DALLAS -- Though most of the buildings show little more than a foundation, the Woodbridge Meadow development has already begun to take the shape planners have dreamed of for years.
Some duplexes and one triplex have roof structures in place. In the end, the development will provide 40 rental units in 19 separate buildings along Davis and Dimick streets.
At the construction site, workers create new homes in the shadows of nature's accomplishments.
Cyclone fence sets off a madrona tree in the center of the development's common area.
A mature Douglas fir and a giant sequoia will remain untouched nearby, framing a new community building.
The bridge that lends the development its name -- a miniature model of Ritner Creek Bridge near Pedee -- will cover a playground path.
Woodbridge Meadow serves an important need in a growing community, said Polk Community Development Corporation Executive Director Rita Grady.
Polk CDC, a nonprofit organization, develops homes to rent at reasonable rates to working families.
"When you provide safe, affordable housing in a community, you strengthen that community," Grady said.
The new development will serve families that might earn too much to qualify for Section 8 but still spend almost half their incomes on rent. The two- and three-bedroom homes will rent for around $500 to $550 per month.
Woodbridge Meadow should take its first tenants by next spring. The project has been successful, Grady said, thanks to cooperation between the nonprofit and City of Dallas officials.
"It's been a good partnership," said Dallas Community Development Director Jerry Wyatt. "We can use this as a springboard to other projects."
He mentioned downtown housing as one future possibility.
The Dallas City Council applied for a grant last summer to make street, sewer, and water improvements for Woodbridge Meadow. This February, the state Community Development Department awarded Dallas $225,000.
The level of cooperation and the amount of planning that went into Woodbridge Meadow almost eliminated the possibility of surprises. Almost.
When workers began digging out the site, they found an intact, 15-by-30 foot swimming pool, filled with garbage and buried. That minor glitch didn't bump the plans off schedule, Grady said.
"These are the kind of unknowns you see every once in a while."