Tuesday, May 17, 2022 May 17, 2022
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Local Government

UTA Draws Up New-ish Plan For Fair Park

What will the State Fair think of it?
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Photo by Josh Blaylock.
Photo by Josh Blaylock.
Photo by Josh Blaylock.

Via the Morning News, we see a new design for what the future of Fair Park could look like: much more green space and far less acreage devoted to parking, for one.

The plan, grandly dubbed “Fair Park :The Reinvigoration of a National Treasure,” comes from the University of Texas at Arlington’s Institute of Urban Studies and was financially supported by the Foundation for Community Empowerment. That organization’s chief backer, former Trammell Crow chairman Don Williams, was also the force behind last year’s Di Mambro Plan, which also sought to put more “park” into Fair Park by limiting the space used by the State Fair of Texas.

The key recommendations from the UTA plan are:

  • “Take the Fence Down” — as in better connect Fair Park to the neighborhoods to surround it by not walling it off.
  • Connect Fair Park to downtown by running D-Link and/or an extension of the McKinney Avenue trolley to it.
  • Turn most of the existing concrete parking lots into green space and provide parking instead in four different garages that (the plan says) could house more than 17,000 spaces (which would be more parking than is there now.)
  • Turn the Old Mill Inn into a visitors center and (having successfully remade Fair Park as a viable, year-round attraction) “use increase visitor dollars too offset costs of future reinvigoration phases.”

Sounds pretty good. Now, how will we pay for it and who’s going to run the place, and will the State Fair of Texas put up with having its space limited? All good questions.

Oh, and can you spot the D Magazine photo UTA appropriated for its study?

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