IRVING (CBS 11 NEWS) – The 2010 demolition of Texas Stadium, the former home of the Dallas Cowboys, created a gaping hole in the heart of Irving, leaving many wondering—and others worrying—about what would go ‘up’ after the stadium came ‘down.’

“I watched the stadium being built,” Katherine Warner remembered.  Warner grew up in Irving; but now lives in Dallas.  She says the stadium demolition was bittersweet—but, she is adamant that whatever replaces the beloved facility should be a source of pride for Irving.

“It will never replace Cowboys Stadium, but it needs to be something special.”

Thursday night, Irving City officials are poised to take the first tentative steps toward turning the 90 acres of prime real estate left behind, into a project that will raise the city’s profile and retool its image.

“It is the entry way into our city,” explained Mayor Beth Van Duyne.  “I want to have a project that people will come from all across the country to visit.”

The 1993 view of the top of Texas Stadium during a Dallas Cowboys game in Irving. (credit: Trevor Jones/ALLSPORT)

The 1993 view of the top of Texas Stadium during a Dallas Cowboys game in Irving. (credit: Trevor Jones/ALLSPORT)

City leaders are expected to enter into a 6-month agreement with Oliver McMillan, a San Diego-based development company, known for pulling together glitzy, high end projects around the world.

CEO Dene Oliver introduced a team of staffers at a council work session on Wednesday that would likely work on the project while appearing absolutely delighted at the opportunity to get his company’s hands on “nearly a 90 acre site in the middle of a major metropolitan area, sitting, waiting to have a future.  I would consider that a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Oliver committed to spending “hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars” in man hours and third-party consultant fees just to put together a plan to see if we have something to work on together that might make sense.”

The agreement with the city would allow Oliver McMillan exclusive rights to developing a plan for the property during the agreement.

“Your commitment to us is no more than working with us to see if we can’t come up with a great design and then to work to negotiate a public private partnership that’s a win-win for both sides,” said Oliver.

Mayor Van Duyne, known for keeping a watchful eye on taxpayer pennies, says vigilance will not change as the project moves forward.

“The devil is in the details,” said Van Duyne adding, “we have six months to work out the details.  And if it makes financial sense, and it’s with a legitimate developer that can help us achieve our vision, I think you’re going to find the entire council excited to work on that, together.”

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