New Trend? Developers doing walkable, diverse neighborhood revitalization

Monte Anderson, born in Wichita Falls, about two hours northwest of Dallas, Texas, has been doing real estate development since the 1980s. “I started out as a community activist, trying to clean up my communities,” he says. “Some would call it the wrong side of the railroad. I’ve watched white flight, black flight, brown flight my whole life.

He buys up small lots in southern Dallas County, sometimes empty, sometimes just neglected, and focuses on live-work-style development.

He finds entrepreneurs in the community who want a building in which they can live, rent apartments and operate their businesses. He likes to call it “farming.”

He’s one of a growing group of small-scale developers around the county that is organizing around their central goals of revitalizing communities, one small lot at a time.

They typically don’t rely on local tax subsidies or other incentives, and beneficiaries are usually local entrepreneurs and neighborhood residents.

They favor walkable, mixed-use, mixed-income, racially diverse communities.

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