Within the past year, several new neighbors have moved onto Jefferson Boulevard, the long-time heart of Oak Cliff, giving the street added life and vitality. Three of them are particularly unique in what they brought to the area.
• The new operator of the historic Texas Theatre, Aviation Cinema, is bringing folks from across the river by, among other activities, showing film classics, indie films and Texas-based documentaries and sponsoring Oscar-watch parties. And its friendly bartenders are also quickly making the bar a neighborhood hangout, particularly in view of its fine martini.
• In the non-profit arena, AIDS Arms, with its move to Jefferson Tower, now has its professional staff on four floors of that historic building. This is Jefferson Tower’s first multi-floor tenant in many years. Over 75 staffers are now calling Jefferson Tower home and patronizing the restaurants and shops in the area. Additionally, the agency is renovating a building on Sunset to become a medical clinic that will employ over 25 healthcare workers, so increased patronage of area businesses should be assured. Of equal importance is the economic impact of the $1.1 million of construction for tenant build-out in Jefferson Tower and for renovation of the Sunset building.
• For the arts scene, the Oak Cliff Cultural Center has recently opened and has already hosted many art exhibitions, both for individuals and established and emerging arts groups. The Center is next door to the Texas Theatre and, between the two venues, Jefferson Boulevard is increasingly becoming an entertainment destination for the entire city. The Center is also available for community meetings.
Each of these new neighbors is varied in its business and customer base so their impact on Jefferson Boulevard is varied. But all are positive influences on the revitalization of Oak Cliff’s “main street.”