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DALLAS A Dallas City Council member is confident that a development frozen by the recession will soon see movement.

Eight years ago, Bill Blaydes who was then a member of the Council worked to create the Lake Highlands Town Center, a 70-acre mixed-use development at the corner of Skillman Street and Walnut Hill Lane.

'It was a matter of waiting and making sure that the developer and the rest of them, quite frankly, didn't go bankrupt and we accomplished that goal,' said District 10 Council Member Jerry Allen.

When the economy went under, construction froze. Today the site is mostly vacant.

'We were going through one of the worst economic times that this country has seen since the Great Depression,' Blaydes said. 'There was no money to do anything with.'

Fast forward eight years, and on Wednesday, the developer turned down $13.5 million in federal assistance made available by the Council.

'At the end of the day, there's always strings attached,' Allen said. 'I feel like that they felt like they're strong enough to move on without federal assistance.'

Allen says the developer is working on updated plans that Council will review in coming months. Plans include retail stores, restaurants and housing units. Allen expects the first businesses to open at Lake Highlands Town Center in about a year.

'It was a dream I had that I want to see completed for this community,' Blaydes said.

E-mail srobertson@wfaa.com

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