City Council Approves $31.4M for South Dallas Development

City Council Approves Funding for South Dallas Deveopment
Aerial view rendering of the 270-acre development plan for South Dallas University Hills area. | Image by Hoque Global via The Dallas Morning News

The Dallas City Council approved a $31.4 million finance deal to subsidize the first phase of University Hills, a large-scale, mixed-use, multi-phase, 274-acre development next to the University of North Texas (UNT) campus in South Dallas.

Dallas-based developer Hoque Global is spearheading the project. The investment firm expects the first phase to comprise more than 500 single-family homes and townhomes, 250 apartments, green spaces, and almost 200,000 square feet of office and retail space.

“To be able to help bring innovation in jobs, housing, everyday conveniences of living, and business growth to southern Dallas is an honor,” said Mike Hoque, CEO of Hoque Global. “University Hills will provide for and open up a whole new perspective for our community and bring investment to a decades-overlooked area of our city and region.”

When completed, the development is expected to support hundreds of single-family homes, 1,500 apartments, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, and more than 50 acres of open green space on what is currently undeveloped land. 

Arthur Santa-Maria, vice president of Hoque Global, believes the development will become a gateway growth district for the community and its neighbors. “We’ve been heavily engaged with the historic southside community, incorporating input and addressing concerns to make sure that we are being mindful of values and goals from the local community,” said Santa-Maria.

Historically, new developments in the city have focused on the northern sector. According to the City of Dallas Economic Development Policy 2022-2032, Southern Dallas is home to 45% of the city’s population but only 15% of its tax base.

Dallas City Council members are enthusiastic about the jobs, and future opportunities University Hills will bring to South Dallas. “This is a huge step for Dallas in helping end our racial and financial segregation in the city, [with] lots of opportunities for homeownership and building of wealth in southern Dallas,” said Dallas City Council Member Cara Mendelsohn of District 12.

Dallas Councilman Tennell Atkins of District 8 described the development as a “game-changer” for southern Dallas. “The addition of this development near UNT Dallas and the DART Blue Line supports our goal to improve the quality of life in this corridor of the community and is a prime example of the growth, progress, and improvements taking place in District 8,” said Atkins.

Casey Thomas of District 3 hopes University Hills will become a top-notch place in southern Dallas for young adults to build families and call home.

“The area needs projects that create jobs, good housing, and high-quality retail,” Dr. Bob Mong, president of UNT Dallas, said in a statement. “With excellent rail and bus service, UNT Dallas welcomes visionary developers who can attract transit-oriented development near us. We remain very hopeful about this project.”

The city will require several units to be set aside for certain income levels. Another stipulation of the funding is that home builders in the development must “encourage buyers to participate in a to-be-developed homebuyer assistance program” for the community. The program will offer financial assistance to buyers who meet designated income requirements.

According to city documents, site work and land acquisition costs for the project’s first phase may exceed $63 million. The agreement states that the developer must buy the land by the end of 2023 and complete site work by the end of 2025.

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1 Comment

  1. KDW

    University of North Texas (UNT) campus in Oak Cliff not South Dallas.


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