According to a May 2017 report from the Economics Research Group at the University of North Texas, public and private developers have invested a combined $10.8 billion in transit-oriented development projects near or along DART’s 93-mile light rail system since 1999.
From the mixed-use Village of Rowlett to the redevelopment of Garland’s downtown square, to the Mustang Station apartments in Farmers Branch, development near DART Rail illustrates how transit infrastructure transforms cities and supports North Texas’ economic vitality.
The Cedars in Dallas
Developer Jack Matthews sparked the resurgence of The Cedars, a district just south of Downtown Dallas, when he opened South Side on Lamar in 2000. The development is a circa 1913 Sears & Roebuck warehouse reimagined as lofts and artists’ studios, located two blocks from Cedars Station, which opened in 1996.
“Consumers today want to live, work and play easily,” Matthews said. “That’s why I look for properties that are near public transit.”
His company, Matthews Southwest, helped create The Cedars of today with projects like The Belleview apartments, NYLO Hotel, Gilley’s/South Side Ballroom, The Beat lofts, and dine-in cinema Alamo Drafthouse.
A proposed high-speed rail line, connecting Houston to Dallas, promises further transformation with a station located in the neighborhood.
Parkland Hospital’s new campus in Dallas
Parkland Health & Hospital System designed the new 2.8 million-square-foot Parkland Hospital campus with patients’ needs in mind, including easy access to DART light rail and bus.
The DART Green Line runs through the center of the flagship campus. Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station serves the new Parkland, which opened in August 2015.
The old Parkland campus still houses some outpatient clinics. Parkland Shuttles 704 and 705, operated by DART, help connect the two facilities. The shuttles make it easy for patients and staff to move between the various parts of campus and to reach DART.
Parkland also participates in the DART Employer Annual Pass program, offering subsidized annual passes to employees based on need. This offers employees an affordable option for getting to and from their jobs.
Las Colinas Urban Center in Irving
Two major developments, which together represent nearly $400 million in investment, are fast taking shape near the Irving Convention Center and Las Colinas Urban Center stations, thanks in part to DART Rail service.
“When the two Las Colinas stations opened a few years ago, they effectively turned our community into a 352-acre transit-oriented development – and the latest projects show the power of light rail to attract significant private capital,” said Beth Bowman, president/CEO of the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
The long-awaited Toyota Music Factory, the $175 million entertainment district located on Las Colinas Boulevard near the Irving Convention Center, began operating in September. The first area to open was The Pavilion, a convertible indoor-outdoor entertainment venue and rental space.
Between the Irving Music Factory and the Irving Convention Center, Westin Hotels & Resorts is constructing the $110 million, 350-room Westin Irving Convention Center Hotel. The hotel should open by early 2019.
Nearby on North O’Connor Boulevard, multifamily housing developer Gables Residential is constructing Water Street, a $100 million mixed-use community overlooking Lake Carolyn. The development is near the Las Colinas Urban Center Station.
Also in Irving, Verizon is developing its $1 billion Hidden Ridge mixed-use development, which will include Pioneer Natural Resources’ new headquarters. DART will build the deferred Carpenter Ranch Station to serve the area.
Downtown Plano Arts District
The opening of DART’s Downtown Plano Station in 2002 ignited renewed interest and reinvestment in the city’s aging downtown area.
Guided by the 1999 Downtown Plano Transit Village Plan, developers, small-business owners and the city of Plano have revived the heart of the city. Historic buildings have been converted to shops, restaurants, museums, art galleries and office space. New construction has added more than 1,000 residential units, including apartments, condos and single-family homes.
“DART ignited a renaissance and today downtown Plano is a vibrant destination for shopping, dining, the arts and cultural experiences,” Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said.
With ample opportunities for redevelopment and infill projects, the city is planning for downtown Plano’s continued growth, such as new housing, businesses, shopping and entertainment. The prospect of a Cotton Belt transit station on downtown Plano’s south side further expands the district’s potential.
Historic Downtown Carrollton
Passenger rail is driving development in downtown Carrollton, as it did in the early 1900s. With the arrival of the DART Green Line in 2010, the city reimagined its downtown.
The city improved walkability by recreating public spaces, pushing parking to the outskirts of the area and adding a walk-bike path between the square and Downtown Carrollton Station.
Carrollton strategically recruited a top-tier developer to create a mixed-use housing development. Built in phases, Union at Carrollton Square offers over 4,600 square feet of ground-floor restaurant space and more than 300 apartments. The project was the city’s first major transit-oriented residential development.
The city continues to attract unique shopping and dining experiences around the square, which is anchored by a signature gazebo. Downtown Carrollton now hosts special events year-round, including its capstone event, Festival at the Switchyard.
CityLine in Richardson
Richardson’s massive, 200-acre CityLine project broke ground in 2013, and today is one of Texas’ largest transit-oriented developments. Where empty fields once stood, CityLine now is home to a day-time population of 15,000 with luxurious single-family and multifamily housing, and Whole Foods Market as a retail anchor.
Corporate anchors State Farm and Raytheon were drawn to the site thanks to multimodal access provided in part by CityLine/Bush Station.
Learn more about how DART keeps you moving in our latest progress report.