Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Lots of optimism coming from the Discovery Gardens at Dallas Fair Park where Mayor Mike Rawlings outlined his vision for the second year of Grow South, a plan to revitalize Dallas’ Southern Sector.

“The theme of this is Southern Dallas is not a charity case, but a business opportunity,” the Mayor said.

He outlined ten areas identified last year and gave them a grade in how effective they’d been. Among the highest marks: an “A” what he called a “culture of clean” for removing derelict houses, like the 250th structured demolished structure last year. And for improving parks, like the one across the street from that 250th house.  “Creating a sense of clean makes a neighborhood attractive  (and) one of the reasons to move into.”

He awarded an A- for West Dallas, for an economic boost predicted with the opening of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

“Definitely the bridge,” agreed John Sims of the Four Corners Brewery.  “I think the proximity between downtown and Oak Cliff is big, because there’s a lot of traffic that goes back and forth this way. There’s another development that’s going to open up between Sylvan and 30 here in the next year or so so I think we’re going to have kind of an interesting corridor and new restaurants and shops and kind of a new focal point for the city over here.”

The Four Corners Brewery makes local beers for inn and grills and is one of those new economic additions, opening last November.  It was the booming West side hooked the owners on moving there.  “So we probably could have been open nine months to a year earlier in some random warehouse but we thought this building and this development was worth waiting for,” Sims told CBS 11 News.

But the mayor gave a “C” to the Lancaster Corridor in South Oak Cliff. There are economic enticements in place but investment has been slow.  Still, Steve Levine says he “loves the concept.”

Levine and his family co-own Midway Auto Supplies, on the  same Lancaster Road address for nearly 50-years.

While there is development around the VA Hospital, he thinks more private enterprise is needed to stimulate jobs.

“Our biggest problem in this neck of the woods—deep South Oak Cliff here— is we have so many people that are unemployed or under employed.”   He adds, “Lancaster Corridor has been ignored for so many years that whatever positive can come to fruition is great.”  And he observes that people with paychecks can spend more to stimulate economic growth.

Just today there was movement in Central Oak Cliff where the Jim Lake Companies announcved they will re-develop the block where the Oak Cliff Tower is located…including retail, residences and a brew pub.

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