Dallas to Create Economic Development Nonprofit

Dallas Skyline Aerial
City of Dallas skyline. | Image from Art Wager

Dallas City Council members have approved $7 million in federal pandemic relief funds to start a nonprofit group that will attract business and investments and promote economic development.

The Dallas Economic Development Corporation is an independent scheme created to draw potential investors and businesses looking to relocate to Dallas. The group, which The Dallas Morning News says has been in the works for at least three years, is the first of its kind in Dallas. There are, however, such economic developments in other Texas cities like Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

City officials believe that the development group is a necessary step that will help the city bag investment opportunities and prevent it from lagging behind other metropolitan areas. They said that underserved areas would benefit most from the new jobs and workforce development that the group’s investment opportunities will foster.

“Economic development is the engine that drives the city, and we are on the forefront to make sure whatever we do to bring business to the city of Dallas happens at a fast pace,” said council member Tennell Atkins, as reported by The DMN.

Per The DMN’s report, the group would operate independently and could take over the management of some city-owned properties. Some of the properties include Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center downtown and Hensley Field in southwest Dallas.

Taking over the management of city-owned properties gives the Dallas Economic Development Corporation the power to buy, sell, and lease land for the redevelopment of properties and other community projects. According to The DMN, Dallas’ economic development director, Robin Bentley, said that the group could act on its own for real estate deals.

However, while the development group is independent of any city government department, Bentley said that her office and the City Council would work closely with the corporation and supervise the approval of incentives.

The $7 million of federal stimulus money approved by the City Council will serve as a seed fund for the corporation for three years. $2 million of the money is allocated to this year, while $3 million is for 2023 and the remaining $2 million is for 2024. By its fourth year in 2025, city officials expect that the corporation will be developed enough to sustain itself through real estate sales and private fundraising.

As reported by The DMN, 15 board members will oversee the Dallas Economic Development Corporation. The board members, who cannot serve more than eight consecutive years, will be nominated by a committee including the City Manager T.C. Broadnax and the mayor. The City Council will then access and approve the list.

The entity’s board members are expected to be in place by the end of March.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article