Mixed-Use RFP: Richardson Seeks ‘Gateway’ Development for The Innovation Quarter

The city is requesting developer proposals for a high-density, transit-oriented development at DART’s Arapaho Center Station. It will act as a large connector and entry point for The IQ—a sprawling district focused on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The city of Richardson is looking for projects that could serve as the “gateway” to The Innovation Quarter.

The city has put out a request for proposals for developers to create a high-density, transit-oriented development at DART’s Arapaho Center Station, that will act as a large connector and entry point for The IQ—a sprawling district focused on innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to realize our vision for Richardson’s last remaining light rail station, right at the entry to our innovation district,” said Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker in a statement. “That’s why we have been thoughtfully, actively preparing the site over the past five years, working closely with property owners and nearby stakeholders, while removing barriers for the development community.”

Designing collaboration

The estimated nearly 14.5-acre site sits between East Arapaho Road and Collins Blvd., along North Greenville Avenue. With the goal of creating a space where innovators at technology firms, students from nearby UT Dallas, and visitors to the area are able to interact and foster new ideas, The IQ will include traditional and coworking space and a “specialized space” for emerging industries, along with things like housing, dining, and shopping.

The city notes that an additional 24 acres of land adjacent to the DART-owned site could be included in the master plan, depending on interest. The site would add to other transit-adjacent mixed-used developments along DART’s red and orange lines in Richardson, including CityLine and Galatyn Park.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Dallas office is leading marketing, brokerage, and advisory services for the new development, with a deadline for proposals on June 7. Ultimately, the city said it sees the project creating a “regional mobility hub” that’s accessible to pedestrians and prepared with “bot-ready” infrastructure.

“This mixed-use development will draw startups as well as ‘scale-ups’ due to its centralized location, access to transit, and ability to attract and retain a highly educated workforce,” said Maureen Kelly Cooper, executive director at Cushman & Wakefield’s local offices, in a statement.

The IQ houses half of Richardson’s businesses

Plans to start working on a master plan for the redevelopment of Arapaho Center Station was approved by leaders in Richardson last June, Community Impact reports.

Aiming to create a space for “collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship,” Richardson’s Innovation Quarter—or IQ—was created in 2019. The 1,200-acre section of the city is home to more than half of its businesses and about 20% of its employment base. In addition to companies like Raytheon, id Software, and Ericsson, soon-to-be IQ tenants include Richardson’s Office of Innovation & Placemaking Initiatives and a hub for five newly created UT Dallas research centers focused on things like smart mobility, applied artificial intelligence, and surgical innovation. The IQ will include an extension of the university’s Venture Development Center—which the city calls the “HQ of the IQ.”

“We anticipate development will be driven by higher-density housing that supports the Innovation hub along with ground level retail amenities and open space,” said Chris Harden, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield, in a statement.

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