Property owners in some Dallas neighborhoods are being deluged with requests to sell to investors.
Soaring values with tax increases to match are making it harder for some who refuse to sell to stay in those places.
Tabitha Wheeler-Reagan checked her phone as spoke with NBC5.
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“And I put in property, and about 144 messages popped up,” she said. “It’s constant, constant, constant.”
She owns property along Malcolm X Boulevard where her first business was located. She’d hoped to see it become new affordable housing to help South Dallas neighbors, but some of the investor requests to sell might not produce what people in her neighborhood consider affordable.
Much of Uptown Dallas, which has become very expensive, was once like the areas near downtown that investors are seeking now.
Real Estate Broker Traswell Livingston said the urban core of Dallas is very desirable.
“And South Dallas particularly is one of the untapped, undeveloped areas of our Metroplex,” Livingston said. “There are pros and cons of another Uptown.”
South Dallas property owner Ken Smith said he is also deluged with offers to sell.
“It makes me angry because what I think it really means is, there are vultures waiting to feed on the remains of what is in South Dallas,” he said.
One of the cons that Smith sees is property values soaring as much as 300% in some cases, with older properties assessed at the new home values, for huge increases.
“If you are a homeowner and on a fixed income, how are you going to pay that extra that extra $2,000,” Smith said.
In South Dallas, demolition is underway of the old Highway 175 S.M. Wright Freeway, to make it a tree line boulevard instead.
Wheeler-Reagan said neighbors worry that could be a location for Uptown Dallas style tall apartments.
“We’ve already moved forward with some gentrification but how do we slow it down,” she said.
The S.M. Wright boulevard project was billed as a way to correct the ills of the past when construction of the original freeway overpasses cut through the established South Dallas neighborhood.
“There is the potential for development,” Smith said. “It is up to us, those of us who live here, to be sure we get the development that we would like to see and it’s on us if we do not stay vigilant in this area.”
Community meetings have been held and more are planned.
Neighbors are looking to city leaders for help combatting gentrification so existing residents will not be forced out. Dallas has taken some steps but these neighbors say more are needed.
“And it’s not just South Dallas, it’s East Dallas, Bishop Arts, anywhere they’re out for gentrification, we’re having these issues,” Wheeler-Reagan said. “A lot of it has to go through Austin but they are looking at what kind of ordinance they can put together.”
Real Estate Broker Traswell Livingston is also the President and CEO of AIDS Services of Dallas (ASD), which makes him a non-profit developer, too.
ASD has just broken ground on new affordable housing in Southern Dallas for people with AIDS.
“And I think it’s only through relationships with non-profits and communities that cities can plan the development, so it doesn’t gentrify the community,” Livingston said.
He said the goal should be mixed-income development as older neighborhoods change.