Over the years, a nudge from power players helped transform several forgotten Dallas areas into hot urban neighborhoods. And according to the Dallas Morning News, South East Dallas may be next.

At least that’s what City Council Member Rickey Callahan is hoping.

Callahan tried to get council approval on a toll road along the Trinity River. By linking the river levees, his proposed tollway project would improve Pleasant Grove’s mobility problem and provide residents with a more convenient commute to North Dallas jobs. 

When Callahan’s motion fell short of the necessary votes, he resorted to Plan B and challenged fellow council members to finally devote their attention to South East Dallas and Pleasant Grove.

"It's time to come to Pleasant Grove, folks," Callahan said at that council meeting. "We've been to West Dallas. We've been to Oak Cliff. We've been to the Cedars. We've been everywhere, but we haven't been to southeast Dallas."

Two months later, Mayor Mike Rawlings went to southeast Dallas and accepted Callahan’s challenge at a public event where he announced intentions to add South East Dallas and Pleasant Grove to the GrowSouth effort during the remainder of his tenure, which is June 2019 because of term limits.

While landing a major employer is high on Rawlings’ wish list, he said GrowSouth will also focus on bringing more retail, restaurants, and office space to the area and securing rehabilitation for apartment complexes and shopping centers.

Before the GrowSouth involvement, South East Dallas had already gotten some shots in the arm. Texas Horse Park at the Trinity opened. The city-owned Trinity Forest Golf Club is hosting the AT&T Byron Nelson Golf Tournament. And the November bond election will include the $7.7 million Crawford Memorial Park and $1.2 million Kleberg Trail. 

"We can and we will do more," Callahan said at the event. "We've got a long way to go, but the good news is we've gotten started."