2007: Trinity Groves Founded with Plans to Work Responsibly with the Community

Trinity Groves is a 15- acre destination composed of high-end restaurants. On its inception in 2007, the development company set out to revitalize West Dallas and “planned to work responsibly with the existing community, local schools, and the city to develop new businesses that would, in turn, hire unemployed local residents” (Riccio, 2014, p. 67). However, some West Dallas neighbors have seen and felt the effects of this development project in other ways. For example, to make way for Trinity Groves, the project’s investors, the Mayor of Dallas, and the rest of City Hall came up with a $3 million plan to relocate a cement plant next to Thomas Edison Middle School.

Construction site of Trinity Groves (Aguilar, 2016).

“Someone at this gas station just bought a stick of beef jerky and a bag of chips as his dinner. Meanwhile, just 100 yards away, young business professionals pack into trendy restaurants to spend $50 a plate” (Aguilar, 2016, para. 40).

New developments can be harmful to residents because they raise the costs of living in an area to the point where the current residents can’t afford to live there and have to relocate. Some residents in the Trinity Groves area, such as Joe Garcia, welcome development because it makes the neighborhood cleaner, nicer, and safer, but he doesn’t want to be pushed out of his home.

Representative Eric Johnson, the now Mayor of Dallas and a former West Dallas resident, also supports change and improvement but is aware of the spillover effects from development and wants to help solidify the future of the people living in the Trinity Groves area. He helped file House Bill 2480, which requires all development to incorporate an affordable housing plan with 20% of units being held aside for people who make less than 60% of the median family income in the area. There will also be property tax relief for those who live in the area and are struggling to afford their homes after the development (Martinez & Holter, 2017).

Major Johnson commented on gentrification as a whole, saying that there isn’t a good track record for preventing gentrification with legislation. It is very difficult to avoid people being forced out of their homes from development. To succeed, we need to do everything in our power to prevent forced relocation to benefit the rich (Martinez & Holter, 2017).

The granddaughter of a longtime resident, Victoria Ferrell-Ortiz, drives around West Dallas and discusses some of the changes. They also visit Trinity Groves and find that in one restaurant only one out of thirty employees is a West Dallas resident.


Riccio, T. (2014). Dead white zombies, Dallas, TX. TheatreForum(45), 66-80. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1674542409?fromopenview=true&pq-origsite=gscholar

Aguilar, R. (2016, May 11). What can Trinity Groves’ present tell us about Dallas’ past and inevitable future? Central Track. https://www.centraltrack.com/manifest-destiny/

Martinez, K. & Holter, R. (2017, May 4). This state lawmaker is trying to save the place where he grew up. KERA News. http://stories.kera.org/no-place/2017/05/04/this-state-lawmaker-is-trying-to-save-the-place-where-he-grew-up/