March 3, 2014
Developer pitches new plans for old Texas Stadium site
Dallas Morning News
By Avi Selk
IRVING — A developer has unveiled early plans for a mini-city and optional tennis complex on the former Texas Stadium site, perhaps the most promising of several pitches to redevelop the Dallas Cowboys’ old home.
The city began talks in January with OliverMcMillan, a national firm that specializes in mixed-use projects, about the site, which is now a city-owned depot for roadwork material.
After a brainstorming session with design firms last week, OliverMcMillan executives came to City Hall on Monday to show off some sketches.
In one drawing, a 25-acre tennis complex anchored blocks of retail and apartments, linked to the University of Dallas by a bridge across the highways bounding the site.
Drawings by other firms ditched the tennis complex for more office space, restaurants and hotels. But whatever the final design, OliverMcMillan president Paul Buss spoke of turning the nearly 80-acre site into a place where people live, work and play.
But, Buss acknowledged: “Doing that in the middle of three freeways ... is an issue.”
After the presentation, residents and council members tossed in their own suggestions. Council member Rose Cannaday wondered about adding asculpture made with steel from the old stadium. One resident preferred a plain shopping mall.
“What’s the possibility of building a Rodeo Drive of Beverly Hills, with a future as an international bazaar?” council member John Danish asked.
Mayor Beth Van Duyne circled back to the tennis complex, which OliverMcMillan stressed was “optional.”
“We are looking to brand this city,” she said. “Arlington has football, they have baseball. If you look at Dallas, they have ice hockey, they have basketball. ... Nobody in the metroplex right now is going tennis.”
Based in California, OliverMcMillan has deep pockets and a résumé of mixed-use developments across the country.
While the company has yet to sign a binding contract with the city, executives offered a best-case timeline: a development agreement this summer and a grand opening as early as 2017.
While the drawings revealed Monday excited many at City Hall, they’re hardly final. And they’re hardly the first.
From a fake ski mountain to a $2 billion mini-city pitched years ago, all other designs for the site have come to naught.