tod news

Dallas high-speed rail station to be 'massive game-changer'
Candace Carlisle | Dallas Business Journal


Mike Michaels

Two preferred sites for a potential new Dallas high-speed rail station are going through environmental impact studies, which could bring a rail station and billions of dollars in surrounding development to downtown Dallas.


The two proposed sites almost overlap and would create a transit-oriented development with access of up to 60 acres to 80 acres of land could bring thousands of square feet of commercial real estate to the southern portion of the city, Matthews Southwest President Jack Matthews, told the Dallas Business Journal on Friday.


"This will be a massive game changer for the city of Dallas and the city of Houston," Matthews told me. "This would put us in a different orbit than any other city in the country, linking up two of the top cities in the country."

Texas Central Railway has proposed a 200-mph bullet train to connect Dallas to Houston with a 90-minute trip. The Dallas high-speed rail station would serve as a destination for the North Texas business community to connect to the south Texas city.


The two sites — one atop Interstate 30 near the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and the other south of Interstate 30 between Lamar Street and Riverfront Street — would quickly become one of Dallas' hottest transit-oriented development plays, which could become a catalyst for thousands of square feet of office space, retail and restaurant space, residences and perhaps a hotel, he said.


The high-speed rail station would be able to combine two rapidly growing cities directly by a guaranteed hour-and-a-half commute and would change the way business is conducted in Dallas and Houston, Matthews added.


"You could go to Houston to have breakfast and be back here by lunch," said Matthews, who travels back and forth to Houston frequently to see his daughter, who lives in Houston. "It would only add to the economies of both cities."


For Matthews, the high-speed rail station would boost one of Dallas' most highly anticipated projects, a $400 million, 60-acre development called "The Rivers," which has yet to break ground. The Rivers is expected to bring up to 3,000 residents and house the $80 million Dallas Maritime Museum on 3.5 acres on Riverfront Boulevard.


This high-speed rail station would be Dallas-based Matthews Southwest's first rail project, he said, but feeds into the his track record of large projects, such as airport development, the Dallas Convention Center and other large office projects completed in his native Canada.


Matthews, who has been working on this bid for about six months, said he'd be involved in some way into the architect selection, which has yet to be made by the Texas Central Railway, which is leading the charge on the high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston.


If the project passes through a federal environmental process, construction could start in 2017. The Texas Central Railway hopes to get a train running by 2021.

"This will be a catalyst," he said. "This project has the ability to create quite a lot of development."