Developers Look South: Onu Ventures Plans New 12‑Acre Project in Southern Dallas

Onu Ventures' residential and retail development at the intersection of I-20 and I-45 will include a grocery store and amenities centered around green space to create community.

The Onu Ventures project adds to other developments looking to build in the southern part of the city. Last month, Hoque Global announced its 270-acre University Hills development located next to the University of North Texas at Dallas campus.

Southern Dallas is set to be the site of another new residential and retail development.

Local real estate development firm Onu Ventures is planning to construct a new 12-acre mixed-used project featuring hundreds of housing units, along with plenty of space for food options, with a goal of bringing infrastructure that has historically been lacking in the city’s southern sector, 

Mikial Onu

“This project will represent the next generation of suburban apartment living in Dallas,” said Mikial Onu, the firm’s president and CEO, in a statement. “Each unit will be space-conscious while providing the comfort our prospective residents will want.”

Onu says the community will aim to meet a resident’s every need, calling it a “game-changer” for Southern Dallas.

Project to include 250 housing units, 10,000 SF of commercial space

Onu plans to break ground on the project next year. Located near the intersection of Interstate 20 and Interstate 45, it will include more than 250 multifamily units, ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments that will be equipped with energy-efficient appliances.  

In addition to housing options, the project will also feature about 10,000 square feet of commercial space that Onu Ventures says will include a grocery store and space for restaurants. That will be centered around green space aimed at creating community. To further that goal, the firm also plans to build amenities including jogging trails, a clubhouse, a fitness center, a dog park, and a pool.

Hoping to attract food options and further development

Onu Ventures has a goal of impacting “as many underserved and underrepresented communities as possible,” and said it hopes the project will bring high-quality food options to the area, which has been called a “food desert,” along with spurring future development in southern Dallas. According to the City of Dallas Economic Development Policy 2022-2032, Southern Dallas is home to 45% of the city’s population, but only 15% of its tax base.  

Dallas firm Humphreys & Partners Architects has been tapped as the project’s designer, with the first multifamily units expected to begin coming online in 2024.

“Our community offers a quick drive to downtown Dallas, affordable rents, and a quality of life that is as good as anywhere else in the Dallas suburbs,” Onu, who relocated from Houston to Dallas last year, said. “This development will be a great option for young professionals and growing families that are looking for more affordable options while still needing to have a quick route to the central business district.”

‘We aim to start the movement to develop South’

The Onu Ventures project adds to other developments looking to build in the southern part of the city. Late last month, Dallas-based developer Hoque Global received approval for up to $31.4 million in tax increment financing from the Dallas City Council for the first phase of its 270-acre University Hills development. That project, located next to the University of North Texas at Dallas campus, will include 1,500 multifamily units, hundreds of single-family homes, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, and 50 acres of green space.

Onu Ventures was founded in 2020 with a mission to “reverse gentrification in residential communities.” According to its website, the firm currently operates in the Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas markets.

In the Dallas area, Onu says it has acquired 80 acres that have a total market price of more than $11 million. Looking ahead, the firm says it’s planning to expand its presence across Texas over the next couple of years, along with eyeing future expansion across the South and Sun Belt regions of the U.S.

Onu wants to “start the movement” to develop the southern sector of the city into a “vibrant community for young professionals and growing families.”

Looking at other areas of a similar distance from downtown Dallas, Southern Dallas “has been severely underserved and underdeveloped,” he said, adding that we can’t leave Southern Dallas behind “if this city is going to reach its potential.”

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