UTA Developments Bringing Downtown to Arlington

Arena, downtown district slated to open in 2012

The $158 million College Park Center and District under construction in Arlington is expected to benefit students and the entire city.

The University of Texas at Arlington developments include 27,000 square feet of available retail space, residence halls with a total of 600 beds and 7,000 arena seats.

College Park Center is scheduled for completion by February.

"It's a state-of-the-art facility, because it has everything here," said Bill Amendola, of the University of Texas Systems Facilities. "It has not just a basketball floor here, it has practice courts [and] an academic center."

The arena will also serve as a concert venue for big-name artists, among other things.

"It'll be high-tech, loud and fun," UTA spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said.

The College Park District, which is expected to be complete by August, is just across the street.

"This is Arlington's first mixed-use development," Sullivan said.

The district will have retail, restaurants and living space, as well as an 1,800-space public parking garage.

The city is footing the bill for the $18 million garage.

The university hopes the College Park District can give the city the "downtown" feel that some people suggest Arlington lacks.

"There was a time when there weren't restaurants and entertainment venues downtown and places to live," Sullivan said. "Now, all over the university, you see new residences bringing people downtown."

But some are already thinking beyond UTA's campus and the city of Arlington.

"This arena is really meant for the entire region," Sullivan said. "The North-Central Texas region doesn't really have a lot of mid-sized arenas that are good for concerts, commencements and other community events. We'd like to host a presidential debate here. It's going to be very unique for our region."

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