Arlington Development Makes Progress

Mixed-use development to add 15,000 people, $1billion in tax revenue

It will likely take 10 to 15 years, but a development in Arlington is expected to add 15,000 residents and workers to the city.

The Viridian Community off Collins Street in North Arlington is under construction. When all is said and done, it will house condos and more than 3,500 houses, as well as retail, office and medical space.

A public-private partnership in which public tax revenue will be used to build infrastructure around the new community has made the project possible. The houses, condos and work areas are expected to add more than $1 billion in tax revenue to the area.

"It's the best located piece of land for mixed-use residential development of almost any city in the United States," said Robert Kembel, president of Huffines Communities, the firm charged with developing the land.

But the property has given developers headaches for the last 30 years. Several attempts to build something all failed.

Kembel said roughly $70 million in infrastructure, permitting and flood plane problems had to be fixed before the costs of development.  But the uniqueness of the land was too much to pass up, he said.

"To have 2,300 acres on the Trinity River -- five minutes from the biggest employer in town, which is DFW Airport -- is incredibly unique," he said. "From Viridian, you're five minutes from all infrastructures that will connect you to any employment center in the Metroplex."

Of the 2,300 acres, only 900 are planned for development. The rest will be lakes, open space and wetlands restoration.

Kembel said hopes it would make the project unique in another way -- pleasing both environmentalists and developers.

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