DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Millions in investment dollars breathing new life into an Oak Cliff shopping center.

Wynnewood Village has been a staple in the community since the 1940s, but decades of decline have taken a toll.

“…and then they tore down the place right over there,” recalls long time resident Cuppy Hancock, gesturing across the parking lot.

“Montgomery Wards was right over there,” adds Michael Everett. “And they used to have Mott’s 5 & Dime store right back over there.”

Michael Everett is among those eager to see what can happen when promise meets poverty and opportunity wins.

“It went from good to down,” says Everett who was born and raised in Oak Cliff, “and now it’s coming back up to good.”

Wynnewood Village plans

Some would argue that the redevelopment of Wynnewood is an inevitable economic bounce from the super successful nearby Bishop Arts.

Then last summer, New York-based Brixmore Property Group announced a $21 million investment in Wynnewood– to include new hardscape, signage, lighting and landscaping. They’re also anchoring future development plans with a LA Fitness and high-end megaplex theater.

The community is thrilled.

“Yes, because now they don’t have to go so far out to take their kids to the movie theaters,” said Hancock.

Even small businesses that survived the decline are supportive as well.

“It is exciting,” says Bryan Davis at His & Hers Barber Shop. The shop has been a staple at Wynnewood for some 30 years.

“At first, we were a little skeptical, because we felt like, once they started building, our prices were going to go up. They were going to drive all of the smaller [business ] people away, and bring in bigger clients to the area. But, so far, it’s been pretty good.”

Davis says he is already seeing the benefit of the bigger crowds.

“The parking lot stays full… also brings extra clients to us, a lot of people didn’t even know we were in the area.”

Heritage Oak Cliff is planning a walking tour of the shopping center to highlight upcoming changes on Saturday, March 9.