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For homeless to coexist in a booming downtown Dallas, new Stewpot chief must be a ‘connector’

Abandoned Buildings on Flipboard

Brenda Snitzer just might have the right kind of background to fix the clash between homeless service providers and downtown Dallas’ booming population.

Brenda Snitzer, executive director of The Stewpot

The new executive director of The Stewpot — which serves 15,000 homeless and at-risk people every year — started her career as a probation officer.

After that, she worked at a psychiatric hospital, her church and several Dallas nonprofits. She doesn’t list all the names.

“I’m trying to avoid saying I’ve had a lot of jobs,” she jokes.

But she says her varied experience is her strength.

“I’m a connector,” she says.

She’ll need connections to handle the complaints lobbed at The Stewpot and other downtown service providers for homeless people.

About 130,000 people work downtown, and around 11,000 people live in the central business district. And that number is growing.

The southeast side of downtown Dallas was once peppered with abandoned buildings. Many of the residents there lived not in expensive lofts but on cardboard pallets outside.

The development around the Dallas Farmers Market — a hip area with a lot of pedestrian traffic — has put new residents in close proximity to homeless people camping or sleeping on sidewalks.

People often mill around The Stewpot off Young Street at Park Avenue. Downtown cleanup crews spend hours every morning picking up trash in the area from there to the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center and an Interstate 30 overpass where people are known to camp out.

Kourtny Garrett, CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc., said the streets around The Stewpot have “been one of our most challenging areas of downtown.”

“We’re still at a transition in that neighborhood from one that didn’t have as much activity to one that does,” she said.

The Farmers Market resident said she is optimistic that Snitzer can work with the neighborhood to solve the problems.

Brenda Snitzer walks the halls at The Stewpot offices that features work from the agency’s art program.

Snitzer says she is meeting with business owners and neighborhood groups to hear their concerns but says the solution has to be more than moving homeless services away from the city’s center.

“Do we want economic development in our city? Yes, we do,” she said. “But we can’t just keep moving the problem around.”

In December, the Dallas City Council passed a nuisance abatement ordinance that allows police to shame properties where “habitual criminal activity” occurs by posting a sign outside.

It’s an ordinance that targets organizations serving homeless people, according to Snitzer’s predecessor, Bruce Buchanan, who retired after 30 years there.

Snitzer replaced Buchanan last month.

“There are things we need to work on with the city and the city needs to do in their role caring for the citizens in Dallas,” Snitzer said.

Also on that to-do list: panhandling and K2, a cheap synthetic marijuana.

Many homeless people battle drug addiction, especially to K2, a problem that has overwhelmed Dallas police and private security officers downtown.

Aggressive panhandlers have harassed people going to work or heading home downtown. Dallas police have tried cracking down on the panhandling and K2 problems, with little effect.

The K2 problem has plagued downtown the past two years. Last year, downtown safety patrol officers responded to 6,000 K2 calls, said Martin Cramer, vice president of public safety for Downtown Dallas Inc.

“That kind of volume would overwhelm the Dallas Police Department,” Cramer said.

Nonprofits like The Stewpot are trying to offer help to the Dallas homeless population to fix these problems, but such groups are also blamed for drawing homeless people closer to the city’s hub.

It’s a “chicken vs. the egg” issue. Which came first? The homeless people or the nonprofits trying to help them?

Ultimately, none of that matters to Snitzer. She just wants to fix the problem, not point fingers.

“The Stewpot since the ’70s has been trying to help people in these communities where nobody else was helping them,” Snitzer said.

Part of fixing the problem comes down to knowing how to work in concert with other nonprofits.

At the start of her career, while working as a probation officer, Snitzer was frustrated there was no database or list of the social services available in Dallas. She often didn’t know where to send the people she was trying to help.

Those services are still fragmented, and newly homeless or at-risk people often turn to The Stewpot to figure out what to do.

This week a man told her, “I’m newly homeless. I don’t know how to navigate a lot of this stuff.”

Snitzer now knows which nonprofits do what in Dallas and has even worked at several of them, including Our Friends Place, Girls Inc. and Big Thought.

She hopes to bring those groups together.

No matter how experienced Snitzer is, there’s little to prepare someone for balancing working with the city and people who want homeless people out of sight, said Wayne Walker, executive director of OurCalling, a homeless outreach center.

“The politics involved is ugly,” Walker said.

Unsheltered homelessness is expected to increase again this year, at a time when affordable housing is limited. OurCalling sees 250 new unsheltered people each month.

“The need far exceeds our available resources every day,” Walker said. “Think about the unsheltered — where can they go for any services? … The Stewpot has filled in a really unique gap.”

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Riverfront project in the works would link downtown Dallas, Uptown to the Trinity River

New South Bronx waterfront development has residents asking who ...

Staff Photographer

A new waterfront development in the works near downtown Dallas would bring housing, retail and commercial buildings to the banks of the Trinity River.

Developers Forest City Realty and Trademark Properties are teaming up on the mixed-use development proposed on Riverfront Boulevard at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

The roughly 42-acre building site is on both sides of the bridge along the banks of the river.

“I believe it as outstanding piece of real estate that will be connective tissue with West Dallas, Uptown, Victory and downtown Dallas,” said Terry Montesi, CEO of Fort Worth-based Trademark. “It’s right in the middle of where the $150 million park on the Trinity River is planned.

“This is where you could have multifamily homes, hotel, office and retail with access to a promenade and the park,” Montesi said. “We think we can do a special mixed-use neighborhood.”

The development team is working on designs for the project and the infrastructure that would be needed to connect the site to the river and the neighborhood.

Developing on Dallas’ long neglected waterfront has long been a goal of city leaders and planners.

