West Dallas Neighborhood Morphing to Meet Metroplex’s Demands

modern home
Modern home. | Image by PC Photography

The Gilbert Emory neighborhood in West Dallas is a prime example of the sweeping changes happening to the city. There is a distinguishable difference between the new and old versions of Gilbert Emory, and some residents are not happy about it.

“It was really woodsy. There were a lot of single-story houses that were built after World War II, and I didn’t know that there were plans for a lot of multifamily developments when I started building my house,” said Tatiana Farrow, who completed her house in 2018. “I thought this would be great. It feels like you are in the suburbs, but you’re really close to downtown. I thought this would be a perfect place to live.”

Now a five-story apartment complex towers over the neighborhood, and older single-family homes have been demolished to make way for new construction and developments.

Prices for new townhomes in Gilbert Emory start at about four times the valued price of the small older homes, and new single-family homes can cost even more.

Before all of this, Gilbert Emory was once a Freedman’s Town of formerly enslaved people. The Frederick Douglas Elementary School has been torn down and replaced with a development of twenty-eight townhouses. Farrow complains that a 100-year-old oak tree was removed during the construction process.

On the other hand, Julio Roman, a homebuilder with Adaptable Development, is very proud of the two-story home he has just completed in the neighborhood. He said that his client selected this particular neighborhood in West Dallas because the land is more affordable than other parts of Dallas.

He also said that he grew up in old East Dallas and that he is surprised to see conflicting land uses and drastic changes happening in Dallas. “It amazed me in the sense of where it’s happening,” said Roman. “You get all this hodgepodge because there are certain developers who are able to get away with certain things.

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