Richardson, Rowlett guide investment near stationsSince the Red Line arrived in Richardson in 2002, DART riders have observed a transformation.
"Richardson is now essentially built-out. With only four percent of the city undeveloped, we are more tactically focused on leveraging reinvestment in underperforming areas to maintain the city's long-term economic well-being," said Michael Spicer, director of development services.
Arapaho Center is the only one of Richardson's four stations without a transit-oriented development. To change that, the city recently hired consultants to conduct the Collins/Arapaho Transit-Oriented Development and Innovation District Study.
City stakeholders will use the findings to create a reinvestment and zoning strategy for the 1,200-acre area. Moreover, Richardson's objective is to create a plan that exploits the benefits of a light rail station as an integral component of an innovation district, where people and businesses of all sizes can create innovative ideas, technologies, products and services within a walkable, mixed-use, transit-accessible context.
"From the time Richardson joined DART as a charter member, and especially once light rail was becoming a reality, the city has purposefully planned to better ensure that development in proximity to our DART rail stations bolsters ridership, expands economic opportunity, and affords citizens a broader range of lifestyle options," Spicer said. "Our partnership with DART, built on decades of mutual trust, has been phenomenal."
Rowlett restores its downtownStep off the train at the Blue Line's northern end and see the mixed-use Village of Rowlett overlooking Main Street and Rowlett City Hall, barely a block away.
As part of the Realize Rowlett 2020 plan, the city used DART access, land-development regulations and 11 acres of city-owned real estate to attract a developer to build the catalyst transit-oriented development. In addition to multifamily housing, the Village will add retail and office space downtown, as well as a new home for the Rowlett Public Library.
Nearby, small shops like Girlfriends Boutique and Farmhouse Living have moved into old storefronts located close to the rail station. Other local business owners designed their new construction - Bankhead Brewing, Main Street Events and the Fulton Building - to look like historical buildings.
"We call it 'filling in the missing teeth' when new buildings are built between existing ones but look like they've been part of the streetscape all along," said Daniel Acevedo, urban design manager at the city of Rowlett.
Five years after the opening of Downtown Rowlett Station, light rail has helped Rowlett transform its old town center into something it hasn't had in a while - a true downtown.
"The Village of Rowlett is just the beginning," said Joey Grisham, Rowlett's assistant director of economic development. "There are plans to develop the Downtown East Corridor near the President George Bush Turnpike and recruit new exciting concepts to the core of downtown - all within a short walk of Downtown Rowlett Station."
Back to top