DALLAS – Some neighbors have long complained there is untapped potential in Pleasant Grove and areas across southeastern Dallas. That is why some city leaders are hoping to drastically change things over the next two years.

”Pleasant Grove is ready for development right now,” City of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told a crowd gathered at the Texas Horse Park in Pleasant Grove on Thursday.

The surprise announcement is creating some positive buzz across southern Dallas. Neighbors and city leaders are pinpointing Pleasant Grove as the next hot spot for development and growth.

Antonia Hubert grew up in the area and now serves on the Community Development Commission.

Hubert said, "I think that Pleasant Grove, over the years, has been somewhat neglected. I think that we have kind of been considered the step-child of Dallas.”

Perceptions of Pleasant Grove are on the path to change. Councilman Rick Callahan and city leaders announced a new initiative, on Thursday, called Pleasant Grove Now. It pushes the Mayor’s Grow South efforts toward Pleasant Grove, over the next two years.

"We want to intensify and intentionally set a course of action for this part of town," Callahan said.

Pleasant Grove Now focuses on increasing development, by adding more retail and sit down restaurants. Rehabbing old apartments and shopping centers is also part of that plan.

Tiffany Haley is a longtime resident and founder of Pleasant Grove a Community Striving to Thrive.

"I think if we keep the momentum, and we keep focused, and we get people to understand that Pleasant Grove is an area to invest in, I think it’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be great," Haley said.

The initiative would also include working with the local school district on workforce training programs and attracting corporations ready to bring jobs.

"We will also work to attract a major employer. That would add between 150 and 500 jobs," Callahan explained.

Earlier this year, the City of Dallas announced for the first time in history, southern Dallas grew faster than northern Dallas. However, critics say Grow South mainly centered in areas like The Cedars, North Oak Cliff, Bishop Arts, East Dallas, and parts of West Dallas, not southern Dallas proper.

"Now is the time to turn to Pleasant Grove, because we’ve seen that type of momentum take place," Mayor Rawlings said.

Neighbors say they are optimistic about the plans for Pleasant Grove.

A special advisory board and the Mayor’s Grow South team will be meeting monthly to discuss updates on Pleasant Grove Now.