Arlington Evolving Into Entertainment Destination

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.”

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  • Alex The Droog

    Which begs the question, “Where the hell is downtown Arlington?!”

  • darrell

    downtown arlington has allways been a tourist and local destination. there are still plenty of cheap dives and $20. street walkers down there and blocks of sleeze dive hotels where rooms are cheap and they dont ask questions. you can even get your recreational drugs in the area.

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  • Mandy

    They leave out the part… where your car gets towed, and it costs $250. to get it! While I was at Grease Monkey, parked in their lot, I was towed… along with about 5 others. Bad 1st visit!

    • darrell

      that is part of the city of arlingtons Revenue Enhancement Program. its very extensive and intrudes into every aspect of your life or visit to arlington. ive seen them ticket cyclist who slowed but didnt stop at stop signs. a friend where i live, a disabled 64 year old woman who has a severly deformed back and is bent over has to walk to a convienance store to get items she needs. to go to a crosswalk is almost a mile additional walking each way. so she carefully jay walks to get there. she has been stopped and harrassed numerous times and recently told she would start to get ticketed. when i moved here in 1970 arlington was a great city. i wouldnt recommend anyone moving here anymore. if i wasnt disbabled and could afford it i would leave it to rot.

  • Kim Triolo Feil

    In November at Collins and Divison, Chesapeake will drill a gas well and that will certainly add to the charm of the Downtown area, not to mention the BTEX in the air! Oh and let’s not forget the 22 gaswell on UTA’s campus blowing to all those new restaurants. Money can buy us happiness? but not good health.

  • NiteNurse

    It’s kinda difficult to determine where exactly downtown Arlington is. I guess you would consider the area near UTA downtown. It’s really hard to find decent parking there and that’s one of the reason I shy away from going to those restaurants. I certainly would not consider living in downtown Arlington.

  • Rick McDaniel

    Only for sports fans.

    I avoid that area like the plague.

  • Ryan Dodson

    I’ve never heard so much negativity. Arlington is trying to improve itself. Why is that a bad thing? There will be growing pains, but the redevelopment in downtown is a very positive trend.

    • darrell

      arlington has been my home for 41 years. even when i left for military service and came home i have watched it grow. growing pains are normal and adaptations must be made. i watched the rangers come here and supported them for many years. for many years the quality of life in arlington improved with new neighborhoods, upgrades is infrastucture and services. thats all gone now. for the last 20 years or so arlington has steadily pushed to become the major tourist/entertainment destination in the metroplex. it has raised sales taxes, incorperated fee’s, used imminent domain to seize private property for pennies on the dollar and pure corruption to do that. all of this at the expense of quality of life, degradation of neighborhoods, increased crime, decrease in services and more methods to get money out of anyone coming to this city. arlington is more tourist trap and suburban decay than anything.

  • darrell

    one more thing that needs to be mentioned about arlingtons great amenities for tourist. it is the largest city in the country without a comprehensive public transportation system. will never have one. if your staying in a hotel, might bum or pay for one from them. there are allways the numerous taxi’s you can call. or you can rent a car at the airport and pay 9 prices for it. or you can walk. i would recommend a conceal and carry permit and be packing in many areas.

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