Real estate investors who have bought up land south of downtown Dallas plan to develop the property into a high-speed passenger rail terminal.
Dallas developer Jack Matthews and his partner, Fort Worth businessman John Kleinheinz, own more than 50 acres for the proposed station along Riverfront Boulevard south of downtown.
They’re working on similar projects in Houston and near College Station.
Their Texas High-Speed Rail Station Development Corp. would build stations to serve the proposed Texas Central high-speed rail line from Dallas to Houston.
“Our high-speed rail project connecting Dallas and Houston will be as transformational to Texas as DFW Airport was to the region when it was opened in 1973,” Kleinheinz said in a statement. “Texas Central will be the blueprint for national high-speed rail, a solution for environmentally efficient transportation.
“As this first high-speed rail project comes online, Texas is positioned to lead in discussions about a national rail strategy with the local and federal stakeholders,” he said. “These station assets will be an integral part of the system.”
Developer Matthews is one of the largest property owners in the area south of downtown Dallas, near the Trinity River.
His Matthews Southwest Inc. did the successful Southside on Lamar redevelopment on the south side of Interstate 30 near Dallas’ convention center.
Matthews Southwest also owns large blocks of undeveloped land along Riverfront Boulevard near Cadiz Street, including the property earmarked for the new train terminal.
The rail station would be just part of a much larger multiblock mixed-use development Matthews plans in the area between the Trinity River and Lamar Street.
Proposals for the district include everything from residential buildings, to offices, retail and hotels. Architects Perkins & Will and Omniplan have done preliminary designs for the big south side development.
Matthews is also a partner in the proposed redevelopment of the nearby former Dallas Morning News buildings on the south side of downtown.
The Riverfront Boulevard site has been targeted for the new train station since plans for the high-speed train link were put forward a few years ago.
“We have invested substantial time and energy to advance high-speed rail between Dallas and Houston and Grimes County near College Station. We do not intend on missing this opportunity for the people of Texas,” Matthews said in a statement. “To keep this positive momentum, we will begin discussions with various third parties who have successful experience with high-speed rail.”
The partners’ proposed Houston rail station would be built on the former Northwest Mall site northwest of downtown near Interstate 610.
The College Station location is in Grimes County.
Texas Central hopes to build a rail line that would transport Dallas riders to Houston in 90 minutes in state-of-the-art trains.
The company signed a $16 billion contract this summer with an Italian firm to build the rail system. Texas courts have so far rebuffed efforts by landowners and other parties to stymie the project.
The 240-mile high-speed rail line is expected to cost at least $20 billion and still faces construction and funding hurdles.
Construction would take an estimated six years.