DALLAS — There is some new energy surrounding an historic neighborhood in South Dallas. Families in South Boulevard Park Row say new interest from young professionals is building a new sense of momentum in the area.
Some of the huge homes and bungalows in this unique South Dallas community near Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard date back to 1913.
"Growing up here in South Dallas, this was a jewel," said Kendra Johnson.
Johnson is among a growing number of young professionals now calling the South Boulevard Park Row neighborhood home.
"The houses, they are very big and just pretty," Johnson explained. "This is an opportunity."
Some of the new residents in South Boulevard Park Row recently organized a progressive dinner. It's a social event where people go from house to house, eating, and discussing what is making the historic area a new hot spot. It was their way of creating another unique event to energize and inform.
"We've dared to be here," said Traswell Livingston. He is a realtor who has been in South Boulevard Park Row neighborhood with his young family for six years. They have taken notice of new millennials moving in.
"It's helped with the energizing," said Livingston. "Just the fun, part of being neighbors. We needed that breath of fresh air."
Many of the unique homes in South Boulevard Park Row used to belong to some of Dallas' most prominent Jewish leaders.
"This is one of the parts of Dallas that has an amazing history," said neighbor Lincoln Steffens.
During the 1950's, the neighborhood started to experience a demographic shift. African-American educators, lawyers, merchants, doctors and other professionals began moving in.
Steffens says young professionals are becoming attracted to the area's charm, character and proximity to Downtown.
"When I look in my backyard, I can see downtown," said Steffens. "It takes about five to seven minutes to get anywhere in the city."
As contractors and new home owners work to restore more homes in the area, neighbors say the momentum is extending around South Dallas. A few blocks away, the city is sprucing up Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The Trinity Forest and Cedar Crest Bridge are also becoming attractive gateways into the area.
"Oh, it's just like a whole new city," said Johnson.