The Trinity Park Conservancy purchased the old Dawson State Jail from the State of Texas and hopes it will become the anchor for a new Trinity Park. The purchase price was $3 million for the jail that closed years ago.
The group intends to make the structure on Commerce Street as the anchor for a new Trinity Park with restrooms, bike rentals, maybe restaurants and park offices.
The plan for the park between the levees is still in flux and not yet approved by the US Army Corp of Engineers, but owning this real estate is an indication of progress.
Records from the state show an entity controlled by Developer Jack Matthews bought the building. He said Wednesday that he did it to flip to the Conservancy at no profit.
Matthews said the building is very sturdy but requires big alterations.
The site has no parking of its own so some deal with neighboring property owners may be needed in the future to make the building useful to visitors.
An earlier plan to make the jail into a homeless housing facility fell through and the state put the building back on the market.
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The Dallas County Jail will still be across Commerce Street but the Conservancy intends to make the Dawson Jail one less detraction for the proposed park.