Grand Prarie

Grand Prairie Information

Grand Prairie is a city in Dallas County (USA), with a significant overlap into Tarrant County, and a minor overlap into Ellis County. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 127,427 (145,600 as of 2005).Incorporated as “Grand Prairie” in 1909, the community was first recognized as Dechman in 1863.

From his home in Birdville, Alexander McRae Dechman learned he could trade his oxen and wagons for land in Dallas County. In 1863, he bought 2391/2 acres on the east side of the Trinity River and 100 acres of timber land on the west side of the river for a broken down wagon, oxen team and $200 in Confederate money. He tried to establish a home on the property, but ran into difficulties, so returned his family to Birdville before joining the Civil War. In 1876 he filed a town plat consisting of 50 acres with Dallas County.

After the war, he returned to Birdville for two years before selling that farm in 1867 and moving to Houston, where Yellow Fever broke out causing the family to settle in Bryan.

In 1876, Dechman traded half his “prairie” property to T&P Railroad to ensure the railroad came through the town. The railroad named the depot “Dechman” prompting its namesake to relocated his home from Bryan to Dechman. His son Alexander had been living in Dechman and operating a trading post and farm.

The post office was opened in 1877 under the name “Deckman” rather than “Dechman” because the U.S. Post Office couldn’t read the writing on the form completed to open the post office.

The name of the town changed to Grand Prairie later in 1877. Legend has it that the town was renamed after a famous female actor stepped off the train and exclaimed “My, what a grand prairie!” Dechman sold the remainder of his Grand Prairie land in 1890 and apparently moved to Waxahachie. He is buried in historic Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas.  Grand Prairie incorporated as a city in 1909.

There were 43,791 households out of which 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 34.1% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,816, and the median income for a family was $51,449. Males had a median income of $35,300 versus $28,184 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,978. About 8.7% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.

Approximately 65% of Grand Prairie’s K-12 student population attends schools in the Grand Prairie Independent School District, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in the 2002-2003 school year. The remaining 35% of Grand Prairie’s student population reside and therefore attend schools in the following districts in descending order: Arlington ISD, Mansfield ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, Irving ISD, and the Midlothian ISD. Population dynamics indicate that it is plausible that by 2015, the majority of City of Grand Prairie residents will not reside in the Grand Prairie ISD. This is due to the rapid development and population growth of the city’s population south of I-20 and west of Carrier parkway. Most of these areas of the City of Grand Prairie reside in the Arlington and Mansfield ISD attendance boundaries.

In Texas, school district boundaries do not always follow city and county boundaries because all aspects of the school district government apparatus, including school district boundaries, are separated from the city and county government.
GPISD – Grand Prairie Independent School District
The high schools in the district are Grand Prairie High School and South Grand Prairie High School.
AISD – Arlington Independent School District

The Arlington ISD has the second highest portion of Grand Prairie’s K-12 student population. 6 Arlington ISD Elementary schools are within the city limits of Grand Prairie. Grand Prairie residents in the Arlington ISD are located generally west of the Dallas-Tarrant County boundary and north of the intersection of Camp Wisdom and Lake Ridge in Southwest Grand Prairie. One of the Arlington High Schools, James Bowie High, has more Grand Prairie residents than Arlington residents that are students at the school.

Some Things to Consider When Looking for a Place…

When searching for a new apartment make sure to take your time to think through what are the most important things to you in an apartment and plan your search based on those priorities. Here are some things to consider when planning your move:

1. Consider the areas where you would like to live

* What is the crime rate?
* If you have children – what rating does the local school system have?
* Is there area convenient shopping, health and recreation services in the area?

2. Make a list of your housing priorities

* Do you have pets?
* Do you need parking?
* Do you need to be on the ground floor?
* What amenities are important to you – swimming pool, fitness room, in unit laundry?

3. Evaluate the building

* What is the condition of the unit and building?
* Are the grounds maintained?
* Are windows, steps, and railings in good condition?
* View the property at night. Is it safe and well lit?

4. The security of the property

* Are there security service? When is the guard on duty?
* Does the building have controlled access?
* Does each unit have secure door and window locks?

5. Talk to the neighbors

* Ask other residents whether they are satisfied with the building.

6. Amenities

* Who is allowed to use the amenities?
* When are they open?
* Are the fees charged to use those facilities included in rent?

