What to Do With North Arlington?

City officials, experts and residents consider how to redevelop troubled areas

By Mola Lenghi
|  Monday, Jan 23, 2012  |  Updated 6:49 PM CDT
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Arlington Residents hope redevelopment plans from 2007 will begin after a meeting to decide what to do with apartments that have hindered the development of North Arlington.

Mola Lenghi, Arlington Journalist

Arlington Residents hope redevelopment plans from 2007 will begin after a meeting to decide what to do with apartments that have hindered the development of North Arlington.

Arlington is looking at how to redevelop an area of town in the shadow of its entertainment district.

The city plans to reshape troubled areas in North Arlington near Collins Street and Lamar Boulevard.

“At one time, this was a very desirable place, many years ago," Councilman Jimmy Bennett said. "What we'd like to do is bring that back."

City Council members, planners, residents and financial, business and development experts, will discuss on Monday night ways to redevelop the area.

“We would like our citizens to be safe and comfortable in [the area]," Bennett said. "We're looking for the kinds of places young people would want to move back to. We're attracting a lot of people -- not just to Arlington, but to the Metroplex -- and we want to be a place they seriously consider.”

In 2007, the area around North Collins Street and Lamar Boulevard was designated a mixed-use area, ripe for new businesses and places to live. But the sputtering economy dragged down redevelopment plans.

Some suggest that several older apartment complexes in the area have also been a drag.

“They're a bit of a drain on our services," Bennett said. Property values have certainly not been helped by them. We've had a number of code issues with a number of these apartments."

On a Facebook page devoted to Monday night’s meeting, people said the dilapidated apartments are an issue.

“There are some apartments that are complete dumps,” wrote one person.

“Tell them to start tearing them all down!” another person said.

“Let's get this thing fixed,” one man said.

North Arlington would be the focus of the redevelopment plans, but supporters say the scope would not be limited to just that part of the city.

“By no means are we thinking exclusively about this area,” Bennett said. “We're looking for ways to help redevelop our older apartments throughout the city.”

Monday meeting's meeting was held at the Arlington Convention Center from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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