements as part of their grant terms.

The city also agreed to an additional grant installment to help the company create hundreds of more jobs in the next few years.

“The economic development team can attest to how this is a better deal for the city. When you break it down to the number of jobs and amount of money involved, this modification is an improvement and better for us,” said District 14 Councilman David Blewett.

The Chime project is the first of its kind in southern Dallas in at least 20 years, but it's part of the even bigger "Reimagine RedBird" development that is taking shape there.

The entire site is currently undergoing a $220 million project that's transforming the mall into a mixed-use development with new options for shopping, dining, entertainment, affordable housing, office space and more.

Projects that are still in the works include UT Southwestern and Children's Health medical offices, a conference hotel and a 300-unit upscale apartment complex that will charge rent based on a person's income.

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