Dallas Catalyst Project: Forest District

Helping Make A Difference

In 2018, we introduced the Dallas Catalyst Project (DCP) as a place-based neighborhood revitalization initiative among TREC Community Investors and three nonprofit partners: St. Philip’s School & Community Center, Cornerstone Baptist Church, and Forest Forward. These organizations continue to team up to help make a difference in South Dallas’ Forest District.

Throughout the initiative, TREC members have served as project managers for the three community organizations and provided pro bono professional services, technical assistance, and fundraising support.

Dallas Catalyst Project Goals


Promoting equitable development


Improving the quality of life for residents


Increasing job preparedness and wealth creation opportunities


Enhancing safety and infrastructure


Supporting mixed-income and affordable housing

By the Numbers


22 completed projects


11 projects funded through grants


$3 million+ in TREC Community Investors investments


$144 million+ in additional investment into the community


$1.2 million+ in pro bono services and technical assistance


6,000+ volunteer hours from TREC members


120,983 square feet of space redeveloped


42,013 residents served

Our Partners

Forest District Project Spotlights

1632 MLK Boulevard Retail Project

  • Project Scope: Restoration and renovation of 12,000 square feet of retail space on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
  • Goals: Improve quality of life, jobs and wealth creation, infrastructure improvements, neighborhood revitalization
  • Estimated Cost: $1.8 million
  • Status: Expected Completion by 2024

Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum and Learning Center

  • Project Scope: Restoration of a museum and learning center built in 1924 that provides educational programs and meeting space to an average of 500 South Dallas residents annually
  • Goals: Improve quality of life, jobs and wealth creation, infrastructure improvements
  • Estimated Cost: $293,000
  • Status: Completed 2023

MLK Food Park

  • Project Scope: Creation of a temporary food park through a community-led incubator to highlight food insecurity, promote small businesses, and spur policy changes
  • Goals: Infrastructure improvements, jobs and wealth creation, community engagement, neighborhood revitalization
  • Estimated Cost: $218,000
  • Status: Completed 2021

Southpoint Community Market

  • Project Scope: Renovation of vacant retail space to provide access to fresh and healthy food options, household items, and jobs and skills training for the community
  • Goals: Improve quality of life, jobs and wehalth creation, infrastructure improvements
  • Estimated Cost: $790,000
  • Status: Completed 2021

The Grace at Holmes

  • Project Scope: Renovations to exterior of an apartment complex, including landscaping and building repairs
  • Goals: Infrastructure improvements, neighborhood revitalization
  • Estimated Cost: $52,000
  • Status: Completed 2021

Men of Nehemiah Exercise Center

  • Project Scope: Create a recreation area for men housed in a soberiety program.
  • Goals: Improve quality of life
  • Estimated Cost: $10,000
  • Status: Completed 2022

South Dallas Cloud Kitchen

  • Project Scope: Renovation of a vacant retail space to provide local entreprenaurs with a space to grow their small businesses.
  • Goals: Jobs and wealth creation, infrastructure, neighborhood revitalization
  • Estimated Cost: $535,000
  • Status: Completed 2023

The Hub on MLK

  • Project Scope: Convert former liquor store building into community hub and pop-up space
  • Goals: Create safe public gathering space for Forest District residents, community leaders, and local entrepreneurs
  • Status: Completed fall 2023

Royal Oak Apartments

  • Project Scope: Renovate infrastructure of existing Forest District apartment building
  • Goals: Update safety and security measures and create safe gathering space for residents
  • Status: Completed fall 2023

WeCycle Resource Center

  • Project Scope: Transform vacant building into bicycle repair shop, educational facility, and safe community gathering space
  • Goals: Provide free or low-cost alternative transportation to residents 
  • Status: Completed summer 2019

Cornerstone Community Laundromat

  • Project Scope: Renovate vacant property within The Crossing shopping center into low-cost community laundromat
  • Goals: Develop infrastructure for Forest District residents to clean clothes without having to leave neighborhood
  • Status: Completed summer 2019

DISD MLK Learning Center

  • Project Scope: Renovate DISD facilities including teacher’s lounge, classrooms, and outdoor dining area
  • Goals: Enhance quality of education for students and faculty
  • Status: Completed spring 2021

The Winners Assembly

  • Project Scope: Replace exterior lighting and fencing
  • Goals: Improve public safety
  • Status: Completed spring 2022

The Crossing

  • Project Scope: Construct welcome signs for The Crossing shopping center and its businesses
  • Status: Completed spring 2023