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DART Helps Move Las Colinas Forward
Transit-oriented projects come to fruition
DART Rail is helping breathe new life into Las Colinas, the master-planned business and residential community 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.
"This is the return on Irving's investment in DART," said Beth Bowman, president/CEO of the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. "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."
The Music Factory brings jobs, entertainmentThe long-awaited Irving Music Factory, the $175 million entertainment district located on Las Colinas Boulevard near the Irving Convention Center, began opening in September. The first area to open was The Pavilion, a convertible indoor-outdoor entertainment venue and rental space.
The Music Factory also will include 100,000 square feet of office space.
"We are excited about 1,500 direct jobs that this project is estimated to create and $14 million in sales tax income for the city over a 10-year period," Bowman said.
North Carolina-based developer The Ark Group has promoted DART Rail proximity and the transit connection to both Downtown Dallas and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as advantages of the project site. For the hundreds of workers and thousands of visitors who will travel to the Irving Music Factory, DART's Orange Line provides a convenient and economical way to travel.
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.
Water Street offers a walkable lifestyleNearby on North O'Connor Boulevard, multifamily housing developer Gables Residential is constructing Water Street, a $100 million mixed-use community overlooking Lake Carolyn.
The pedestrian-friendly project will feature 316 apartments, a park for special events, and approximately 60,000 square feet for retail and restaurants - with many offering outdoor patios. Gables has begun pre-leasing apartments. Restaurants and shops will begin opening in late 2017.
Easy access to DART Rail is a selling point for Water Street, which is located a half mile from Las Colinas Urban Center Station.
"Gables Water Street is a short DART ride to the airport, which is especially attractive to people with busy travel schedules," said Katy Slade, area vice president of investments for Gables Residential. "Today's residents are drawn to the lifestyle of leaving their car at home. And transit access is one of the main selling points for our corporate accommodations. Business travelers can get easily to and from the airport."
Bowman said Water Street is a future stop on the Las Colinas Area Personal Transit System - an aerial people-mover system serving the area - connecting the development more directly to the DART station.
"When it comes to transit, you must have the infrastructure in place before you see the benefits," Bowman said. "Irving is fortunate that forward-thinking leaders invested in DART. These developments are huge boons to the regional economy. But there's more to come; DART Rail adds a whole new layer of opportunities and possibilities in Las Colinas."
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