Former SMU Football Player Plans Southern Dallas Housing – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A former Southern Methodist University football player wants to give back to Dallas with development in a part of town that needs it.

Another former SMU player who represents the neighborhood on the Dallas City Council Friday said he is especially pleased with one feature of the plan.

Mikial Onu, a player from 2016 to 2018, has the land, design, zoning and financing in place for a 252-unit residential project with adjacent retail space on Bonnie View Road north of I-20.

Friday, Onu met the neighborhood’s City Councilman Tennell Atkins who was also an SMU player in the 1970s.

“It’s great to have alumni, who went to SMU who want to give back,” Atkins said.

Bonnie View Road at I-20 is crowded with trucks from all the Commerce that is Booming in the area.

The Dallas Inland Port is a rail hub, with lots of new warehouses and lots of new jobs. But most of the workers drive far to go home.

“They should be able to live nearby in an affordable place that has quality that they can enjoy with their families,” Onu said.

They became familiar with the area while attending SMU, also studying finance.

“At that time, I didn’t have the resources or the ability or the knowledge to come here and make an impact that I believe we’re going to have here. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve gotten some projects under my belt and gotten some knowledge, I’m intensely focused on what I can do to help out this area and the city as a whole,” Onu said.

The site for the project is right across from the Tommie Allen Recreation Center and Park on Bonnie View Road.

Onu said the finished product will be like Uptown Dallas developments, without Uptown prices.

“I want to create that affordable version of that here where you can live, eat, work and play all in one area,” he said.

Unlike many other southern Dallas developments, Onu is seeking no city subsidies for his project.

Visiting the neighborhood Friday, Onu met the councilman at Atkins’ neighborhood office on Simpson Stuart Road near Bonnie View, which is very close to Onu’s project.

Atkins said he is encouraged that Onu has arranged financing and is not asking the city for help after many city investments in southern Dallas.

“I think we set the table for people to come and we’ve been marketing,” Atkins said. “Now it’s opportunity time to invest. It’s opportunity time that we’ve got market rate type of development who said, I don’t need any incentive from the city of Dallas. I love that word. They said ‘I don’t need anything,'” Atkins said.

The southern side of Dallas still has land available for development. It is the part of the city where Dallas needs to grow.

Onu said he is making a calculated bet on the area with the soaring job growth supporting his wager.

“I am taking a bet and I believe in this area. I believe in this city. Dallas has some of the most migration of any city and it’s only a matter of time before that migration reaches more and more south,” Onu said.

Groundbreaking on his Bonnie View Road development is due in the spring.

Onu said he also has a single-family home development in the works nearby in Lancaster.

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