Arlington Mayor Jim Ross delivered his 3rd annual State of the City Address on October 25, 2023, under the theme "Better Together." Ross, currently serving his second term, touched upon various topics that reflected the city's successes and his vision for the future.
The event took place at the Esports Stadium Arlington + Expo Center and was hosted by the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce.
Key highlights of the address included a tribute to fallen Arlington Police Department motorcycle officer Darrin McMichael. Officer McMichael's name is now engraved on a police motorcycle, which is on display at the Ott Cribbs Public Safety Center located at 620 W. Division St. This motorcycle bears the names of other officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
In addition, Jean Jewell, co-founder, and executive director of the Green Oaks School, was honored with the 2nd annual Mayor's American Dream Award. The Green Oaks School, established in 2000, is dedicated to providing educational and adult day programs for individuals with Down syndrome and similar intellectual disabilities.
During the State of the City Address, Mayor Jim Ross also discussed various crucial matters, including education, economic development, tourism, Downtown growth, investments in public infrastructure and amenities, and celebrated milestone moments in the city's progress.
- The Council approved the Arlington Fire Department’s phased transition to four-person staffing, which will enable the department to meet the National Fire Protection Association standards for the appropriate number of firefighters to structure fires more quickly and with fewer vehicles.
- The Arlington Police Department has launched a new unit known as HEAT (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) to investigate all trafficking and child exploitation cases. In addition to investigating reported trafficking cases, HEAT works with regional and federal partners like Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to conduct operations targeting child predators, traffickers, and prostitution. HEAT participated in a recent HSI operation that resulted in 134 arrests across North Texas, including dozens in Arlington. Since January, the unit has submitted 59 arrest warrants and 144 search warrants.
- Overall crime is down 8% and violent crime is down 21% so far this year compared to January-September 2022.
- Construction is expected to begin next spring on North Arlington’s first police substation, which will include a community room and space for Code Compliance officers. This bond-funded project is set to open on Lamar Boulevard in spring 2025.
- Arlington is expected to begin construction on a new, larger Fire Station No. 8 next year. This bond-funded North Arlington project will be the City’s second two-story fire station, following the recent opening of Fire Station No. 1 in Downtown. Arlington voters also approved the construction of Fire Station 18 in the 2023 Bond Election.
- Arlington has $48.9 million in projects under construction or in design right now that aim to protect 285 structures from flooding. Arlington has invested more than $159 million in flood mitigation projects designed to protect more than 675 homes and businesses since 2009.
Jobs and Economy
- Arlington currently has more than $4 billion in private investment in the pipeline. In the past two and a half years alone, nearly 2,000 new businesses have started or moved to Arlington.
- The $550 million Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center will open next February. Loews Arlington will feature 888 hotel rooms, 226,000 square feet of meeting space, a manmade beach and the largest single ballroom in North Texas at 51,000 square feet.
- Choctaw Stadium, home to the Arlington Renegades, continues to add tenants and will soon feature a new Mexican restaurant. Other recent additions include a Starbucks, Spark Coworking, the Hearsay restaurant and office space for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Economic Development Corporation and the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.
- The transformation of the Lincoln Square Shopping Center is also moving closer to reality. Trademark Property Company has submitted its zoning application, which will go before P&Z and the City Council soon. In the coming years, Trademark’s investment will bring new retail, dining, office space and housing options to this Entertainment District gateway.
- The Viridian master planned community is in its final development phase. The entire project will bring approximately $2.49 billion in residential and commercial capital development, including 3,954 single-family residential units, 108 acres of mixed-use commercial development with retail and office space and 1,328 multi-family units.
- The Dallas Cowboys are investing $295 million in AT&T Stadium, the first major renovation since the world-class venue opened in 2009. The renovations, mostly interior upgrades, will be complete in advance of the 2026 World Cup.
- One Rangers Way, a 300-unit apartment complex being built near Globe Life Field and Choctaw Stadium, opens in late 2024.
- Drury Hotel, a nine story, 268-room hotel near Interstate 30 in the Entertainment District, is anticipated to open next summer.
- Medical City Arlington is constructing a new $144 million patient tower, set to be complete by early 2025, that will add 60 patient care beds, eight private surgery rooms, and 12 post-anesthesia bays.
- SFC’s new headquarters opens this fall in the Urban Union development of Downtown Arlington. The company’s relocation is significant, as it marks the first newly build office building of this scale in the heart of the city in decades.
Streets and Transportation
- Arlington expects it will invest more than $355.7 million in street maintenance and construction between 2021 and 2028.
- TxDOT’s $2.1 billion Southeast Connector project kicked off this year. The project, which will make significant improvements to I-820, I-20 and US 287 in the southeast part of Tarrant County by 2027, represents the largest investment of TxDOT funds on any roadway project in the history of TxDOT’s Fort Worth District.
- TxDOT’s I-30/SH 360 Interchange Project will be substantially complete by the end of this year. This multimillion project transformed the interchange, which had not been renovated since it opened to traffic in 1957 and was once rated as the worst bottleneck of congestion and connectivity in the Fort Worth District.
- Arlington On-Demand, now in its sixth year of service, has provided more than 2.1 million rides since its launch. This service covers all 99 square miles of Arlington and the CentrePort Station and was expanded this year to connect riders with the Eastchase area in far east Fort Worth.
- Arlington RAPID was the first program in the U.S. to integrate on-demand, autonomous vehicles into existing public transportation. Now in its third year of continuous service, RAPID has provided more than 37,000 rides around Downtown and The University of Texas at Arlington.