Monday, March 15, 2010

Transit-Oriented Development in Richardson

Has DART been a boon to development in Richardson? Rodger Jones, in The Dallas Morning News Transportation blog, says no, or at least not yet:

"My observation, from my daily commutes on the Red Line, is that TOD [Transit-Oriented Development] has been slow to develop near DART stations. ... Because DART rail moves along former railroad right of way, it goes largely through warehouse, commercial and light industrial corridors where attractive development won't happen."

After the jump, my analysis.

On my scorecard, Richardson is batting at least .500 now and holds out hope for more success to come. Spring Valley Station has the nearby Brick Row development going up. Galatyn Station has a hotel, the Eisemann Center, offices and apartments all within easy walk. The Eastside development at Campbell Road is located right along the DART line with stations about a mile north and south. On the other hand, Arapaho Station and Bush Turnpike Station so far only have big parking lots nearby. There was talk of a major development at Arapaho Road several years ago, so it's fair to guess something might still happen there once the economy recovers. The vacant land bordering Bush Turnpike station recently changed hands, so there may be more hope of early development there. Farther east, the Shire commercial development is already expanding westward towards Bush Turnpike station. (Coincidentally, on Monday's City Council meeting agenda was this item: "Deliberation Regarding Economic Development Negotiations: Mixed Use Development -- Bush Turnpike/Wyndham Lane Area.")

Contrast this story with what's happening across Central Expressway. There the question is, what to do about Spring Valley Road? As slow as development is in coming to neighborhoods along the DART rail line, development in southwest Richardson seems infinitely more distant in the future. Maybe an east-west DART line could ride to the rescue? Sadly for the neglected southwest region of Richardson, the proposed east-west Cotton Belt DART line will run far to the north, from Bush Turnpike Station westward to a UT-Dallas Station, then on to Addison and beyond.

All in all, Richardson is well positioned to take advantage of transit-oriented development, some of which the residents of Richardson are enjoying already today.

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