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