7. Ask about Utilities

* Does the owner or tenant pay the utility bills?
* Are any utilities included with monthly rent?
* Do units have separate thermostats to control heat and air conditioning?

8. Review the lease

* How much notice must you give before moving out?
* Can the rent be increased? If so, by how much and how often?
* Are pets allowed?
* What is the security deposit and cleaning costs upon move out?
* What is the responsibility of tenants for damage to property?
* Is there a penalty for breaking a lease?

9. Information too bring to a lease signing

* Credit Report
* Pay stubs/tax returns
* Reference
* Application

More Apartment Information

An apartment (or flat in Britain and most other Commonwealth countries) is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building. Apartments may be owned (by an owner-occupier) or rented (by tenants).

Some apartment-dwellers own their apartments, either as co-ops, in which the residents own shares of a corporation that owns the building or development; or in condominiums, whose residents own their apartments and share ownership of the public spaces. Most apartments are in buildings designed for the purpose, but large older houses are sometimes divided into apartments. The word apartment connotes a residential unit or section in a building. Apartment building owners, lessors, or managers often use the more general word units to refer to apartments. Units can be used to refer to rental business suites as well as residential apartments. When there is no tenant occupying an apartment, the lessor is said to have a vacancy. For apartment lessors, each vacancy represents a loss of income from rent-paying tenants for the time the apartment is vacant (i.e., unoccupied). Lessors’ objectives are often to minimize the vacancy rate for their units. The owner of the apartment typically transfers possession to the occupant by giving him/her the key to the apartment entrance door and any other keys need to live there, such as a common key to the building or any other common areas, and an individual unit mailbox key. When the occupant move out, these keys should typically be returned to the owner.

Apartments can be classified into several types. Studio, efficiency, bed-sit, or bachelor apartments tend to be the smallest apartments with the cheapest rents in a given area. These kinds of apartment usually consist mainly of a large room which is the living, dining, and bedroom combined. There are usually kitchen facilities as part of this central room, but the bathroom is its own smaller separate room. Moving up from the efficiencies are one-bedroom apartments where one bedroom is a separate room from the rest of the apartment. Then there are two-bedroom, three-bedroom, etc. apartments. Small apartments often have only one entrance/exit. Large apartments often have two entrances/exits, perhaps a door in the front and another in the back. Depending on the building design, the entrance/exit doors may be directly to the outside or to a common area inside, such as a hallway. Depending on location, apartments may be available for rent furnished with furniture or unfurnished into which a tenant usually moves in with his/her own furniture. Permanent carpeting is often included in an apartment.

Laundry facilities are usually kept in a separate area accessible to all the tenants in the building. Depending on when the building was built and the design of the building, utilities such as water, heating, and electric may be common for all the apartments in the building or separate for each apartment and billed separately to each tenant (however, many areas in the US have ruled it illegal to split a water bill among all the tenants, especially if a pool is on the premises). Outlets for connection to telephones are typically included in apartments. Telephone service is optional and is practically always billed separately from the rent payments. Cable television and similar amenities are extra also. Parking space, air conditioner, and extra storage space may or may not be included with an apartment. Rental leases often limit the maximum number of people who can reside in each apartment. On or around the ground floor of the apartment building, a series of mailboxes are typically kept in a location accessible to the public and, thus, to the letter-carrier too. Every unit typically gets its own mailbox with individual keys to it. Some very large apartment buildings with a full-time staff may take mail from the mailman and provide mail-sorting service. Near the mailboxes or some other location accessible by outsiders, there may be a buzzer (equivalent to a doorbell) for each individual unit. In smaller apartment buildings such as two- or three-flats, or even four-flats, garbage is often disposed of in trash containers similar to those used at houses. In larger buildings, garbage is often collected in a common trash bin or dumpster. For cleanliness or minimizing noise, many lessors will place restrictions on tenants regarding keeping pets in an apartment.

In some parts of the world, the word apartment is used generally to refer to a new purpose-built self-contained residential unit in a building, whereas the word flat means a converted self-contained unit in an older building. An industrial, warehouse, or commercial space converted to an apartment is commonly called a loft.

When part of a house is converted for the ostensible use of a landlord’s family member, the unit may be known as an in-law apartment or granny flat, though these (sometimes illegally) created units are often occupied by ordinary renters rather than family members. In Canada these suites are commonly located in the basements of houses and are therefore normally called basement suites.

Staying in privately owned apartments rather than in a hotel is quickly becoming popular with travelers.