(Richard Greene for the Star-Telegram, December 30, 2018) As the new year dawns in Arlington, the city is in transition as the current decade comes to a close. Eager anticipation awaits the 2020s as a period of remarkable achievement eclipsing all that has led the city to this time in its history.
Few other cities in the country have as much happening that will shape its future in such profound ways that will lift the prospects of all its residents.
In his annual state of the city address a couple of weeks ago, it took Mayor Jeff Williams a full hour to cover it all in front of a record crowd in the city’s new Esports Stadium, itself having received the Outstanding Venue award for the burgeoning electronic gaming industry.
Hour-long speeches aren’t usually that popular with big audiences but this one was an exception. The crowd remained in full focus amid the sights and sounds that unfolded in front of them of all that is happening in “The American Dream City...”
... With the closing year’s completion of several hundreds of millions in new facilities on the campus of UT Arlington, the university is poised for continued growth. With on- and off-campus enrollment now the largest in the University of Texas System, President Vistasp Karbhari tells us it’s all about producing graduates who will change the world.
An expanding companion to the university’s success, Downtown Arlington revitalization is taking shape at a record pace. There are new restaurants and entertainment venues, along with multifamily housing projects recently opened and new ones rising that are bringing the population in the city’s center to new heights.
A centerpiece of all of that is the ongoing work on the transformation of the main thoroughfare through downtown: The Abram Street rebuild is a $26 million voter-approved project that is set for completion in 2020. It will feature a major gathering place at the confluence of the city hall plaza and the Levitt Pavilion, where 50 free concerts are held every year.
These highlights lead to spinoffs from this kind of success, and is why it takes an hour-long presentation to cover them all.
We mark the coming of the new year and the decade to follow and pause for a moment and say — yeah, it’s going to be a happy one for sure.
This is an excerpt from the story by Richard Greene from the December 30, 2018 issue of the Star-Telegram. Read the full story by clicking here. Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor, served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency and lectures at UT Arlington.