OAK CLIFF (CBSDFW.COM) – Business owners in Oak Cliff are banding together tonight after new plans surfaced for a massive new development that would bulldoze their shops.
“It’s progress at the sacrifice of a soul of a city, said Meri Dahlke, co-owner of Ten Bells Tavern.
The proposed development is called the Bishop Arts Gateway. If approved, many homes and small businesses along 7th Street would be demolished; knocked down and replaced by five story buildings.
“I think they see the opportunity to capitalize on doing maximum square foot for a profit on the back of the people who did the hard work to get people to come here in the first place,” said Dahlke.
Three commercial buildings are proposed for development on the very land where Ten Bells Tavern is located.
Dahlke and other business owners have joined forces in opposition of the development and in hopes of saving their livelihoods.
“The houses, the other small buildings that are like ours, 500 to 600 square feet, are going to be worth the dirt they sit on,” said Kenneth Denson of Red Pegasus Comics.
Denson said the developers, Alamo Manhattan, recently held a meet-and-greet but didn’t welcome any questions.
Alamo Manhattan declined an on-camera interview with CBS 11 News, saying they’re “evaluating the project”.
Both Denson and Dahlke said they’re not going anywhere – development or not.
“They’re killing a lot of good people in the neighborhood. I wish they could look outside their pocketbooks and see that it’s real people involved in this.”
The proposed development has already gone before the Dallas urban design peer review panel but it’s unclear when it could go before city officials next.
Meanwhile business owners said all they can ask is for their current customers to continue supporting them.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)