Texas’s newest commuter rail project, which is set to open in late 2018 and will connect Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport to downtown Fort Worth, is also bringing more than $300 million in transit-oriented development to the corridor.
The Fort Worth Business Press reports that TEXRail crosses through three cities, and “the potential for development around the stations is enormous.”
In south Fort Worth, the planned terminus of TEXRail and the existing TRE commuter line is known as T&P Station. There, the Business Press writes, plans are moving forward for a $94.2-million mixed-use building with 236 apartments and retail. A future hotel is planned for the site as well. The so-called Katy Station Lofts, still in the planning process, will be the first transit-oriented development in Fort Worth, news station NBCDFW reports.
About half of the apartments will be set aside for households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, and 15 will be Rental Assistance Demonstration units—a federal program that allows cities to convert public housing into private-sector management through Section 8 contracts.
Many of the subsidized housing units are set aside for residents being relocated from Butler Place, the city’s largest public housing complex, Next City reported earlier this year. The city is in the process of relocating residents; 15 families moved last year to a new mixed-income development. The goal, Next City reported at the time, was to relocate everyone by the end of 2020.
Elsewhere, the city has asked for help from the Urban Land Institute of North Texas to create a development strategy for the Northside/Stockyards area, the city’s historic district.
Downtown, Texas A&M University purchased parking lots near its law school, and the Convention Center is scheduled to be redeveloped, the Business Press reports.
In North Richland Hills, which is getting two TEXRail stops, the city is building a $150-million project with hundreds of apartments and townhomes, plus retail. And in Grapevine, Texas, the third city on the TEXRail line, a notable project is “Grapevine Main,” a plaza, four-story train station with retail and office space and a 121-room hotel.
“We’re excited to see all these developments around the station, it shows us that we’re doing the right thing,” Bob Baulsir, Senior Vice President for Trinity Metro, told NBCDFW. Trinity Metro is the transit agency that operates TEXRail, it also operates bus service and partners with Dallas Area Rapid Transit to operate the TRE.
“We’re gonna connect folks with employment, with transportation to really anywhere in the world,” Baulsir added.
The TEXRail line was announced in 2016, according to Bisnow, approved a year ago, and will open in December. It uses existing freight tracks, hence the quick delivery. TEXRail is projected to have 8,000 daily riders when service begins.
Rachel Kaufman is a journalist covering transportation, sustainability, science and tech. Her writing has appeared in Inc., National Geographic News, Scientific American and more.