A new development coming to Lake Highlands is expected to bring community resources and help revitalize the neighborhood.

The Dallas Park and Recreation Department is in the process of developing the Forest Audelia Park and Multipurpose Center located at the intersection of Forest Lane and Audelia Road.

The $7.55 million project will include a neighborhood park with a playground and a basketball court and court for futsal, a cross between football and basketball.

The multipurpose center will house a cultural center, recreation center, library, police station, and a boxing gym.

The project is being financed by Skillman Corridor Tax Increment Financing District funds, the park and recreation department, 2017 bond funds, and the city’s ​American Rescue Plan Act Neighborhood Revitalization program.

Christina Turner-Noteware, assistant director of the park and recreation department, said the city hopes to “activate” the area and bring new amenities to the community.

“It’s a depressed area, and we realize that there are not a lot of amenities in the area currently,” Turner-Noteware said.

In 2021, the department partnered with the Better Block Foundation, a local nonprofit organization, to bring a pop-up park to the area, featuring sport courts, a lawn space, a community garden and a play area to the project site. The park was launched as part of the organization’s Project Safe Neighborhoods effort, meant to promote “safety and vibrancy,” according to the Better Block Foundation’s website.

Turner-Noteware said the initiative was “very successful” and prompted the parks department to install a permanent basketball court in the same location in 2022. Based on community input after the installation of the permanent court, the department decided to make additional improvements to the area, and bring the additional park space and center to the site, which previously hosted a shopping center that is now largely vacant.

The Forest Audelia project, which is located at 9759 Forest Lane, will be completed in three phases.
  • Phase 1 will start in April and include demolishing part of the existing building that housed the shopping center, Turner-Noteware said.
  • Phase 2 will include the construction of the park and playground area, which she said is expected to take eight months to a year to complete. A groundbreaking for the construction is expected to be held in May.
  • Phase 3 will focus on improvements and renovations to the center, she said. The entire project will take at least two-three years to complete.
“We’re just happy to ... help this community,” Turner-Noteware said.