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Redevelopment of Hensley Field 'a shot in the arm' for southwest part of city

Redevelopment of Hensley Field 'a shot in the arm' for southwest part of city
Redevelopment of Hensley Field 'a shot in the arm' for southwest part of city 02:12

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Change will soon be on the way to southwest Dallas.

This week, the city council approved the master plan to redevelop Hensley Field, which was once home to the Naval Air Station Dallas.

In an interview Thursday, Mayor Eric Johnson said, "This will be a game-changing development in the city."

The new Hensley Field will feature walkable neighborhoods, parks, and a marina along Mountain Creek Lake.

The city is planning nearly 7,000 homes – single family, townhomes, and apartments along with a grocery store and other retail and offices, which could employ 12,000 people.     

Johnson said developers are already expressing interest. 

"We're talking about a 700-acre development that will really be a shot in the arm for the southwest part of the city," he said.

The city estimates redeveloping Hensley Field will cost close to $400 million.

Council members praised the project. 

Paula Blackmon of District 9 said, "It's exciting, everybody should be celebrating."

Jaynie Schultz of District 11 said, "This is one of the greatest projects that's going to happen in the future of the city."

District 6 Council Member Omar Narvaez said, "This is going to be something that transforms Dallas."

Tennell Atkins of District 8 called it, "Something that's going to be amazing, a new city inside of a city."

As many as 40,000 people he said could call Hensley Field home.

CBS 11 toured Hensley Field nearly three years ago with the Mayor and Scott Turner, a former state legislator who worked on federal opportunity zones for former President Donald Trump.

Turner came down to see the old base after Johnson told him about it days earlier during a meeting at the White House.

Leticia and Luis Hernandez have lived near Hensley Field for 37 years and aren't as enthusiastic as city leaders about the project.

Mrs. Hernandez said, they worry the growth will change their quiet neighborhood. "Like it is right now." 

Mr. Hernandez said he prefers single-family homes over apartments and that's not his only concern. "Traffic and people we don't know. It's uncomfortable and more and more people in town."

The Mayor said the city will plan responsibly. "You don't find 700 contiguous acres of land every day in a major city in the United States. So, we want to be smart about what we do with it."

The next step he said is for the Navy to complete the clean-up of the site.

So far, the city said that job has already cost the Navy more than $92 million. 

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