Las Colinas Looks Forward to DART Rail

Apartments, office spaces around rail line see spike in business

Dallas Area Rapid Transit rail will begin service in Irving in less than a month.

Apartment complexes and companies in Las Colinas said they are optimistic the Orange Line will make the area more desirable, boosting the economy.

"I would say we'd seen a recent surge in April and May of movers to the area -- probably 5 percent additional from last year, which is a good bump -- and we'll continue to see that with the opening of the light rail," said Rachel Kramer, Delante Apartments spokeswoman.

Kramer said the property, which is currently 95 percent occupied, would likely continue to fill up once the Orange Line opens.

"This only enhances the neighborhood, because it gives them great access to all of DFW," she said.

The same goes for office spaces that are up for lease.

"It's part of the fulfillment of the Las Colinas Urban Center to have a place where people can live, work and play and have alternatives of transportation options they can take advantage of," said Jacky Knox, the general manager of Dallas County Utility and Reclamation District who has worked on Las Colinas Development since 1976.

Mark Dickenson, senior vice president of Cousins Properties Inc., said his company has eight properties in Las Colinas that total about 3 million square feet of office space. He said 85 percent to 90 percent of the space currently is leased out.

Dickenson also said companies wanting to move into the area have been showing a growing interest in light rail.

"We're talking to five or six big companies right now about Las Colinas, and they love the idea of the DART rail line coming through Las Colinas," he said. "They can check that mass transit box."

This summer, DART rail will connect to an internal circulator called the Area Personal Transit, or APT. The APT currently transports people living and working at the Las Colinas Urban Center.

The Orange Line begins service July 30 and will take riders to the Irving Convention Center. Its future extension to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will be completed in 2014.

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