FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - For a dozen years, bad economies have thwarted plans to turn the heart of Las Colinas into a true urban center, framed by Lake Carolyn. But now, the community is taking a major step toward the development of its Urban Center. The project is called "Water Street."
"The city has invested $4 million to create that promenade around the lake," says Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. "We're going to have a reason for people to come down to it and take advantage of it."
"It" is a 125-million dollar private development by Gables Residential, a national company with 38,000 apartments and 400-thousand square feet of retail space, according to its website. With zoning newly approved by the city, the company hopes to build a hotel, residences, shops, and restaurants around Lake Carolyn.
According to Irving's mayor, it would be a water attraction unique for North Texas.
"How many other cities can say, "Look we've got restaurant dining on the water?" questions Van Duyne.
The proposed development would be built on open land directly across the street from what is arguably the most famous landmark in Irving -- the Mustangs of Las Colinas. Currently, the Urban Center has about 7800 apartment residents and some 20-thousand office workers who have relatively few close-in choices for meals.
Jessica Winston works in Urban Center and is excited about the project. "I think if there were more things and better development it would be great for people in this area that work."
"The view and shopping areas would open up a good variety for everybody to do something at lunch," added Coby Chivan, who is also employed in the area.
Maura Gast with the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau points out the development will not only will improve life for daily users. It will also provide a boost to convention business.
"It's going to drive new residential demand, which will drive retail demand which will drive restaurant demand, which is really what the hotels and convention center need to be even more successful."
The city council signed off on the zoning unanimously. Groundbreaking could start next spring.
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