Red Bird returns: Dallas City Council approves $22M for mall redevelopment
The Dallas City Council unanimously approved a $22 million city investment in the Red Bird Mall redevelopment. The vote advances a key piece of Mayor Mike Rawlings’ GrowSouth initiative.
Rawlings in a tweet after the vote Wednesday called the decision to finance Red Bird Mall's redevelopment “a victory for southern Dallas and the entire city.”
The money would come from past bond elections and city grants and loans to fund infrastructure, including roads and utilities for new development around the old mall.
The funding would support a dense mixture of new retail, office, apartment and hotel space built on the mall's sprawling parking lots, as well as a renovation of the old mall. The total project cost is pegged at $157 million.
Peter Brodsky, the investor and developer who bought most of the Southwest Center Mall in September 2018, has additionally assembled 78 acres of land for the project at Highway 67, Interstate 20 and Camp Wisdom Road.
The state plans to build a new I-20 freeway feeder road to improve access to the property and the mall will return to its original Red Bird name. Show Full Story
Brodsky says in an online pitch for the project that the goal is to turn a dying mall into a vibrant neighborhood center and “create a new and authentic heart to South Dallas.”
About $10 million of the redevelopment budget will come from money from the city's past three bond elections. Another $12 million is a public-private partnership loan. Brodsky and his investors are supposed to pay back the loan over the next 15 years with 2 percent interest.
The project also will get $15.6 million in tax incentives from the city’s Mall Area Redevelopment TIF District.
Red Bird Mall opened in 1975 as the only enclosed mall in the southern half of Dallas.
The project is scheduled to begin construction in January 2019, with a completion date of December 2024.
Mayor Rawlings gave GrowSouth, his expansive initiative to jump start investment, development and job creation in the city’s southern half, a B-plus overall in a recent “progress report” delivered to business, government and community leaders.
The data show the GrowSouth mission is paying off, Rawlings said. The tax base in southern Dallas has risen to $14.2 billion now, up from $10.4 billion when the initiative launched in 2012 — a 36 percent increase.
One goal of the Red Bird Mall redevelopment is to further boost property values.
The GrowSouth area totals 185 square miles within the city, south of downtown, and extending west and east. The southern region land mass is larger than the city of Atlanta.