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Former SMU Safety Solo Tackles South Dallas Potential

Real Estate

City of Dallas | Image by Shutterstock

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Former SMU football player Mikial Onu plans to build apartments in South Dallas. The development will be placed on 12 acres along Interstate 20 at Bonnie View Road and Riverside Road.

Onu’s company, Onu Ventures, Inc.,  plans to build 252 apartments, consisting of studios, one, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a retail center. Onu wants to make it a walkable space, as that is not available “anywhere in South Dallas.”

He sees demand for lower-income housing in the suburbs as the cost of living in the city rises.

According to Fox News, rent in Dallas for a two-bedroom apartment has increased by 46% since last year. Well-developed suburbs such as Grand Prairie and Grapevine are seeing bigger rent increases.

Onu sees potential in South Dallas as there has not yet been “a concerted effort to develop” it. Onu plans to keep the apartments affordable by making them slightly smaller, as he wishes to target people working in nearby warehouses.

The former SMU football safety, from 2016 to 2018, earned his master’s in Organizational Leadership. In his first season playing for the University of Colorado Boulder, he broke his tibia in half, losing his chances of being drafted.

Rather than feel sorry for himself because of the circumstances, Onu decided he wanted to “explore the entrepreneurship route.” He worked in insurance brokerage before starting his own, On U Insurance Solutions, in August 2021, and he continues to operate it.

Then, just last year, Onu decided to get into real estate. He said he is dedicated to “improving the quality of life for underrepresented people in marginalized communities.”

Construction of the new apartment complex is set to begin in the first quarter of 2023 and have units ready for occupancy at the beginning of 2024.

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