New Development Taking Shape in the Trinity River Corridor

June 30, 2014 by Will Schnier P.E.

New Development Taking Shape in the Trinity River Corridor

The Trinity River Corridor Project’s impact on Dallas ranges from safety improvements and transportation enhancements to new recreation opportunities and facilities. With those components in place or under construction, private development is also beginning to emerge in the Trinity River Corridor, especially as space in Uptown becomes scarce.

This is the final post of a five-part series about the Trinity River Corridor Project. We featured a new post on the BIG RED Blog about the Trinity River Corridor Project each week during June.

Click here to read all of our posts about the Trinity River Corridor Project.

505 Riverfront Partners purchased more than 25 acres on Riverfront Boulevard in 2012, and since then has bought about 15 more acres near the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. That group is beginning to plan what will take shape on the land, which is zoned multi-use. That means retail, office space, and high-density residential development could all be allowed on the site.

riverfront blvd site
Photo of Riverfront Boulevard site courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Not far from the 505 Riverfront project, at the foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge on Bedford Street, Trinity Groves is helping transform a once underutilized area into a destination. A group of investors purchased land that had formerly been dominated by industrial and commercial buildings, and turned the older buildings into a restaurant incubator. The buzz around the space has helped draw retail and create a mixed use district.

Along a section of Fort Worth Avenue that approaches the Trinity River, close to 1,000 apartment units are either under construction or in the planning stages. Retail is following, with boutique groceries, restaurants and services opening up along that corridor.

Another massive site along the Trinity River is slated for a dense, mixed-use development. The Rivers, headed by Matthews Southwest and Tricon Capital Group Inc. is a 60-acre development planned to include 2,000 to 3,000 residential townhomes, apartments and condominiums, and about 50,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The Dallas Maritime Museum is slated to be part of the project as well.

There’s also hope among city officials that the land on which the recently closed Dawson State Jail sits could become home to new development. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice does not have long-term plans to hold on to the property, and is working with state and local officials to determine the fate of the building.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Morning News

Beyond those specific sites, the city is planning for more development in the corridor, not only bringing a range of dense uses to downtown and its environs, but bridging North and South Dallas. The city’s Trinity River Corridor Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) envisions the river as an asset that binds the city, rather than a utilitarian divider. Part of the glue holding that vision together will be new development.

More specifically, the CLUP breaks down the corridor into 11 “development areas” that have their own visions. The Trinity Tech area is proposed to hold urban office campuses, office tech, and mixed-use buildings with residential over office, for instance, while the vision for the Big Three Area includes the expansion and densification of three existing areas, Medical, Market Center, and Victory developments. Plans for another area, the Trinity Overlook, call for bringing downtown Dallas and Oak Cliff together with the help of mixed-use development overlooking the river.

As Texas’s economy continues its strong recovery after the 2008 recession and its cities, including Dallas, see surging growth, it’s likely that more development will take shape in the Trinity River Corridor.

What is your favorite part of the Trinity River Corridor project? What are you most looking forward to? What would you like to see done differently?

Leave your comments below.

Written by Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier is the Chief Executive Officer of BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting. Will received his BSCE from Purdue University and co-founded BIG RED DOG Engineering and Consulting in 2009. Since starting the firm in 2009, BIG RED DOG has grown to over 100 team members with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. BIG RED DOG has garnered awards for being one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Texas (Business Journal’s Fast 50 in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and an ENR top 100 Design Firm in Texas and Louisiana (2012, 2103, 2014, 2015). Mr. Schnier is very well versed in the project review and development permitting process having worked closely and very successfully with City and County review staff, neighborhood associations, environmental groups, and public boards and councils. He has been responsible for the project management, engineering design, and regulatory permitting of hundreds of single family subdivision projects, mixed use and multifamily residential developments, industrial facilities and oil and gas development projects throughout Texas. He is the author of two publications: “Land Subdivision – A Practical Guide for Central Texas” and “The Book on License Agreements in the City of Austin”. Will was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) in 2014 and served as Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s appointment to the City of Austin Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2011 to 2015.