Valley Ranch development with Dallas Cowboys ties adds more senior housing

Dirt is being turned at the former Dallas Cowboys practice facility to make way for a new housing development. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dirt is being turned at the former Dallas Cowboys practice facility to make way for a new housing development. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dirt is being turned at the former Dallas Cowboys practice facility to make way for a new housing development. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Compiled by Gavin Pugh, designed by Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper
Image description
Compiled by Gavin Pugh, designed by Tobi Carter/Community Impact Newspaper
Once a cornerstone of the Valley Ranch community, the former Dallas Cowboys practice grounds are being converted into a multigenerational housing development.

The 36-acre project, Legends Crossing, is being spearheaded by development group Centurion American. At full build-out, the residential community will add 251 new units to Valley Ranch’s housing stock, according to the developer.

The Cowboys’ history in Valley Ranch spanned nearly three decades. The impression left by the football team is evident in some of the street names: Avenue of Champions, Touchdown Drive and Cowboys Parkway. That was before the team announced its move to Frisco in 2013.

With the facility demolished, the developer expects to begin issuing building permits for the first homes in April.

Amenities will include a trail system, a central community center complete with a workout facility and a pool, and lawn care services provided for an area marketed toward the 55-and-older population.

The community will be named Legends Crossing—a throwback to the Valley Ranch’s ties to the Dallas Cowboys—and will feature Cowboys-themed road names and memorabilia.

“We’ve taken some things like the stars and different market features that were in the original [Cowboys] clubhouse, and ... they’re going to go into our amenity center,” said Sean Terry, Centurion American’s chief operating officer.

Centurion American is the same North Texas-based developer behind the revamping of Plano’s Collin Creek Mall. Other than single-family neighborhoods, Centurion American also develops multifamily housing and mixed-use projects.

With utility construction underway, the first building permits are expected to be issued in April.

Details of the development

Legends Crossing will comprise three types of units: 63 small-footprint bungalows, 86 townhomes and 102 villas.Terry said the bungalows will be a solution for older Irving residents seeking to downsize.

“A lot of people ... have lived in the same house for a long time, and they love living in [the] Irving-Las Colinas area, but how can they downsize and get a new home that maybe [has] not as much yard?” Terry said. “Our first product we kind of came up with was our bungalows. ... We’re not age restricting them for 55 and up, but we see that market being the 55-and-up market.”

Adults age 55 and older made up 13.5% of the population in Valley Ranch’s 75063 ZIP code in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. That figure is more than double what it was in 2000.

“There is a huge need for [senior housing] because so many people are not wanting to maintain the larger homes with the pool and the lot,” local Realtor Kim Raine said. “The maintenance is starting to become an issue, and a lot of these people want to have an easier lifestyle.”

The bungalows will sit closer together with 10-foot side yards, Terry said. Additionally, Centurion American relocated dozens of mature trees throughout the community to provide the feel of an established natural area.

The townhomes will serve as a higher-density, low-maintenance option for future residents while the villas will resemble traditional single-family homes. The villas will be built on 40-foot lots, Terry said.

Prices at Legends Crossing will start at $350,000 and will top out between $550,000 and $600,000, Terry said. Full build-out is expected to be completed between three to four years from the start of construction.

Community feedback

When the Dallas Cowboys announced plans to relocate their operations from Valley Ranch to Frisco, surrounding residents were uncertain what would become of the plot, Irving City Council Member Albert Zapanta said.

While some were hopeful the former practice facility would be converted into a public recreation area, Zapanta said the cost was simply too high for the city to acquire.

After months of soliciting feedback from the community, the developer was receptive to the stakeholders’ wishes, said Zapanta, who represents Valley Ranch on the City Council.

Those initial negotiations included ensuring the housing density was low and providing affordable options for Irving’s older population, Zapanta said.

“One of the things that we are trying to push forward on is senior and affordable housing,” Zapanta said. “We were looking at also the size of the ... townhomes as well as the single-family residences. ... By doing that we try to get it to where it’s going to be affordable.”

Considering that Legends Crossing will add to the city’s property tax base and deliver services to residents, Zapanta said he ultimately sees the development as a benefit for Valley Ranch.

“Once we got to a point where people were feeling at least comfortable that the developer ... was actually listening and making the changes, then it was ... ‘let’s go forward, and hopefully everything will work out,’” he said. “I’m comfortable with the final decisions. I think they came forward with what we asked them to do.”
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


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