Entertainment options increase in downtown Arlington as Urban Union, a mixed-use development, continues to grow.
What was once a collection of car lots is now a 75,000-square-foot development between Abram and Division streets which continues to expand with restaurant, office, entertainment and bar spaces meant to provide visitors with a unique experience, developer Ryan Dodson said.
Urban Union, home to a variety of food and bar businesses, will soon include Hurtado Barbecue, Wild West Comics and Games, and Lone Star Axe Throwing — adding to what Dodson calls “Arlington’s version of Deep Ellum”.
UTA’s recent growth, downtown’s residential expansion and the Levitt Pavilion are all factors that have influenced the spur of developments in the area, Dodson said.
Urban Union falls in line with the city of Arlington’s revitalization efforts for downtown, city manager Trey Yelverton said. He hopes the presence of unique destinations will cultivate an attachment for students to the downtown area.
Dodson said the slew of new businesses could also mean less traveling for students who are looking to do something fun in the city.
Maggie Campbell, Downtown Arlington Management Corporation president, has worked closely with city officials, the UTA community, property owners and developers such as Dodson for years with the mission of revitalizing downtown to meet growing resident needs.
Considering the proximity of the campus to downtown, Campbell said Downtown Arlington Management Corporation would like to work with students to determine what they want from the area.
“As a downtown business community and as a neighborhood, we want the UTA students to recognize [downtown development] and catch the energy and the buzz that’s happening here and know that they can be a part of it,” Campbell said.
Architecture junior Eli Tomlanovich said Arlington can be somewhat of a dead city at times.
As a member of The Football Team: A Creative Collective, Tomlanovich hopes to inject some life into the city by hosting music and art events in downtown for students.
Increased flexible venue and bar spaces are key to cultivating a better art and entertainment scene, Tomlanovich said.
Local record store, Truth Vinyl, is a frequent host to The Football Team’s events where local bands play festival shows for students. Truth Vinyl co-owner Ric Delzell has been considering a move to move to Urban Union after an invitation from Dodson.
A spot at Urban Union would mean higher visibility, an outdoor patio and more space for Truth Vinyl, Delzell said. If the price is not too high, Delzell believes the location could help small businesses become destination spots in the city.
“What’s happening now is people are starting to say, ‘We’d like to be able to have what the cities around us have,' which is a little more cultural involvement without having to drive somewhere else,” Delzell said.