Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving Reporter
Leasing has already begun on The Water Street project in Irving which will bring business, restaurants and housing
The biggest office park in North Texas will soon have a new area for dining and shopping once the the Water Street Project, located along O'Connor and Las Colinas boulevards in Irving, opens.
Dining choices aren't exactly plentiful at the Urban Center in Las Colinas.
"Typically, you're pretty much forced to another location to enjoy a decent lunch," said Scott Calabro, who has been working at the Urban Center since 1996.
But more options will become available when the new development opens.
"They're targeting right now high-end restaurants for some of the strategic locations within the project," said John Bennot, director of business recruitment for the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
Bennot said leasing has already begun on the Water Street Project. The mixed-use development is expected to have about 350 apartment units and about 70,000-square feet of retail and restaurant space.
Bennot said about 22,000 people come to at the Urban Center daily. He said the Chamber of Commerce has been working for years to bring projects like Water Street to the area.
To make the new venue even more accessible, a monorail-like system called the Area Personal Transit (APT) will add a stop. The APT is also in the process of connecting with the DART Rail and increasing its hours of service.
"The APT now just works on a nominal basis to provide lunch time service. Once the connection has been made to DART, we will start operating on a 60-hour week, 12 hours a day, five days a week," said Jacky Knox, general manager at the Dallas County Utility and Reclamation District.
Those who work in the area said they're excited about the changes to come.
"We're all waiting to see what's going to happen, what kind of retail, what kind of restaurants are gonna come," said Wendy Summers, who has worked at the Urban Center for the past four years.
The Water Street Project will break ground in the beginning of next year and is expected to be completed by Oct., 2014.