The City of University Park is 3.8 square miles and is known for its attractive homes, numerous churches and beautiful parks, which set the mood for family-oriented, comfortable living. Residents are proud of the citys eight parks, a total of 41 acres.
University Park, a predominantly residential community of 23,000 residents, is located approximately five miles north of downtown Dallas. It is home to Southern Methodist University around which the town was built. The location of University Park in north-central Dallas provides easy access to a broad range of cultural recreational, shopping, and business activities. The major shopping area is Snider Plaza, but the historic Highland Park Village Shopping Center and NorthPark Mall are nearby.
The city has a small-town feeling with its own municipal government, its own public services (police and fire), and its own school district - the highly acclaimed Highland Park Independent School District, with seven schools and a total enrollment of more than 5,850 students. In state testing, HPISD students consistently rank among the highest in the state, with 97 percent of the graduating class typically continuing on to college. More than 70 percent of residents over 25 have college or advanced degrees, making University Park among the most highly-educated cities in the nation.
University Park residents appreciate the personal care they receive from the community-oriented city staff, especially in the area of police and fire protection. A primary goal of the City is to provide and maintain a secure residential atmosphere, and through a hometown policing approach, the City maintains crime rates among the lowest in the metropolitan area.
Highland Park was built around the banks of Turtle Creek, along an early trail called Preston Road that once led to the famous Chisholm Trail. In 1887, Colonel Henry Exall, an early settler, bought two square miles around Turtle Creek and Preston Road. Later this land began to be developed and residents wanted to become part of the City of Dallas. The City of Dallas turned down the residents request to join, so they voted to incorporate the town on its own. Ever since, it has been home to some of the most influential people in Dallas, and the independent city has remained one of the areas most desirable and exclusive residential neighborhoods.
Property cost is high here, but most of its more than 9,000 residents think it is worth paying for the excellent school system, city services, convenient geographic location to downtown Dallas, and the comfortable community feeling unique to Highland Park. The area is widely known for its high quality of living, award-winning homes, and close proximity to a variety of retail centers and Southern Methodist University. Highland Park Village, located in the heart of Highland Park, is a 200,000-square-foot shopping center with more than 80 shops, restaurants and offices. It holds the honor of being Americas first shopping center and has retained its original Spanish architecture. Wilbur David Cook, the landscape architect of the Town of Highland Park, also designed Beverly Hills, California.
Highland Park is a city within a city. It has its own police and fire departments, city government, library and school system, the Highland Park Independent School District (HPISD). Highland Park has its own Mayor-Council form of government and a city manager as chief executive. The police chief, fire chief and city judge are appointed. The police and fire departments are within 2-3 minutes from your door. In addition, the area boasts 22 parks totaling 60 acres, making it one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Dallas.