City Investing In Violent Part Of East Dallas By Helping Bring Along New Supermarket

An abandoned flea market in far East Dallas could be the cornerstone for revitalizing an area near I-30 and Buckner Boulevard.

Video Transcript

- City of Dallas is hoping that a new supermarket will be the key to maybe help revitalize one of the most violent and blighted neighborhoods. CBS11's J.D. Miles has the story.

J.D. MILES: For 20 years, Michael McAlister has been cutting hair inside his far East Dallas barber shop with nothing but empty storefronts and the homeless surrounding his business.

MICHAEL MCALISTER: It's been hard. We're kind of like in between a rock and a hard place.

J.D. MILES: He's all for plans by the city of Dallas and a supermarket chain to transform the nearby Gaston Bazaar building at the corner of John West and Buckner Boulevard into the biggest retail investment this neighborhood has seen in decades. $1.3 million in city economic development money will help El Rio Grande Latin Market build its 10th location here. The supermarket chain wants to erase the stereotype of Hispanic-themed grocery stores by offering a wide selection of foods and products for any ethnic group.

JOSE PARRA: I think it's something new that will bring more jobs and stability to that area, and people will get to know what El Rio Grande Latin Market's about.

J.D. MILES: The grocery store, like this location in Mesquite, will include a taqueria and juice bar. It promises to have a selection of products, meats, and produce that will improve the quality of life for those who live nearby. But some marketing consultants worry that it won't be enough.

EDWARD RINCON: The city has a history of investing in failed projects. They've already attempted to do something similar in South Dallas.

J.D. MILES: But the district city council member believes it will work.

ADAM BAZALDUA: This is giving opportunity not only with job availability, but with wholesome food opportunity.

J.D. MILES: The city has granted a 15-year lease as a sign of its commitment to revitalize this long-overlooked neighborhood. In Dallas, J.D. Miles, CBS11 News.