Downtown Arlington has seen a lot of growth and we are not slowing down. Within the past year, we've had 3 high-end apartments approved and a new Bed and Breakfast. And Downtown Arlington Management Corp. successfully gained support for a more pedestrian-friendly Abram Street. With the help of our arts partners, we submitted an application to the Texas Commission on the Arts to become a Cultural Arts District.
Check out the new developments in Downtown Arlington and tell us what your favorite is or what you're looking forward to the most!
Cultural Arts District
DAMC worked with nonprofit and for-profit cultural arts partners to submit an application to the Texas Commission on the Arts to establish Arlington as a Cultural Arts District. The city's wide variety of attractions, many of which reside in downtown, solidify our chance for the designation. Establishing a district shows our continued support for cultural arts, which helps generate our local economy. It's also another marketable asset for the City of Arlington to bring in tourism. The application was submitted in June 2014 and we will hear about our success in the fall. To learn more about Cultural Arts Districts in Texas, please click here.
A Moment In Time
Next to Collected Treasures on W. Main Street, A Moment In Time specializes in fairy-tale like parties for princesses and queens alike. A Moment in Time specializes in birthday parties, bridal/ baby showers, or simply a girls day out. Ladies of all ages can enjoy princess pampering and delightful treats like strawberry tea, tiara sandwiches, and princess kabobs. The beautifully decorated room seats around 40 guests and reservations are required.
Thornton Inn Bed & Breakfast
Built in 1906, The Thornton home was the location of the first gas lights in Arlington. During the mid-60s, the Thornton family sold their home to UT Arlington’s Sigma Phi Beta fraternity. After sitting vacant for a few years, Sunny Graham acquired the home in 2006 and worked to restore it to its near-original architecture. Sunny conducted her real estate business out of the home but decided to convert it into an inn with Debbie South. The beautiful Thornton Inn has a warm, home-like feel with five unique bedrooms and personal bathrooms. Each room has robes, Wi-Fi access, alarm clock radio, hair dyer, and cable for guests. Four of the bedrooms are located upstairs along with a cozy seating area, perfect for high-tea. Downstairs boasts a comfortable living and dining area for complementary breakfast. In addition, a handicap accessible room and bathroom are available on the main floor. The Thornton Inn is ran by the accommodating innkeepers, Jimmy and Debbie South. The husband and wife duo live on the premise and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
South Street Patio
As Randy Ford says, "In Austin, Texas, they have 6th Street, in Fort Worth, Texas, they have 7th Street and now in Arlington, Texas, we have South Street". Right behind Downtown Arlington's iconic J. Gilligan's Bar and Grill sits the South Street Patio at 400 E. South St. The new event venue is a bit more 'chic' than it's parent J. Gilligan's, but it still knows how to have a good time. The 8,000-square-foot space can seat about 350-400 people inside and is available for any kind of party or event imaginable. South Street Patio was originally a Goodyear garage and it still has the original bays around the concrete dance floor. With a stage and a $40,000 sound system, South Street Patio can take any event up a notch. Beer, liquor and wine are all available for purchase for an event but guests can cater-in from wherever they'd like if Irish Nachos aren't what they're craving.
DAMC launched the "myAbram" campaign to lead the discussion on the redevelopment of Abram Street. The campaign focused on community leaders, such as: Dan & Linda Dipert, Dan Dipert Travel; Varun Mallipaddi, 2013-14 UT Arlington Student Congress President; Valerie Landry, General Manager of The Sanford House Inn & Spa; Dr. Terry Bertrand, Associate Pastor of Administration, First Baptist Church; and Randy Ford, Owner of J. Gilligan's Bar & Grill. These downtown champions told their side of the story on why Abram Street needs to be pedestrian-friendly. Our key messages revolved around creating a vibrant destination for the community, with a focus on safety and economic development.
The Downtown Arlington Management Corporation (DAMC) Board of Directors unanimously voted to endorse Option A for Abram Street, which includes a single eastbound lane, westbound lane, and center turn lane between Cooper and Collins. Option A provides all blocks between Cooper and Collins with 5 to 12 ft of continuous sidewalks. In addition, all blocks are designed with 3 to 5 ft wide streetscaping area, shade trees, and benches. This streestcaping area provides an additional buffer between the pedestrian and vehicular traffic, making Abram Street not only visually appealing but significantly safer. Option A allows for the most on-street parking by including reverse-angle parking. It is similar to parallel parking, but is easier and actually safer. Reverse-angle increases visibility by allowing the motorist to see oncoming traffic more clearly when they are leaving the space. Most importantly, it redirects children and passengers to enter the vehicle from behind, closer to the sidewalk.
On June 10, 2014, the Arlington City Council directed city staff to move forward to make Abram Street more pedestrian-friendly and selected Option A.
“For us, it’s always been about the people. The important benefit we achieve with this option is we make Abram Street a place for people,” said Tony Rutigliano, Downtown Arlington Management Corp. president.
Central Library & City Center
The heart of Arlington is about to undergo a significant transformation. The George W. Hawkes Central Library will be torn down during the Fall of 2014 to make way for two high-quality developments. The Central Library will be reconstructed on the City Hall block, and will include 80,000 square feet of space, an new public plaza and state-of-the-art community meeting rooms. This $25 million project will complement the the City Center mixed-use project, which is slated for the existing library block. The approximately $30 million project is anticipated to include 27,000 square feet of office, 9,000 square feet of retail and 268 market-rate urban residential space. The project will also include a 600 space structured parking garage.
A $20 million luxury apartment complex will be the first of its kind for Downtown Arlington. Temporarily named 404 Border, the site of the new development is at the corner of E. Border St. and Mary St. The urban-living residential project has 135 units with 63 of those being 1-bedroom and 72 2-bedroom and is geared towards young professionals, graduate students and downtown employees. Amenities include: resort-style pool, exercise facilities, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and hardwood floors. Private and covered parking will also be available for residents. The plan to redevelop Abram Street as a pedestrian-friendly destination enhances the walkable and urban-style of 404 Border.
The 169-unit Arlington Lofts will replace the 45-year-old, 120-unit Catalina Apartments at 815 W. Abram Street. The four-story complex sits one block north of The University of Texas at Arlington, one of the nation's fastest growing research universities. The Arlington Lofts are fully furnished and will feature full kitchens, individual bathrooms, a pool, fitness center, cyber cafe, and courtyard. A total of 549 bedrooms will be available for students: four 1-bedroom units, 48 two-bedroom units, 19 three-bedroom units, and 98 four-bedroom units.The 4.2-acre site currently has a value of $2.5 million and the new complex is expected to be worth $31.5 million. In addition, a three-story garage will provide 475 parking spaces for students. The Arlington Lofts are expected to open in August 2016.
Sapphire Inspired Living
Downtown Arlington and The University of Texas at Arlington are set to get a $45 million private, high-tech apartment complex at 1001 S. Center St. (between Center and Mesquite streets and Mitchell and Hosack streets on the southeast edge of campus). The urban-village inspired living is a four-story, 254-unit complex/ 760 bedrooms with a 700+ space parking garage on 4.5 acres. This increases the taxable value of the site by 10 times. Amenities will include swimming pool, media center, stainless steel appliances, individual bathrooms, and granite countertops. The new complex comes at a time when the university is experiencing immense growth. Over 33,000 students were enrolled in Spring 2013 – a growth of 35% in the past five years. Sapphire Inspired Living is expected to open in August 2015.