Development potential

Kate Gapp, Contributing Writer

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An aerial view of the old Cowboys stadium shows its proximity to UD and the amount of land available for contractors to potentially develop. Photo courtesy of Allspamme, Wikimedia.

A proposition was made in early October which would bring great change for Irving’s economy and add variety to the social opportunities available near the University of Dallas campus.

For over five years now, a plot of land neighboring the UD campus has lain dormant where the old Texas Stadium used to stand.

In 2010, the Dallas Cowboys’ previous stadium was demolished.

Since then, there have been only rumors as to what would become of the 90-acre plot nestled between Loop 12 and Highway 114. The City of Irving initially announced that the Texas Department of Transportation would pay just over $15 million to lease the land for 10 years as staging for the State Highway 114/Loop 12 diamond interchange.

This agreement was established with the condition of relocating it if a plan for redevelopment became available.

Irving mayor Beth Van Dyne has expressed hopes to develop the land into an area for citizens to work, play and live.

The recent economic recession has delayed planning until now. Included in the new tentative plans for the land are .5 million square feet of retail shops and department stores, theaters, hotels, offices and living spaces.

Junior Bethany Vu, a commuter who drives 15 minutes to and from campus each day, expressed interest in the prospect of new apartments close to campus.

“Our students would benefit from having another apartment complex to live in nearby that would be a short commute to,” said Vu.

Another DART station, just one stop from UD, would also be built in conjunction with this project.

Because this area is so central, surrounded by three major highways, it is expected to attract a good deal of attention and boost the surrounding Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex’s economy.

OliverMcMillan, the San Diego-based, has even proposed elevating the purpose of this development above a strictly economic function and into a piece of public modern art.

This would include lighting up the highways, offering fluorescent eye candy for the passengers of the 700,000 cars that drive by each day. This vision is modeled after an area in Shanghai similarly surrounded by highways which have been modified to add visual interest to the construction.

Among many questions posed to the developer, a major concern is the proximity of the area to the epicenter of over 46 small earthquakes that have occurred throughout northern Texas between 2013 and 2015.

Oliver McMillan acknowledged this concern but believes the problem may be circumvented.

“There are great ways to design and engineer around it,” said the development team.

A closer investigation may still be in order before the City of Irving signs an agreement.

This plan will not be publicly confirmed until Irving and Oliver iron out the details and sign an agreement. Exciting as this potential development could be for UD and the greater Irving community, it would likely not be completed until 2021.

While current students will not be here to see this transformation, it will likely be an attraction for future classes, as well as a point of interest for faculty and alumni.

“It sounds incredible,” said junior Sarah Schneider. “I think it would be really great for the UD community to have somewhere safe and fun to enjoy life outside the Bubble, but still be so close [to campus].”

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