DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A major effort to improve one of the most violent parts of Dallas will begin with the city investing in a supermarket.

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

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It’s been decades since the shopping and retail area off Buckner Boulevard and John West Road had anything but empty storefronts or short-lived businesses.

Now the City of Dallas is putting up $1.3 million in economic development funds to try to turn this neighborhood around, starting with renovating the former Gaston Bazaar building and parking lot.

It will become the tenth location for El Rio Grande Latin Market.

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Former Gaston Bazaar building and parking lot (J.D. Miles – CBS 11)

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.

The city has previously invested in bringing supermarkets to neighborhoods that need them with mixed results, but El Rio Grande’s operators say they are committed to making the the city’s investment pay off.

“I’ve lived in Dallas pretty much 20 years,” said Jose Parra, Assistant Manager of El Rio Grande Latin Market. “I’ve seen that area at its lowest lowest. 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 is about.”

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The goal is to have the new supermarket open by the end of the year.

The District 7 City Council Member Adam Bazaldua, believes it will work.
This is in a very targeted high violent crime area of Dallas and it correlates to where we have a low investment in the communities of crime, so this is giving opportunity not only with job opportunity, but with wholesome food opportunity,” he said.
The city has granted a 15-year lease as a sign of its commitment to revitalize this long overlooked neighborhood.