ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The economic boost seen among businesses neighboring Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark is now spreading to the city’s downtown area, which is gradually evolving into an entertainment destination.
In downtown, which stretches from Six Flags near I-30 to the University of Texas at Arlington in the city’s core, the Grease Monkey Eatery and Sports Bar is a symbol of the changing landscape.
Ten years ago, its owner shied away from opening a business here, just off Division on Mesquite Street.
But now, the area is thriving. Hundreds of millions of dollars invested in new construction and renovation throughout the region. Reason number one for the changes: Cowboys Stadium.
“A buddy of mine always told me, he looked over there and said,’ That’s not going anywhere,’” said Greg Gardner, The Grease Monkey’s managing partner about Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark. “That’s going to be there. So if we’re here and they’re there we’ve got potential as long as we do the right thing.”
The original downtown Arlington was built in the same spot, right along the railway. Back in 1910, it had water, electricity, and even telephone service.
And it was hustling and bustling.
The resurgent downtown wants to capture some of that same energy. And just like the old downtown being located along the rail line, location is everything.
“Right next to Cowboys Stadium, right next to the Rangers stadium,” said Bob Johnson, spokesman for the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation, which promotes downtown to prospective businesses. “And now with all the activity in downtown Arlington there’s a lot to drag people downtown and hopefully stay downtown.”
And by staying downtown, they mean living here. UTA is constructing residential and commercial units next to its new performing arts center. And the city of Arlington has added a park, outdoor stage and infrastructure to the area.
The commitment from UTA and Arlington is the area’s second big lure.
“You’ve got that kind of power behind you, people are committed to doing it,” Gardner said. “And we wanted to be part of that synergy as well.”