Richardson Earns Regional Development Excellence Award for Collins/Arapaho Transit-Oriented Development and Innovation District Study
The City of Richardson today received a 2019 Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence (CLIDE) Award from the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) for its innovative visioning effort known as the Collins/Arapaho Transit-Oriented Development and Innovation District Study (Vision Study). The Vision Study earned recognition in the prestigious award program’s Public Policy and Planning category.
This City-initiated visioning effort involved an in-depth study of an approximately 1,200-acre area in the heart of Richardson’s globally recognized Telecom Corridor® area, generally bounded by Central Expressway (US 75), Campbell Road, Plano Road and Apollo Road. The Vision Study, which was completed over a nine-month period and accepted by the Richardson City Council in December 2018, developed a vision for the area to be transformed into an innovation district that would be “the premier tech hub in Texas.”
Created in 2003, the biennial CLIDE Awards program encourages innovative development projects and practices that help accommodate expected population growth and ensure a sustainable North Texas for generations to come. With this year’s honor, Richardson has now been recognized with nine CLIDE Awards over the program’s history.
“We’re honored to receive this biennial recognition for Richardson’s purposeful planning and development efforts,” said Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker. “We are also grateful to the many community partners who participated in this visioning process, helping to set the stage for an ambitious transformation. With the new vision in place, we now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to maximize the potential for transit-oriented development near the Arapaho Center Station and reposition the entire study area as an innovation district that will serve as a beacon to tech-minded entrepreneurs and a powerful economic driver for the City and DFW region.”
Richardson’s Collins/Arapaho area has been a job center and hub of technology and innovation for decades and continues to be home to numerous local and international businesses. The Arapaho Center DART Station is located within this area and serves as a major opportunity site for new transit-oriented development.
The Collins/Arapaho area was one of six Enhancement/Redevelopment zones specifically identified in the City of Richardson's 2009 Comprehensive Plan. This area was chosen due to its overall character—large quantities of older, underperforming flex space with high vacancy rates—and because it has been challenged by changes in markets, technology and user requirements.
To achieve the City’s ambitious vision, the Vision Study anticipates that the District will ultimately:
- provide a place where a range of businesses across industries at different points in their growth can thrive,
- support existing businesses while attracting new ones,
- continue to be a center for innovation and entrepreneurship,
- be lively and active,
- be visually unique and green,
- be walkable and bikeable, and
- use the station area to serve as the principal gateway to the District.
Throughout the study process, input from a series of community meetings, pop-up workshops at businesses and the Arapaho Center DART Station, focus groups, and an online survey were incorporated and played an important role in shaping the vision for the District.
As a next step, building on the Vision Study and the Richardson 2009 Comprehensive Plan’s recommendations, the second phase of bringing the District to fruition will involve amending zoning entitlements for properties within the area. By enabling more flexibility for industrial properties to be reused, the City can help property owners maximize the development potential and building footprint of each site while encouraging new uses and amenities.
The zoning entitlement process will also include the creation of new comprehensive development regulations of key opportunity sites identified in the Vision Study, such as the Arapaho Center DART Station, to anchor the District and bring new diverse activities. This process, which began in January 2019, will take approximately 12 months and include opportunities for community input.
Richardson City Staff is also developing a work plan for implementing the remaining goals and strategies consistent with the Vision Study and will continue working with the City’s institutional partners to advance the District vision.
The CLIDE Awards recognize private and public development programs and projects that exemplify the following 12 principles of development excellence, which outline a vision for sustainable, livable communities:
- Development Diversity
- Efficient Growth
- Pedestrian Design
- Housing Choice
- Activity Centers
- Environmental Stewardship
- Quality Places
- Efficient Mobility Options
- Resource Efficiency
- Educational Opportunity
- Healthy Communities
CLIDE Award recipients were selected by a distinguished panel of nationally recognized experts in the fields of architecture, urban planning and sustainable development, and were honored at the NCTCOG General Assembly June 14.
For more information about Richardson’s Collins/Arapaho Transit-Oriented Development & Innovation District Study, visit the City’s microsite here.