The City of Farmers Branch hired Interface Studio, Ninigret Partners, and WGI to develop a vision for the IH-35E corridor, a major regional employment hub in the Dallas-Fort Forth metroplex. While the study area is predominantly industrial and commercial, it is also evolving, particularly around the DART light rail station where mixed use development is changing the character of the station area. The corridor vision study was commissioned to explore how the transformation of the station area could catalyze change in the rest of the corridor and create an attractive gateway that reflects the city's reputation for excellence.
As the public engagement process was launching in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the team to transition planned in-person activities to online activities and events. Interface Studio developed interactive websites in English and Spanish, held a live Q and A, and targeted employers and small businesses to assess the impact of COVID-19. Over 500 people participated to help shape the study. After unanimous adoption by the City Council in early 2021, the City is ready to hit the ground running in implementing key priorities.
The vision study identified four target areas for change and focused on improving the aesthetics along the highway to better represent the city, redesigning the main east-west corridor Valley View Lane to support redevelopment and connect new residential development on both sides of the highway, and making strategic public realm improvements, particularly at gateways along the highway and on key corridors.