$390M Hensley Field redevelopment seeks city council approval
Dallas City Council approval is pending for a master plan to redevelop Hensley Field into a new walkable community.
The unused former Naval Air Station will be converted into a community with more than 6,800 new homes, 12,000 jobs, parks, waterfront trails and marina, school, recycling and compost facility, grocery store, and possible film studio. The new homes will be a mix of affordable housing and market-rate apartments, townhomes, duplexes, and single-family houses with all future residents living within a five-minute walk of a park or public space. Nearly 100 acres will be set aside to attract major corporate employers. The plan will extend Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus lines to the area. A 40-acre mixed-use development would feature sustainability efforts like rooftop panels, rainwater use, and electric vehicle charging stations.
The redevelopment plan is expected to cost $389.9 million, half of which will be spent on new roads and utilities. The project will be completed in three phases over 20 years.
The master plan suggests tax increment financing, to be approved by city council, to commit future property tax revenue to pay for public infrastructure and improvement costs. Tax increment financing is expected to raise $198 million-$243 million in property tax revenue from Dallas and Dallas County over two decades. The master plan recommends bonds, federal grants, American Rescue Plan Act funds, and other financing methods to support the remainder of the project.
Dallas City Council will vote to approve or deny the plan in December. After securing city council approval, the city will contract a developer to oversee the project with construction expected to begin 2025-2026.
The site is contaminated and requires environmental cleanup of metals, toxic chemicals, asbestos, and lead-based paint left from previous military use to meet residential standards. In a 2002 settlement, the Navy agreed to clean the site to residential standards by 2017, yet that has not been completed and it’s uncertain when the area will be cleaned. Cleanup could be completed in phases along with redevelopment.
Hensley Field is mostly unused except for city storage. The city leases some property to private companies and the military. Historic sites like a mid-1800s cemetery and 1940s aircraft hangars could be preserved or repurposed according to the master plan.