Oak Cliff Gateway TIF expansion Would Help Neighbors

Booming North Oak Cliff in Dallas may soon share the wealth to help a long-overlooked neighborhood nearby. 

A Dallas City Council Committee Monday endorsed the expansion of the Oak Cliff Gateway Tax Increment Financing District, which began as a way to support redevelopment in far North Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts.

The expansion would add the South Beckley Avenue and Clarendon Drive sections adjacent to the planned deck park over I-35E R.L. Thornton Freeway. The new park would be in the middle of the expanded TIF district.  

“I’ve heard about the deck park and I think it’s a good thing,” said Cyrus Shah, owner of PCS Tax and Auto Loan on South Beckley.

Next door to Shah’s firm is Wingfield Burgers, a 31-year-old institution on South Beckley.  Customers come from miles around, including Talya Moore from Duncanville.

“I only come over here for the Wingfield burgers,” she said.

The neighborhood has issues, like potholes in the street right in front of the two businesses.

“I think this neighborhood could use some improvement. We could use the same monies that are going to North Dallas, East Dallas, etc. The businesses here have the same goals as everyone else. We want to succeed. We want to provide good incomes for our employees,” Wingfield owner Tony Woods said.

The business owners said they had noticed street improvements further north on Beckley, but on their stretch which lacks lane markings on the pavement.

“So, you get people running into each other all the time, a lot of accidents,” Shah said.

The expanded TIF district could help support private and public investment in South Beckley with the taxes collected in North Oak Cliff.

“That’s true equity and we’ve been talking about it for years and we’re finally seeing it here,” Councilman Omar Narvaez said.

The Dallas City Council Economic Development Committee questioned city staff before sending the plan forward to the full Dallas City Council.

“This is a major step today, a major. It is past the Jolly Green Giant’s footprints,” Council Member Carolyn King Arnold said.

Her District 4 includes the South Beckley and Clarendon Drive neighborhoods adjacent to the zoo and the planned deck park. She requested the expansion and inclusion proposed Monday.

Woods said the tax district follows through on commitments to help make the new park a benefit to existing neighbors and to attract more visitors to the area.

“It’s going to improve our customer base and it’s going to expose us to more people who haven’t seen our home page nor experienced our food here,” Wood said. “It’s also a good thing for the city because it allows us to put more back in sales taxes. So, I think it’s a win-win for everyone.”

A public hearing and full Dallas City Council vote on the expansion is planned for Nov. 9.

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