Long running plans to construct park and recreation facilities and pedestrian trails in the huge river floodplain between downtown, West Dallas and Oak Cliff have been slowly moving ahead.

The Riverfront Boulevard property Forest City and Trademark are focused on is one of the largest development sites along the riverbanks.

“It’s a really strategic, wonderful piece of real estate we think has real opportunity if we can get the Corps of Engineers, the city and the folks development the park to work together with us,” Montesi said. “It will take a public-private partnership.”

Forest City senior vice president Jim Truitt said the two real estate firms have the land under contract to purchase, but it’s too early to talk about specific details of a development.

“There is tons of due diligence to do but we are 100 percent focused on it,” Truitt said.

Forest City is one of the country’s most experienced commercial property developers.

Founded in Cleveland in 1920, the builder has major projects in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In Dallas, Forest City has redeveloped landmark downtown buildings including the Mercantile National Bank tower and Mercantile Continental building.

And in Uptown’s Cityplace project, Forest City is building its second high-rise with apartments, retail and hotel rooms.

Trademark Property has been in business since 1992 and has developed 11.8 million square feet of retail and mixed-use projects valued at $2.5 billion.

Trademark developed the Watters Creek retail and apartment complex on U.S. Highway 75 in Allen. And the firm is part of the team redeveloping the Victory Park project on the northwest edge of downtown Dallas.

At home in Fort Worth, Trademark is building two mixed-use projects on the Trinity River called Westbend and Waterside.

“One of the great futures in Dallas-Fort Worth is greater interaction with the Trinity River and green space,” Montesi said.

The vacant land that Forest City and Trademark have contacted to purchase has been owned by a local investment group since 2012.

The property includes land on both sides of the arched bridge and between Riverfront Boulevard and Stemmons Freeway.

Before the recession, the development site which previously was covered in warehouse buildings was cleared by an apartment builder that hoped to build high-rise housing.

But that deal fell apart during the economic downturn.

Commercial real estate firm CBRE which has marketed the land for sale did design proposals for the land that showed a complex of high-rise buildings.

Kourtny Garrett who heads the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc. said the river front real estate is prime for building.

“This is connective tissue that will bring downtown, West Dallas and the Trinity all together,” Garrett said. “The whole riverfront area is a blank canvass.

“We are very optimistic and excited about what they could bring to this property.”

Commercial property firm CBRE did designs for a high-rise project on the site as part of its marketing of the land for sale.

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How To Find Quality Housing In Dallas

Dallas one of the best cities you can move to. It has amazing weather, affordable housing, and a low cost of living. All these factors work together to make it one of the best cities to live in. Dallas housing is very affordable compared to other parts of the country, so if you are looking for a beautiful place on a budget, you might be able to find it in Dallas.

If you are moving to Dallas and need housing, you have to first think about what type of housing you want. Are you buying a house or moving into an apartment. It is important to decide what type of housing you are going to be moving into before you leave your current state.

Buying property in Dallas is affordable and there are plenty of homes you can buy that are beautiful and affordable. If you want to buy new construction or a beautiful old Victorian, you will find plenty of housing choices when you move to Dallas.

Property taxes are low in Texas and so is insurance. In fact, Texas has a low cost of living in just about every category, so it makes for a great place to live altogether. If you want to rent an apartment, you will find many affordable apartment rentals to choose from as well.

If you are going to be moving into an apartment, make sure you do your research so you find an apartment that meets all your criteria and that is also in a good neighborhood. You need to plan to spend some time looking around at the different neighborhoods so you find one that is going to work well for your needs. Make sure to check out the locations of the different areas you are considering on a map.

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Studios for Rent in Dallas What You Need to Know

Studios for Rent

A lot of real estate property professionals would say that finding a studio apartment rental in Dallas is incredibly difficult. Even so, this does not imply that finding an excellent quality studio rental unit in this city is impossible.

Dallas is a great city to live in. It is the commercial center that no other metropolis in the world will offer the services provided by this city and is really worth living here. When the time comes to look for the best studios in Dallas, you will slowly learn that it may require time and patience to grab the best deal. Dallas city is divided into five sections. They are also known as boroughs. The standard of life and activities will vary from one borough to another. There are places where you will find apartments really expensive. At the same time, if you prefer to live in one of the suburbs, you will get apartments for a cheaper rate.

Before you set out and begin inspecting some studio apartments dallas, you must know that there are several things you will have to consider, in addition to the budget. For instance, there are several rental units that will not let you live with your pets. There are apartments that will only let people from a specific niche like corporate studios and professional apartments. If you are in Dallas for a job and want to live in one of the standard studios, then you should think about using paid services like apartment rental locators or real estate agents. Nevertheless, seeking apartments online is a viable option because services offered by these portals are likely to be cheaper and investing some time to find one is worth the effort.

One of the reliable ways to get studios in Dallas is via online advertisements. A good example for this type of ad is the Craigslist.org, however, there are thousands of real estate portals online to help you get the job done. Online real estate classified ads are reliable because they provide sufficient details that are relevant for the apartment hunter to find the best deal. It is yet possible to search for the studios for rent in newspaper classified. Nevertheless, a majority of these advertisements are published by real estate brokers or apartment rental services so you have to work hard to get the right one.

When it comes to newspaper ads, search for key phrases like “to book by owner” or “no agency calls” as this implies that you will be dealing straightly with the property owner. Renting studio apartments in Dallas is not as difficult as you may think. If you are confused by all these terms and phrases, you can look for the help of real estate brokers to get the best deal. They are experienced people and very well know the requirements of their clients. However, you have to be careful before you finalize the deal. Who is going to live in the studio is you, not the broker. So, do proper homework for not to get cheated.