One of the major African American landowners, Joseph E. “Boots” Wiley, a lawyer and industrialist, founded the New Century Cotton Mills of Dallas in 1902. The mill led to an influx of people, forming the core of a modern urban community called Mill City. Dallas Housing Authority’s Frazier Courts housing project was subsequently built on the Boots Wiley mill site.
Throughout the next few decades this area fell under neglect and gentrification. Homes originally built to provide temporary mill workers shelter became weathered and in dire need of improvement. Economic development dried up and gave way to sub-standard living for its residents.
At Inner-City Community Development Corporation's (ICDC) invitation, the Fair Park Partnership was established between ICDC and Dallas Habitat to provide homeownership opportunities to low-income families in Fair Park neighborhoods. And in 2006, ICDC facilitated a joint venture between ICDC, Dallas Habitat and Townhaven Homes (a for-profit developer) Frazier Courtyard Homes, a $5.3 million single-family residential development on 6.3 acres donated by DHA.
The revitalization process has begun with this – the first sub-division in the area in more than 40 years. Dallas Habitat is currently assembling lots for new home construction in Mill City. These LEED Certified homes will be located across Spring Avenue from Frazier Courtyards, where 40 new, owner-occupied single-family detached homes have been constructed to date. The 2011 homes will be adjacent to neighborhood partner ICDC’s offices (where the Spring Avenue Improvements project is underway). The majority of homes will be clustered where Jamaica and Baldwin converge. The new home construction is made possible through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program and our corporate and faith-based donors.
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