Five months later, developers turn down $3M for southern Dallas grocery store

November 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

Before you read this, understand I wrote this piece two months ago and planned to publish it today. Today I called the office and was informed, despite being told information months ago, that information may be incorrect. Now I can’t get in touch with the staff person who supposedly has the correct information. We at Beneath Everything smelled some Trinity River-level bullshit and decided to publish anyway. It is a risk we are willing to take.


Two months ago I called the office of Economic Development Committee because I was curious about the food desert situation. I was actually on the website for another reason we will get to later.  Have you heard anything since July? What the heck’s been going on since that one day some white guy guilt-tripped the city and forced them to allocate up to $3 million for a grocery store in lil ole Southern Sector? 

food-map

In July of this year the city announced that it would offer THREE million to any developer to build a “high quality grocery store of at least 25,000 sq. ft. within or adjacent to a food desert.” Upon first hearing this I was very skeptical of the idea and had no faith such an offer would entice any developer. But the city of Dallas loves to give away money so what else do you expect? Apart from being skeptical,  I told some friends that this idea would not work in private. I did not say anything publically  because I did not want to pay be A) a Debbie Downer, B) viewed at as a hater and C) didn’t want to jinx progress. Beneath Everything is viewed as being hard on black officials so I stayed away from this issue and waited to see how things played out.

In a System of White Supremacy, the most black politicians – from the current President down to Birmingham’s dog catcher –  can really do is beg and plead…so crossing the “free money” option from the bucket list is doing something. To be fair, they did something.

Months have passed. What’s the conclusion of all the back-patting and hand clapping? As things are as of now, there hasn’t been a single proposal to the economic development committee.

People say it is racism, not the lack of disposable income in the area, for developers refusing to play ball. There are other factors that play into that decision making, for example, crime, which no one wants to acknowledge including C/m Thomas of the Red Bird area, and lastly the high density of blacks which is often synonymous with the previous two reasons.

food-desert-map

Literal levels to the food desert problem

Deadline for the proposals are on the “soft date” of  November 1st , according to the committee. We shall wait until then…

 

Where is that crowd? You know, that crowd who says “they”…whoever “they” is, they, them people, never clarify who the “they” is…where is the crowd who says “they” don’t care about color, it is all about dollars and sense? Well, if “they” turn down $3 million, ignore the data of the supposed disposable income in the area, and the non-existent crime…then WHAT? $10 million offer? A private, mobile fresh food van delivery service? I don’t know. I am no politician, barely an entrepreneur, and I don’t get paid to solve these types of problems. I do know these individuals signed up for this job (because, after all, it is a $60,000 job) and other cities have solved such a problem before through development deals or non-profit.


vic-parkThe real reason for visiting the site was to get more insight on a story I stumbled across on Dallas News. Yes, Dallas News is no longer free but when you’re the closest to power and occasionally carry the Mayor’s water and from time to time struggle between “south and Southern Dallas”, you have a lot of insight and good content. There was an article about a $3.5 million TIF Grant being requested by Victory Park, who recently received x amount of millions for the renovation. Now if you’re not familiar with Victory Park, it is simply the area nearby the American Airlines Center and across the highway that Design District. Basically, people who aren’t concerned with “high quality grocery store of at least 25,000 sq. ft. within or adjacent to a food desert.”

Are you seeing any problems with this? If this was dominoes, southern Dallas has four doubles and is due a rewash. Southern Dallas has been due a rewash. And everyone know it and that’s what this Grow South was supposed to be about it, minus the blatant gentrification.

vic-park-high-rise

I am not writing this to shame Victory Park residents or party goers; hell, I like the W and the bar, and the views from SkyHouse living rooms are unbelievable. I am writing this to further expose the North and South divide, and overall the general white and black divide in the city of Dallas. You are worried about decent tomatoes. They are worried about more shopping and parking space. You are concerned about a safe transit route and decent lighting in the parking lot. They are worried if the new retail space will include valet. You have been begging the city for decent grocery stores besides Sack n Save and they don’t know where to place this luxury condo high rise. You are in the damn way of progress, don’t you see?

Obviously the city has absolutely no solution to fixing this food desert problem. It will be up to the private citizens. It is up to the black churches to use their money for something useful. It is up to the black folks in Dallas with a bit of money to fund a private venture. It is up to the thinkers, and all of these black folk who show of their business management, finance, etc. degrees, to develop a tiny solution. Don’t brag about your glorified job. Start off small and target a specific area since you believe it will be a profitable venture anyway. Show those racists that, “Hey! You are missing out on easy cash flow!” Maybe, that is what it should have been, after all.

All is well on the plantation…

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