Redevelopment projects in Richardson designed to help ‘The IQ’ grow

The city-owned building at 1302 E. Collins Blvd. will be shared by city of Richardson staff and UT Dallas. The Innovation Quarter is home to more than 1,000 businesses across its approximately 1,200 acres. (Rendering courtesy UT Dallas)
The city-owned building at 1302 E. Collins Blvd. will be shared by city of Richardson staff and UT Dallas. The Innovation Quarter is home to more than 1,000 businesses across its approximately 1,200 acres. (Rendering courtesy UT Dallas)

The city-owned building at 1302 E. Collins Blvd. will be shared by city of Richardson staff and UT Dallas. The Innovation Quarter is home to more than 1,000 businesses across its approximately 1,200 acres. (Rendering courtesy UT Dallas)

Image description
Image description
Richardson officials are looking to redevelop 14 acres of land around Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Arapaho Center Station as revitalization efforts unfold in The Innovation Quarter.

Richardson City Council and the DART board of directors each authorized an agreement in June that allows the city to begin the master plan process for the area.

“Working in conjunction with DART, the city will really take the lead on ... selecting the master developer [for the area],” Deputy City Manager Don Magner said.

This is the latest step in Richardson’s efforts to transform the 1,200-acre industrial area east of Central Expressway into the “premier tech hub in Texas,” as it was described in a 2018 vision statement.

Earlier this year, council added The IQ to an existing tax increment reinvestment zone. That will allow property tax revenue generated in the area to fund improvements within The IQ.


The IQ’s central location as well as access to talent and transit assets have made it a popular location for leasing activity. The IQ accounted for more than 50% of the businesses in Richardson and 20% of the city’s jobs before the pandemic.

Entrepreneur experience

The area now known as The IQ formerly served as the supply chain to the city’s Telecom Corridor. These days, the city is using the land to boost entrepreneurship while also supporting existing companies.

Backyard Workroom founder and CEO Eric Benavides called The IQ a “fantastic” location for his business, which opened three years ago.

In April, Magner announced Richardson and The University of Texas at Dallas would share space in the city-owned building at 1302 E. Collins Blvd.

Joseph Pancrazio, UT Dallas vice president for research, said the university’s partnership with the city will help cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs.

UT Dallas plans to house five new research centers at the facility as well as an extension of its Venture Development Center.

“What we’re doing is planting a seed, and I think the mighty oak that grows from this is going to be amazing,” Pancrazio said.

Infrastructure plans

To help facilitate the area’s growth, Richardson has several infrastructure projects planned. Funding would come from the upcoming city bond election as well as various grants.

Among the mobility projects slated for inclusion in the bond proposal are plans that would connect The IQ with the west side of the city as well as make travel easier for those on foot, on bike or for automated robots.

“The Arapaho Road and US 75 project would essentially create a pedestrian crossing under US 75 that would tie our municipal campus [and] the library to the Arapaho Station,” Magner said.

Another potential project would be the construction of a bridge at Collins Boulevard to help connect UT Dallas to The IQ, he said.

The third potential bond project Magner highlighted is a complete reconstruction of Glenville Drive between Arapaho and Campbell roads.

“It likely will be the prototypical cross section that we would use to reconstruct other streets in the future,” Magner said.

He said those three projects are likely to cost around $29 million if the bond proposal is approved.

“That kind of public investment will lead private investment,” said Bill Sproull, president and CEO of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce.

The grants the city plans to use on the projects require Richardson to match the funds. If the bond election does not pass, Magner said the city would have to pivot to using something like year-end budget savings.

What the future holds

Sproull said the chamber is continuing to see an uptick in interest from companies wanting to be in The IQ.

To continue engaging with the public, Sproull said the chamber and the city co-produce The IQ Brew, a biweekly networking and educational series that features presentations from local entrepreneurs.

While Richardson has plans to house only two staff members in the building at 1302 Collins Blvd., Magner said there is a possibility more public buildings could be added.

“The most likely location for that would be as part of the redevelopment of the 14 acres [at the Arapaho Center Station],” Magner said.

During a June 22 meeting, DART board member Gary Slagel said he believed the deal with the city would be good for both entities.

Magner said construction on the Collins Boulevard building is scheduled to be completed by February.

“What that represents to The IQ is going to be pretty important as the city and UT Dallas plant a flag there,” he said. “And hopefully [that will] be the catalyst for others to do the same.”
By William C. Wadsack

Senior Reporter, Plano/Richardson

William joined Community Impact Newspaper in December 2019. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana.



MOST RECENT

See new population data in Richardson, Texas. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Richardson 2020 census data reveals substantial increases in residents of color

The city's population has grown by more than 20% since 2010, according to decennial census data released Sept. 16.

North Central Texas Council of Governments is proposing new uses for high-occupancy vehicle lanes on US 75 and is asking the public to provide feedback on the plan. (Community Impact Staff)
Richardson, Plano residents asked to comment on plan that would pay some drivers to use HOV lanes on US 75

A pilot project in the corridor between I-635 and SH 121 will evaluate the effectiveness of allowing solo drivers to use the lanes while also providing an incentive to cars with more than one occupant, according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

The drive-thru eatery offers made-to-order salads, wraps, breakfast burritos, soups and drinks. (Courtesy Salad and Go)
City Council approves special permit for second Salad and Go location in Richardson

The 750-square-foot, drive-thru restaurant will share the property with the existing 25,000-square-foot YouFit Health Club.

Kyodai Handroll & Sushi Bar features fatty salmon sashimi. (Courtesy Kyodai Handroll & Sushi Bar)
Kyodai Handroll & Sushi Bar opens in Fort Worth; Plano joins peanut butter drive and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

CASA of Collin County debuted its renovated facility on Davis Street in downtown McKinney on Sept. 14. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
CASA of Collin County celebrates 30th anniversary, facility renovation

CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are assigned to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. These advocates act on behalf of children in court to place them into a permanent home that serves the best interest of the child.

Mosquito.
Richardson to spray two areas of the city Sept. 14-15 after mosquito traps test positive for West Nile virus

The Richardson Health Department plans to spray for mosquitoes in two sections of the city east of US 75 after traps tested positive for West Nile virus.

Thousands of pounds of peanut butter have been donated as part of the annual drive. (Courtesy North Texas Food Bank)
Richardson joins regional cities in annual peanut butter drive

North Texas Food Bank hosts the event every September.

Hoots Wings offers five cooking options and 14 sauces and dry rubs to choose from. (Courtesy Leah Trice of Fishman Public Relations)
Hooters spinoff opens in Fort Worth; Worth the Pour liquor store now serving Castle Hills and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Richardson residents and businesses could see a gas rate increase beginning Dec. 1 as the result of an annual rate review by Atmos Energy. (Lauren Canterberry/Community Impact Newspaper)
Richardson residents, businesses could see gas rates go up in December

Richardson City Council will vote on the proposed changes to rates Sept. 27.

Collin County commissioners have adopted an annual budget for the next fiscal year, and residents are projected to pay more in property taxes despite a lower tax rate. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Collin County adopts $411M budget with new property tax rate

Collin County continues to see increasing revenue from property taxes due to rising property values.

Drink.
Drink shop Happy Lemon set to open Richardson location

In honor of its grand opening, Happy Lemon will have a buy one, get one free promotion Sept. 18-19.