DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Three months after a tornado tore through North Dallas, most rebuilding efforts have yet to begin. And that wait is costly for small business owners whose doors are still a long way from reopening.
“It’s pretty surreal,” said Frank Nuccio, owner of My Family’s Pizza. “We’re in business one day and then, all of a sudden, chaos hits.”
Today, the chaos has calmed, and what’s replaced it is time.
“I’m just so bored,” Nuccio said. “I have so much time on my hands that I’ve been binge watching Survivor for the past couple of weeks. I’m actually thinking about applying for that show. I’ve got like a year, year-and-a-half with nothing to do.”
The waiting game is a familiar refrain in North Dallas – waiting for a Presidential Disaster Declaration that might or might not come. Waiting for insurance rulings and city permits.
“People have suffered a lot, and we want to be able to rebuild as quickly as possible,” said Dallas City Council Member Jennifer Staubach Gates.
Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates said she has pushed the city to expedite demolition permits, including the strip where Nuccio’s My Family’s Pizza stood. She said there’s only one piece of the engineering plan remaining before that permit is issued.
“We want to be able to get people back to work. We want to get these properties back on our tax rolls, and providing the amenities, the neighborhood services,” she said.
A spokesperson for Regency Centers, the developer of Preston Oaks, said construction of the new center will take around a year. But the wrecking ball comes first, and, when it does, Nuccio wants a front row seat.
“I hope that they let me know, because I’d like to stand right here and watch it all happen, death and rebirth,” he said. “The natural cycle of life.”
Nuccio says he will return to this shopping center. The developer said they will welcome any tenant who wants to return.