Leaders in Dallas hope leveling a neighborhood eyesore will help clean up the area around Fair Park. Tuesday morning, demolition crews are taking down Grand Apartments on Grand Avenue.
Dallas councilmembers said the building is a magnet for crime, and it had to fall before the State Fair of Texas kicks off on Friday.
Linda Smith, who has lived in the neighborhood for four decades, welcomes the destruction of the apartment building.
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“People get killed over here. There’s all kinds of mess. Mess, mess, mess,” said Smith.
The 66-unit complex has been abandoned for months. It’s been damaged by fire, repeatedly cited by the city for renovations, ravaged by looters, and councilmember Carolyn Davis said it’s been a hot-bed for crime.
“If you don’t do anything, it can surely bring down the neighborhood,” said Davis.
Davis said the city took over the property last year and started to tear down the dilapidated building last month, but the unsightly shell stood. It’s right next to a postal center and five blocks from Fair Park, Davis wants to rebuild the area not only for fair visitors, but the people who call it home.
"I’m doing this because it’s where I live. Other people live here, and we’re showing them, we’re moving forward,” said Davis.
Workers are trying to salvage what they can brick by brick. Davis said this is the final step toward cleaning up the community and taking back the neighborhood block by block.
Davis said the property is zoned for commercial business. The demolition is making way for the city’s vision to renovate up and down Grand Avenue.
“We’re going to start with a new school, houses, then we might accept H&M or something that can go here,” said Davis.
“They’re going to fix it up. I’m so thankful,” said Smith.