The recent announcement of the "Trinity Forest" golf course project in southern Dallas that will someday host the Byron Nelson has sparked debate about the project's ability to resurrect a rough neighborhood (and therefore receive governmental assistance).
Tod Robberson of the Dallas Morning News editorial page looked into East Lake's resurrection and ran a comparison using Census data for a one-mile radius surrounding the Atlanta course.
In 1990, per-capita income for a one-mile radius surrounding the club was $7,174, according to an analysis I did using ESRI’s Community Analyst. The first Census after the renovation was 2000. By then, per capita income stood at $15,700 — more than double, and representing a whopping 8.15 percent annual growth rate. According to the latest Census figures, per capita income stands at $16, 686.
In 1990, average household income was $23,416. By 2000, it was $43,284. Today it’s at $40,276. Yes, the level has dropped slightly since 2000, probably because of the recession. But the difference between the pre-renovation, 1990 figures and today’s remains staggering. There is no other major feature in East Lake that would explain such a dramatic jump in household incomes.
Pre-renovation, 33 percent of East Lake’s population lived below the poverty level. By 2000, it had been halved, to 18.3 percent. The population was nearly 94 percent black in 1990. It remains majority African American (around 60 percent) but represents a far more healthy racial mix.