Land that was purchased as part of the path for the proposed Trinity River Parkway toll road is poised to become an arts incubator instead.
The idea for a tollway along the Trinity River was permanently shelved in 2017 after years of bitter debate over the plan to combine the roadway with the proposed Trinity River Park. The park is still being pursued without the tollway.
The land at 3111 North Stemmons Freeway was to be the northern entrance to the tollway and a motel was demolished to make way for the new interchange.
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On Wednesday, the Dallas City Council unanimously agreed to lease the site to the Sammons Center for the Arts for $1 a year for 40 years with two possible five-year extensions included.
The Sammons Center is raising money to construct the proposed Commonwealth Arts Incubator, a compound with multiple buildings in several phases. The final cost is not known but construction and operation will not be at the city's expense.
Councilman Omar Narvaez, who represents the neighborhood, said the project will include offices and performance and rehearsal space. A future phase will add a small apartment complex to provide affordable living quarters for artists.
The incubator will be encouraged to hire employees from the planned Salvation Army homeless shelter nearby, and artists will have the opportunity to cultivate new businesses related to the arts in the adjacent industrial area.
“So all in all this is an amazing project that’s been wrapped into many layers across the city and I’m really excited about this passing,” Narvaez said.
With the approval, the Sammons Center will continue with fundraising.
Representatives said the existing Sammons Center for the Arts will remain on Harry Hines Boulevard as well.