College Park District to become hub of campus, community activity

The University of Texas at Arlington has joined the City of Arlington and First Baptist Church-Arlington to formally launch the new College Park District, an area spanning more than 20 acres on campus, from UTA Boulevard to Mitchell Street.

The district includes a broad range of amenities including central Arlington’s first true residential and retail development and the 6,500-seat College Park Center now under construction south of Second Street.

To the south, The Green at College Park is expected to open late this fall. The Green will be an urban oasis where students, neighbors and friends can gather, play and relax.

College Park District represents a unique collaboration among the University, the city and the church to create a new hub of activity that complements redevelopment now being realized in downtown Arlington.

“Anyone who drives south on Center Street through the heart of our city can see it: Something big is happening,” said James D. Spaniolo, UT Arlington president. “We are witnessing the intersection of downtown revitalization and an increasingly vibrant University. Together, we are shaping Arlington into a true college town.”

President Spaniolo, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and Dennis Wiles, pastor of First Baptist Church-Arlington, are scheduled to speak during the ceremony, which will be held under a tent off Pecan Street, one block south of UTA Boulevard.

The three key elements of the new district are:

  • The $80 million College Park residential and retail development designed to meet LEED Silver standards for energy and environmental efficiencies. UT Arlington has been awarded a $2.2 million Texas State Energy Conservation Office grant to fund a solar panel system that will offset some energy costs.
  • College Park Center, the $78 million, 6,500-seat events venue that will become home to UT Arlington basketball and volleyball, concerts, commencements and a variety of community events. The center is designed to meet LEED Gold standards.
  • The Green at College Park, a new outdoor space for students, neighbors and the community designed with sustainability in mind.

The mixed-use residential and retail development is expected to open in summer 2012. It will provide housing for about 600 students in a residence hall and apartments wrapped around parking structures with space for 1,800 vehicles.

SRS Real Estate Partners and Cypress Equities, Dallas-based real estate development and management companies, are marketing College Park’s retail space.

The City of Arlington has committed up to $18 million toward the project, while First Baptist Church-Arlington provided 1.5 acres toward the parking structures. Downtown Arlington patrons will use the parking for major events, while the First Baptist congregation will have use of spaces on Sundays and other periods when they need them most.

College Park Center, formerly the special events center, will be UT Arlington’s first true arena and will allow the University’s basketball and volleyball teams to move from Texas Hall, where they have played on a stage since the 1960s. The center is expected to be complete in late 2011, with events scheduled there in 2012. A live webcam is capturing images of the construction site.

Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc., which is developing the University’s natural gas resources, recently announced a $5 million gift toward completion of College Park Center. The University of Texas System Board of Regents will be formally asked in November to change the name of the venue to College Park Center, an identity that more appropriately reflects its location and purpose.

The Green at College Park will feature native grasses and adaptive plants that consume less water and a dry creek bed that will help manage rainwater and storm water runoff that drains into Johnson Creek. It also will feature a large lawn, a curved stone wall that offers seating and paving materials made from recycled bottles that will allow water to permeate.

The Green also is a joint project between the city and the University. Construction of the $2.8 million recreational space is funded through a grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

The three projects are key elements of $300 million worth of capital improvements currently under way at The University of Texas at Arlington. The University also will open a $126 million, 234,000-square-foot Engineering Research Building off UTA Boulevard and South Cooper Street later this year.

Media contact: Kristin Sullivan,, 817-272-5364

For information about retail space leasing opportunities, contact Frank Bullock, executive Vice President/Market Leader, SMS Real Estate Partners at 214-560-3200.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate institution in the heart of North Texas with a record enrollment of nearly 33,000 students this fall. UT Arlington is building its reputation as a national research University.

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