Doin’ all right

Mayor Jeff Williams extols Arlington’s many victories last year during the annual State-of-the-City event. (Photo: City of Arlington)

We Can. We Do. Arlington: The American Dream City continues to cement itself as a national leader in cultural arts, innovation, sports and entertainment while remaining committed to strong neighborhoods, economic growth, and educational opportunities for all ages.

That’s the message Mayor Jeff Williams delivered at the 2019 State of the City address, hosted last month by the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce at Esports Stadium Arlington.

The American Dream City celebrated numerous major milestones this year, which include being selected as the future home of the National Medal of Honor Museum, the opening of the $150 million flagship Live! by Loews luxury hotel, significant private investment and job growth along the Interstate 20 corridor, and several announcements that will ensure Globe Life Park remains a vibrant part of the Entertainment District for years to come.

“Arlington is The American Dream City because our can-do attitude and patriotic spirit make dreams a reality,” Williams said.

Tourism and economic development weren’t the only big headline makers. In April, Arlington became the first city in Texas to achieve What Works Cities Certification, a national standard of excellence in city government. Arlington, named the best-run city in Texas for a second-straight year, was also the first in the country to earn Results for America’s Sharman Stein Award for Storytelling Changemakers.

Additionally, Arlington continues to draw national attention for its affordable, innovative public transportation initiatives.

Williams announced that the City’s Via Rideshare service, which has provided more than 250,000 rides since it launched in December 2018, will expand to the south to include Tarrant County College Southeast Campus and the Interstate 20 Park and Ride lot at Park Springs Boulevard starting in January.

Here are a few other highlights the mayor discussed:

  • Arlington was selected over Denver earlier this month as the future home of the National Medal of Honor Museum. The Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest and most prestigious military honor, has been awarded to more than 3,500 military service members since the first medal was presented in 1863. The museum, expected to open in 2024, will offer an experience that draws personal and emotional connections to recipients and their inspiring stories.
  • Six Flags Entertainment Company is expected to sign a long-term lease with the Texas Rangers for its new global corporate headquarters, which would be located in the Center Field Office Building at Globe Life Park.
  • Arlington will soon be home to a fourth professional sports team. XFL’s Renegades will start playing at Globe Life Park in February 2020. The North Texas Soccer Club and high school football teams will also begin playing at the ballpark, which is being transformed into a multi-purpose facility, starting in 2020.
  • The transformative Arlington City Center project has once again received recognition – this time from the Urban Land Institute. The Urban Land Institute awarded the public-private partnership, which has attracted new residents, visitors and vibrancy to Downtown Arlington, with its ULI North Texas IMPACT Award in the Influence Category on Oct. 10, 2019. Arlington’s project beat out competing entries from Dallas and Frisco.
  • Arlington continues to see growth along the I-20 corridor, with additions such as the Rent the Runway distribution center and the FedEx distribution center that have brought hundreds of new jobs to the city.
  • The City’s unprecedented investment in roads is paying off, with 90 percent of Arlington road miles rated in either good or mostly good condition. Over the past few years, the City has been able to reduce the number of roads rated as poor from 20 percent to just nine percent. And since 2015, nearly 27,000 potholes have been filled. Residents can check out the road condition score for their street using the Arlington Street Condition Map on the Open Arlington portal.
  • The Arlington Fire Department’s Office of Emergency Management was one of nine programs across the country, and the first in North Texas, to earn E-MAP accreditation this year.