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Texas bullet train developers unveil renderings for Dallas station – Dallas Business Journal

Developers of the Texas bullet train released renderings and maps on Monday morning showing where the proposed Dallas terminal will be.

The passenger station will be built on a largely vacant 60-acre plot south of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in the revitalized Cedars neighborhood, according to Texas Central, the company spearheading the $15 billion high-speed train project attempting to link Dallas and Houston.

The site is near the I-30 and I-35 interchange, in an area that’s undergoing a transition from mostly light industrial and manufacturing facilities to a walkable neighborhood with repurposed and newly-constructed mixed-use developments.

The announcement comes a month after federal regulators overseeing the project said in an environment analysis that the 200-mile-per-hour train “is needed to accommodate growing demand.”

From the Dallas station, passengers will have a 90-minute connection to Houston, along with a midway stop in the Bryan-College Station area. Renderings of the Brazos Valley station, in the Grimes County town of Roans Prairie, were released earlier this month.

Plans call for connecting the Dallas station to multimodal transportation networks, including Dallas Area Rapid Transit services.

The introduction of the bullet train to the Cedars neighborhood will accelerate and enhance economic growth in the southern edge of downtown, bringing in offices, retail, entertainment, restaurants, hotels, apartments and condominiums, Texas Central said in a news release.

Texas Central released renderings – final designs are pending – that show a multi-level station between South Riverfront Boulevard and Austin Street, with connections to DART’s light-rail system, buses and other transit systems.

The project will attract new residents to the area, encourage denser development of the Cedars neighborhood and aid the region’s highway congestion relief efforts, Texas Central leaders said.

“This station will be a magnet for economic activity in an area ripe for development,” Texas Central CEO Carlos Aguilar added.

Aguilar said the high-speed rail project also is a draw for Amazon’s proposed new headquarters, putting highly-ranked research facilities a train ride away.

"This creates a super economy,” he said. “It’s an amazing way to accelerate transit-oriented development that sets Texas apart from any other state, and provides businesses with unparalleled access to workers, suppliers and other critical needs.”

The development would be comparable to the recent transition of the Uptown area of Dallas, the Federal Railroad Administration said in its Draft Environmental Impact Survey.

The bullet train would bridge Texas’ two largest cities, which together make up half of the state’s population. Last month, the FRA identified the train’s preferred route — a 240-mile path mostly following transmission lines in a utility corridor between North Texas and Houston.

Construction on the rail line is expected to start next year and finish by 2024.

In the environmental report, federal regulators cited the Dallas station’s economic benefits, including increased property values within a half-mile radius of the terminal as a result of the train project. The document also said the station and its support facilities would generate more revenue for property-taxing entities, and station ticket sales would produce more in local sales taxes.

The bullet train could create as many as 10,000 jobs during each year of construction and about 1,500 full-time jobs when operations start.

Texas Central, an investor-owned project, is not taking federal or state grants for construction or the bullet train’s operations.

The company has reached an agreement with developer Jack Matthews, who owns the site picked for the proposed terminal, Texas Central said, but terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Phillip Robinson, president of the Cedars Neighborhood Association, said the area “is ideal for the bullet train station and the many benefits it will bring.”

“Location is everything, and the southern sector of Dallas continues to be one of the hottest spots for the city’s growth,” Robinson said. “The station is sure to help local establishments, continue our organic growth and support our cultural amenities.”

The Cedars neighborhood already is undergoing significant new construction and conversion projects, including Southside on Lamar; Dallas’ police headquarters; restoration of historic industrial buildings to mixed-use facilities; and the opening of a movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse Cedars, and boutique hotel, NYLO Dallas South Side.

The Dallas station concourses would consist of public areas, such as restaurants, bars, seating areas, fast food, concessions, newsstands and rental car counters. Enclosed, elevated pedestrian bridges would connect it to new parking facilities.

Improvements also would be planned for Riverfront Boulevard at Cadiz Street, Riverfront Boulevard at Corinth Street, Belleview Street at South Akard Street, and Hotel Street north of I-30, along with an extension south along the station area. These would be designed in part to alleviate current congestion and improve traffic flow.

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