California developer makes pitch to transform Texas Stadium site

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 8:00 PM

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IRVING — At the intersection of Highways 114 and 183 sits a monument to Irving's failure to move beyond the loss of the Dallas Cowboys to Arlington.

It's the 79-acre void where once stood the center of the professional football universe, Texas Stadium, until its 2009 implosion.

Irving officials have worked in futility to transform that space into a successful commercial venture. But on Wednesday, their knight in shining armor may have finally arrived.

Oliver McMillan, a San Diego development firm with $3 billion in projects under its belt has spent the past nine months sizing up the old stadium site.

Oliver McMillan CEO Dene Oliver likes what he sees, and believes a high-end, mixed-use residential and retail development would work perfectly.

"This is one of the epicenters of the U.S., what's happening in this great area,” Oliver said. “A great possibility is sitting right here in Irving, spreading out to Fort Worth and Dallas."

Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne first discovered the firm at a conference last May.

"I think what they brought to the table today is everything that the citizens and the businesses are asking for," the mayor said. “The devil is in the details, but what this is doing is giving us six months to investigate and work out the details."

Irving City Council member Rose Cannaday said she is excited by the talents and possibilities of potentially hiring such a reputable firm.

"What makes me so excited is I've looked at things of people wanting to do — an arachnia park, and people wanted to do ski slopes over Texas Stadium — [we've] just had some really off-the-wall offers," Cannaday said.

Irving City Council members are expected to vote Thursday night to give the development firm six months to come up with a plan. If everything goes smoothly, Irving could finally purge a painful loss with a promising new development in three to five years.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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