Press Releases

Mill City Selected As Next Dallas Catalyst Project Neighborhood

by | Dec 8, 2023 | Dallas Catalyst Project (DCP), Press Releases, TREC Community Investors News

TREC Community Investors (TREC CI), the philanthropic arm of The Real Estate Council (TREC), announced today the selection of Southeast Dallas’ Mill City as its next community for its place-based economic development initiative, the Dallas Catalyst Project (DCP). Located in Southeast Dallas and adjacent to Fair Park, TREC CI will seed Mill City’s designated projects with a $1 million commitment over the three-year grant period. Alongside anchor community organizations, including the Mill City Community Association, Builders of Hope Community Development Corporation and Urban Specialists, and neighborhood residents, TREC members will provide professional expertise, in-kind services and volunteer hours to revitalize and energize Mill City.

DCP initially launched as DCP: Forest District in 2018, a place-based initiative focused on community revitalization. Over the past six years, TREC CI and its community partners have revitalized the neighborhood through 22 completed projects, more than $100 million invested in the community, including $3 million in cash investments, $1 million in pro bono professional services and over 3,300 volunteer hours. DCP: Mill City will leverage the proven success in the Forest District to ignite positive change in Mill City, a close-knit community blighted by vacant lots and increased crime.

“We’re proud of all we have accomplished with the inaugural Dallas Catalyst Project: Forest District,” said Linda McMahon, president and CEO of TREC. “Together with our community partners, we have realized the neighborhood’s vision to bring critical resources and equitable development to one of Dallas’ most historically underserved neighborhoods. With DCP: Mill City, we can build on our momentum of success to work with our partners in the community and create similar catalytic change that will empower residents and instill pride throughout the neighborhood.”

DCP: Mill City will address food insecurity, public safety, affordable housing, outdated infrastructure, and a lack of community gathering spaces and youth mentoring opportunities. Projects slated for the neighborhood include an urban garden teaching farm, the remediation of at least 18 vacant lots, a boxing gym, and up to eight affordable housing single-family homes.

“The Dallas Catalyst Project is about more than just community revitalization; it’s about investing in the disinvested, energizing neighborhoods and changing residents’ lives for a greater sense of community pride,” said Felicia Pierson, senior director of community investment at TREC CI. “Our team’s unwavering commitment to building a lasting impact combined with strong community partnerships will play a crucial role in restoring the Mill City neighborhood and positively impacting the city of Dallas and the North Texas region.”

The announcement of Mill City as the next neighborhood for DCP wraps up a nearly nine-month application and selection process, which began with a request for proposals (RFP) for prospective nonprofit applicants, included due diligence conducted by TREC member teams and concluded with the TREC member vote and board ratification in November. Part of the application required organizations to focus on a collaborative strategic approach to solving a specific and persistent issue in one or more of TREC CI’s focus areas – neighborhood revitalization, housing and education.

“TREC’s work in the Forest District over the past six years has been truly remarkable, and we’re both honored and excited for the opportunity to work alongside their team of experts and be a part of Dallas’ next great community revitalization effort,” said Alendra Lyons, president of the Mill City Community Association. “With TREC’s help, we look to build on the progress we’ve made over the last few years and finally restore Mill City to what it used to be – a place full of community pride, where residents feel safe, and families and businesses can once again flourish.”

TREC CI’s initial investment in the Forest District as part of the inaugural DCP, which began in 2018, provided much-needed services to the neighborhood and included the creation of the Southpoint Community Market, which provides residents with first-time access to fresh foods, a commercial kitchen, a laundromat, the renovation of numerous multifamily buildings and other critical commercial structures that support neighborhood businesses. DCP: Forest District concluded earlier this year with revitalizing the Royal Oak Apartments and transforming a South Dallas storefront into a community gathering place and resource center.

Together TREC CI and its community partners at St. Philip’s School & Community Center, Cornerstone Baptist Church and Forest Forward will host a community celebration event on Jan. 27, 2024, recognizing the 22 projects that continue revitalizing the Forest District and supporting its residents.

About TREC Community Investors (TREC CI)

For almost 30 years, TREC Community Investors (TREC CI) has made catalytic investments with over 250 nonprofit organizations dedicated to transforming Dallas. TREC CI furthers that work by creating equitable development that revitalizes the region’s most underserved communities. Employing a place-based strategy that transforms a neighborhood block by block, TREC CI provides a combination of loans, equity-equivalent investments, and expert TREC-member technical assistance to work in a collective partnership with neighborhood leaders and community members. Nearly 20 years ago, TREC CI’s first major place-based investment of $1.5 million helped spark the creation of Klyde Warren Park. Community Investors is a 501 c3 organization certified by the United States Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

About The Real Estate Council (TREC)

For more than 30 years, The Real Estate Council (TREC) has represented more than 2,000 commercial real estate professionals and 600 companies. TREC’s mission is to cultivate relationships in the commercial real estate industry to catalyze community investment, influence policy, propel careers, and develop the leaders of tomorrow. We believe relationships are the lifeblood of career success, civic responsibility, and community investment. Learn more at