The Golden SEEDS Foundation has had its existence since 2008. It is a community development corporation whose purpose is to lead the revitalization effort for the historic Oak Cliff community known as the “BOTTOM.” Children from this community rarely have opportunity to experience camp-style learning in the summer or be exposed to volunteering for community service projects. In the end, we expect that their experiences will have a tremendous impact on their lives and their future outlook…How exciting!
The Golden SEEDS Foundation (SEEDS) community development implementation model is fashioned with similar elements found in the nationally recognized Purpose Built community development model, that includes a holistic approach for neighborhood redevelopment, focused on mixed-income housing and community wellness anchored by a strong educational pipeline for the Bottom neighborhood. SEEDS has partnered with nearby, top-tier Dallas Independent School District (DISD) schools, to include N. W. Harllee Early Childhood Center and Yvonne Ewell Townview Magnet Center and the City of Dallas’ Eloise Lundy Recreation Center.
In fashioning the Bottom’s community model, Golden SEEDS focuses on the defined neighborhood where transformative programs and infrastructure can be established, community members engaged, additional partnerships built, and creation of a community model that includes mixed-income housing with continued support for student growth and learning.
Located on a low-lying stretch of land adjacent to the Trinity River, The Bottom is geographically among the closest neighborhoods to downtown Dallas. It is comprised of 240 acres with direct connections to Downtown Dallas by Interstate Highway 35 (I-35) and to The Cedars by the Corinth Street Bridge. It is bounded by I-35 to the west, Eighth Street to the south, Corinth Street to the east, and Trinity River Levee to north.
The Bottom is also among a growing number of river edge communities discussing revitalization as the city of Dallas refocuses its growth strategy back to the Trinity River. This once thriving community has seen a dwindling residential population. However, among the roughly 70% of vacant or poorly maintained single family houses, sits one of the nation’s best high schools, Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center School for the Talented and Gifted (Townview), an early childhood learning center, N W Harllee, an active and thriving church group, the Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church, two other church groups, and the Eloise Lundy Park and Recreation Center. These jewels, when combined with the area’s proximity to downtown, the Trinity River, and the availability of affordable land offer a great opportunity for a comprehensive redevelopment strategy.
According to a forward Dallas! report, the city of Dallas has a higher percentage of rental units than other cities in the region. Most of the current housing occupants in the Bottom are renters. This project will create opportunities for new homebuyers and homeowners whose preference is infill living. What is being proposed will bring affordable single-family and mixed-income housing to an area of Dallas that has not had new housing stock for many years. Additionally, the increased housing inventory is expected to add to the neighborhood population while adding to the city-tax base. The SEEDS Foundation is also proposing to strategically protect current homeowners who desire to remain in the Bottom, but whose home is in need of repair, to remain in the community in a Host House while their home is renovated, upgraded, and repaired.
In April, 2015, the Dallas City Council voted to approve The Bottom Urban Structure and Guidelines strategy design for the Bottom. This project, which was shepherded by The Golden SEEDS Foundation as the major community stakeholder, also included a great deal of community input and buy-in. The Urban Structure document anticipates substantial new development in the Bottom, estimated to add an additional 2,500 residents to the area. The plan includes up to 390 units of infill and revitalized single-family homes, 550 units of mixed-income multi-family housing, and 500,000 square feet of commercial/office/retail. We also envision Signature residential buildings with 3 story town homes lining the street oriented toward the Trinity River with vista views back to Downtown.