By Robbie Owens

by Robbie Owens | CBS 11

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A long-neglected neighborhood just south of Downtown Dallas called The Bottom District is poised for a multi-million dollar “come up.”

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And supporters say it’s about time.

“I was here before the streets were paved, before the lights were up and I was already sold,” says an excited Mekeyas Newaye, whose new home is already under construction.

He says he wasn’t deterred by the community’s poverty scarred past, or the work that remains to overcome it. “It’s just a glimpse of what the future holds and I’m excited to be a part of it, and to help paint on a blank canvas.”

His soon-to-be Bottom District neighbor agrees.

“I want to be a part of the community,” says Derek Washington. “Then with the skyline? Oh, you can’t beat that. I walk out my front door and see the skyline? I’m sold.”

Local civic and business leaders tossed shovelfuls of dirt today in a ceremonial groundbreaking at Washington’s new home.

But the groundwork had been happening for years to bring the $110 million revitalization plan to fruition– building on the City of Dallas’ investment in improving the community’s infrastructure.

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The goal is to build some 400 new homes, priced from the 200s.

“If i keep going on and on, I may very well cry because this is a day to remember,” shared Dallas District 4 Council Member Carolyn King Arnold.

It wouldn’t be the first time. Arnold once taught at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center– home to Dallas ISD’s crowd jewel high school regularly recognized as being one of the very best high schools in the country.

That’s despite its location in the poverty-scarred neighborhood.

“I taught,” shared Arnold, “for over 20 something years. And through the years, just cried every time I looked out the window at the media center and looked down in the Bottom, just to see the loss.”

Finally, though, things are looking up at The Bottom.

“When I envision what a successful urban redevelopment should look like? Should feel like? It’s this,” says Effie Dennison with Texas Capital Bank. “Decent affordable housing, kids would have yards to play in, Moms could take a stroller and walk down the street with city skyline as a backdrop, parents could have shorter commutes.”

Now, The Bottom is a good bet for the future– building on a once prosperous past.

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“As I’m learning about the history here, I just want more and more of it,” says Washington. “It’s really rich here.”