DALLAS - By 2008, the Turner Courts Housing Project was so bad DART buses wouldn't stop and police preferred not to.
But now a new, $50-million chapter is being written in South Dallas at the site of a demolished development, designed to rejuvenate Bexar Street.
The groundbreaking Thursday felt less like a government announcement and more like a religious revival, complete with a gospel choir. The excitement about the new Buckeye Trails Commons had Mayor Mike Rawlings in a spiritual mood.
"So now it's time to celebrate Easter early and bring this thing to life," he said.
Anchored by a mix of $22 million in government funds and private investment, Buckeye Trails will have about 320 rental units and 25 single-family homes. It replaces Turner Courts, long neglected and demolished in 2008.
"I expect, this property, when this is done could be mostly occupied by people who used to live here," said Maryann Russ with The Dallas Housing Authority. "Who want to come back. Still have roots in this community."
So, what will it look like? Perhaps, a lot like the north end of Bexar Street, where significant investment has turned a difficult place to live into a nice place to call home.
Roosevelt Tyson, has lived in this neighborhood his whole life, including Turner Courts. He's excited.
"It'll be nice if it turns out the way it should, you know," he said. "Everything is right. To me, it will be nice."
But, based on his life experience, he knows building something nice is one thing. Keeping it nice is another.
That's what he's hoping for.