The Real Estate Council (TREC) Community Investors has pledged more than $300,000 in grants to further expand its investment in the three-year, community-driven Dallas Catalyst Project partnership to revitalize the Forest District neighborhood in South Dallas alongside St. Philip’s School and Community Center, Cornerstone Baptist Church, and CitySquare.
The grants are as follows:
- St. Philip’s School and Community Center will receive $150,000 for exterior improvements to the façade and landscaping outside its retail space at 1624-28 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which currently houses three locally owned businesses: Sunnyside Athletic Club, House of Parts, and Clippin Crownz 4Christ Barber Shop
- Cornerstone Baptist Church will receive $100,000 to renovate its former church building into an education center for adults and children who participate in Cornerstone’s afterschool programs and/or attend Cornerstone Academy.
- The Better Block Foundation will receive $64,250 to develop a “block” demonstration project in collaboration with Forest District residents and TREC members to improve the health, safety, and economic growth of the neighborhood.
Since the start of the Dallas Catalyst Project in 2018, TREC Community Investors has allocated more than $2.5 million and pro bono professional services toward catalytic real estate projects and community engagement initiatives within the Forest District, which is located just south of Downtown Dallas near Fair Park.
Earlier this year, the Dallas Catalyst Project partners unveiled the following completed projects:
- In June, Cornerstone Baptist Church and the nonprofit Bike Friendly South Dallas opened the We-Cycle Resource Center at 1616 Al Lipscomb Way, a bicycle repair shop and educational facility that was constructed with TREC’s 2019 Associate Leadership Council class. The project received a $100,000 grant from TREC Foundation, the largest ever for an ALC class project.
- Then, in September, laundry services returned to the Forest District for the first time in decades as Cornerstone Baptist Church opened the Cornerstone Community Laundromat at 1621 South Boulevard. The laundromat was selected by TREC’s Young Guns members as the young professionals group’s 2018 TREC Foundation service project.
TREC’s Young Guns have also been working with the Martin Luther King Jr. Learning Center, a Dallas Independent School District facility, to renovate the school’s courtyard, auditorium, teacher’s lounge, and laundry facilities.
The grants announcement comes weeks after JPMorgan Chase & Co. selected TREC Community Fund as one of seven recipients of the financial institution’s Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods) program. The Community Fund will receive $6 million over three years to lead the Dallas Collaborative For Equitable Development initiative with the Dallas County Community College Education & Innovation HUB and LiftFund to develop affordable housing options and increase access to workforce training and small business investment in The Bottom, West Dallas Census Tract 205, and Forest District neighborhoods.
About The Real Estate Council (TREC)
The Real Estate Council represents more than 2,200 professionals and 650 companies that spark community transformation, influence policy, and propel careers through networking, educational programs, and leadership development. 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.
About TREC Community Investment
TREC invests in the Dallas community through TREC Community Investors. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, TREC Community Investors takes a high-touch, project-based approach to strengthen the community through grants and investments in neighborhood revitalization. Community Investors is the driving force behind the Dallas Catalyst Project, and made an initial three-year, $1 million investment of grants and pro bono professional services to revitalize the Forest District. It also offers funding and the pro bono professional services of its members to selected projects. Since its inception in 1994, TREC Community Investors has contributed nearly $13 million in grant funds to more than 150 nonprofit community organizations supported by professional services valued at more than $750,000 annually.