The first phase of Grapevine’s TEXRail project was given a guaranteed maximum price tag of $30 million by city officials as it chugs toward a late 2018 completion date.
In December developers were granted the all-clear to work on the parking garage near Dallas Road and Main Street. The garage is scheduled to open alongside the city’s new TEXRail station in late 2018.
Grapevine Economic Development Director Bob Farley said 2018 will be a transitional year for the city as the trains start running and Grapevine’s commuter traffic increases.
“This is a different station in the sense that it’s more of a throwback to … the 1800s, early 1900s, where [train stations were]a public place,” Farley said. “People haven’t had that kind of a venue in Dallas-Fort Worth because there hasn’t been a reason to have that until now.”
Farley said it will not be long before other development comes in around the station, including the city’s hotel development and community space, scheduled for debut in 2019.
Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate said the project is the starting point for a new era for Grapevine and will pave the way for an economic boost for the city.
Ushering in visitors, workforce
TEXRail Vice President Bob Baulsir said he anticipates the train to be highly used, especially as the North Texas area grows.
He listed several ways the trains could be used, from commuters using the train and its bike racks to help them get to work, to international travelers using the quiet cars to help them peacefully get to their meetings.
Officials predict TEXRail will also increase Grapevine’s workforce.
“I think that might be the biggest impact, is someone living somewhere else and then coming to work in Grapevine,” Tate said. “[The train] will help people accept some jobs that we need filled.”
Tate said visitors from other cities often come to Grapevine to shop at the retail stores or to eat in the city’s restaurants. He said with TEXRail the likelihood of the city attracting more visitors at a more frequent rate will increase, generating economic revenue for the city.
He said Grapevine has about 1,000 people come from the airport each month to visit the city’s museum or to downtown. With the new boutique hotel combined with the TEXRail station opening, Farley said he expects that number to increase.
“You’re going to have people coming in off the trains every day,” Farley said. “Not everyone is going to stop in Grapevine, but a lot of them will. … It will actually increase festival-type activities because it will become less painful for people to physically drive over and try to park. You can just ride the train. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The increased economic growth will be felt in a “sudden burst,” Tate predicted, but afterward the growth will be gradual as the city tries to bring back a part of the past.
“We’re trying to make it very special in that area of town, with some retail in the depot and … some kind of a market where people can sell their own wares—a gathering place, like it used to be,” Tate said. “History sometimes repeats itself, and I hope this is one of those times.”
This story is one update from The January Issue. View the full list of Top 6 stories to follow in 2018 here.