NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pickens Gives $6 Million to Dallas' Jubilee Park

By Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter

Dallas, TX – Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter: Bulldozing crime-ridden Mario's bar at Carroll and Lindsley was a symbolic move of what cash can accomplish in Jubilee Park. A community center will go up across the street, also paid for by money from oil billionaire T Boone Pickens and his foundation.

T. Boone Pickens: I've been involved in a few good deals, some bad. I'm convinced this is something that'll grow. But it'll be you who must do it. People must make it happen. I've provided money, if it's a good deal, as good as I think, ill provide more.

Zeeble: The direct beneficiaries of this investment - the first from Pickens to an inner-city - will be its residents. For years, Anna Maria Narro, director of the Jubilee Park Revitalization Project, has worked with the St. Michael Episcopal Church group, neighbors and others to improve the 62 block community.

Anna Narro, director of the Jubilee Park Revitalization Project: We had so many dilapidated homes, empty lots, slum lords. So much was going on here. Homeless, prostitution. I mean everytyhing you don't want in your neighborhood we had here. And a lot of night clubs, liquor stores. right down the street from the elementary school.

Zeeble: After 10 years, Narro's organization managed to build a park and a playground where there used to be empty, crumbling homes. She hopes the new Pickens money and extra attention from the city will speed up other improvements. Already planned is a store front police station & infrastructure upgrades. The school district said there may even be a new 20 million dollar school in the plans for next year. Bill Zeeble KERA news.