The City of Dallas announced on Monday, Oct. 25, that the development of The Ridge at Lancaster is officially underway. Final approval of the first of three phases came last December.

The first buildings will include 270 income-restricted apartments in an effort to increase affordable housing options in the area. A total of 300 units will be built in the first phase, with move-in expected in 2022. Two following phases are still in the planning and will include townhomes and retail opportunities.

“The City of Dallas is excited to break ground on The Ridge at Lancaster. This first phase is a $75 million investment into District 8 that will provide high-quality, workforce housing for our residents,” said Tennell Atkins, Councilmember of District 8, in a press release. “The total development cost is estimated to be $210 million and will serve as an economic development catalyst leading to additional investment in the community.”

The project is financed through the Dallas Housing Finance Corporation in partnership with LDG Development. The project was initially recommended by the Dallas Office of Homeless Solutions last year. The project will be located on Crouch Rd. and Lancaster Rd. eventually encompassing 94 acres that are currently vacant.

LDG Development is the country’s largest developer of workforce housing solutions and has constructed more than 20,000 units nationwide, including 7,500 in Texas. An LDG Development community opened in Ft. Worth last year. The Ridge at Lancaster will be the first project for the company in Dallas.

“Communities across the country are struggling to keep up with the growing demand for new housing that is located in close proximity to retail and commercial amenities that families and individuals frequent on a daily basis,” said Chris Dischinger, co-founder and co-principal of LDG Development. “This development reflects that demand while recognizing that any long-term success of an area has to include an influx of diverse housing options.”

The City of Dallas officially adopted a housing plan in 2018. The plan aims to increase affordable housing options in various parts of the city while disrupting patterns of gentrification.

The region where the new development is located in one of the redevelopment zones, areas the city identified in 2018 as having a project in the works already when the plan was accepted by the City Council.

The affordable units at The Ridge will be available to legal residents who earn less than 60-percent of the area median income (AMI). According to the City of Dallas Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, the median income for residents of the Oak Cliff neighborhood is below $55,000.

A 2018 report compiled through Harvard University found that 21.7 percent of Dallas-area residents were spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent.

No timetable is firmly set for the additional two phases of construction to begin, but current forecasts indicate that construction will begin in the summer of 2022. Current plans envision a new neighborhood, complete with 250,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, parks, and other amenities.