This month, the city and the entire North Texas region will officially celebrate the opening of Globe Life Field. It could be argued that the real celebration will begin around late June, when the temperature rises to the tipping point, triggering movement of the structure’s titanic roof into “closed” position and tripping the thermostat into AC mode – and giving fans of the Texas Rangers their first taste of a home baseball game played indoors.
But let’s not bog down in semantics. Here’s the deal: Whether you’re chronicling history or the evolution of simple comforts, Arlington has become the “coolest” city around. It’s so cool that in October The Turbo Tenant Report named it “The Best City in Texas to Invest in Rental Properties.” It’s so cool that a week after that distinction was revealed the National Medal of Honor Foundation announced that Arlington has been chosen to house its prestigious museum.
It’s so cool that city officials and business leaders recently announced plans for an $80 million development in the Entertainment District that will further enhance the area that has been the economic development backbone of Arlington for decades.
It’s so cool that the Abram Street project is no longer a pipe dream; it’s the center of retail, real estate and restaurant development, the likes of which this city has never seen. It’s so cool that its major institution of higher learning, the University of Texas at Arlington, has been tabbed as (A) the No. 1 university in the country for veterans and their families (per Military Times) and (B) the No. 1 university in Texas for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to African American students (per Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 2020).
It’s so cool that the Dodson Companies’ Urban Union development, which gave us the likes of Front Real Estate, The Tipsy Oak, Legal Draft Beer Co., Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery and Cartel Taco Bar, is about to give us a Phase II of all-new businesses that will continue to route traffic downtown. It’s so cool that, come this year’s census, its population will likely top the 400,000 mark for the first time.
It’s so cool that, when you talk about Arlington, you also get to revel in what’s going on in this region in general, where Mansfield, Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens, Kennedale and Grand Prairie are, likewise, prospering like seldom before.
During a recent interview I had with Michael Jacobson, president and CEO of the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, he aptly assessed not only the “what” that has manifested in this burgeoning coolness, but he nailed the “why” as well: “We’ve been blessed with a very cohesive business community.”
This month, in our special section “Faces & Places” on page 28, we celebrate people and companies that embody the sense of unity and purpose to which Michael referred.
And, yes, they are pretty cool.