Dallas awarded $600,000 in EPA funds to revitalize South Dallas, Fair Park
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the City of Dallas a Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant worth $600,000.00 targeting the revitalization of the South Dallas/Fair Park area.
Mayor Eric Johnson accepted the award on behalf of the City of Dallas from Ken McQueen, EPA Region 6 Administrator, on a joint conference call featuring Congressional representative Eddie Bernice Johnson. Also, present were non-profit members from the City formed coalition: The Real Estate Council (TREC) Foundation, St. Phillips School and Community Center, and the Lone Star Justice Alliance (LSJA). The grant was one of three awarded to Texas cities.
“I welcome EPA’s decision for making this wise investment in South Dallas Fair Park Area and look forward to the positive impact these new federal dollars will have on communities with brownfield sites ready for cleanup and redevelopment,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30). “I also congratulate the Brownfields Assessment Coalition for working together on this effort and securing this EPA grant that is critical to cleaning up our environment and creating the necessary conditions to further draw new businesses and people to our community,”
“We are proud to partner with the EPA, and we are thrilled to receive this grant, which will help facilitate community-oriented revitalization of brownfields in Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “I am particularly excited about the potential of this tool to help us reverse economic disinvestment and health disparities in South Dallas caused in part by longstanding environmental hazards. Despite these myriad challenges and historic neglect, the people of South Dallas have built a vibrant community. Inclusive efforts such as this one are important to further strengthening that sense of community, restoring economic vitality, and improving public health.”
The EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant is designed to address properties, called brownfields, with actual or perceived contamination, that often complicates the reuse and development of the infrastructure or the land. The City-led coalition will utilize the grant funds to revitalize priority brownfields sites. Thereby helping to address the socioeconomic challenges facing the community. The primary target areas include the 277-acre Fair Park campus and surrounding neighborhoods, the two-mile-long MLK Jr. Corridor and the 72-acre neighborhood surrounding St. Philip’s School and Community Center. A preliminary brownfields inventory identifies over 100 suspected contaminated properties within the target area. The grant makes possible site inventory, identification and assessment of contamination, as well as information delivery and engagement.
“With signature spaces like Victory Plaza and thousands of acres of redeveloped properties, Dallas has shown that great things can start with a Brownfields grant from EPA,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “This grant will provide more opportunities to revitalize derelict properties and reinvest in local communities.”
Three specific areas are outlined in the $600,000.00 grant: Fair Park with the Ford Assembly Plant and City-owned property on Oak Ln., St. Phillips Focus Area with Auto Repair Shops on Pennsylvania Ave., Proctor and Gamble Industrial Complex and derelict retail buildings on Holmes St., the MLK Corridor Focus Area with Historic Ford Theater and former Jim’s Carwash on MLK Jr. Blvd. It is anticipated the grant will be available for use by October 2020.