Coppell, Irving communities undertake construction projects as Cypress Waters comes online

The Sound is one of the latest addition to the Cypress Waters development.

The Sound is one of the latest addition to the Cypress Waters development.

Image description
Cypress Waters at build-out
Image description
Future Rail Connectivity
Image description
Where was Cypress Waters?
With promises of urban-style amenities, such as luxury multifamily housing and restaurants, the $3.5 billion Cypress Waters development is bringing economic and demographic changes to the suburban landscape of Irving and Coppell.

Billingsley Co., the developer spearheading the project, said its 1,000-plus-acre mixed-use development is poised to house tens of thousands of residents and employees once complete. With it comes the addition of two new Coppell ISD schools along with a batch of road construction projects in anticipation of all the growth.

The company unveiled Cypress Waters’ lakeside restaurant row in May and the second phase of Nokia’s massive 350,000-square-foot headquarters in early October.

“What we are trying to do is to create a place that everyone that lives in Coppell, Irving [and] Grapevine just wants to come hang out in the end,” company co-founder Lucy Billingsley said.

Though Cypress Waters is located mostly within the city of Dallas, it is landlocked by Irving and Coppell, shares Coppell’s ZIP code and is zoned for CISD schools.

“We’re very proud to have two schools in the Cypress Waters area,” CISD Superintendent Brad Hunt said. “Richard J. Lee Elementary School ... was one of the first big structures in the Cypress Waters area and has kind of served as an anchor for us in … meeting the needs of the community.”

Coppell officials say the overlapping city and ZIP code boundaries have led to confusion among Cypress Waters residents. Stakeholders have unsuccessfully worked to alter the ZIP code boundaries in an effort to help better distinguish between cities.

Billingsley said her company is adding city of Dallas branding at the development and will continue providing informational handouts to the thousands of new tenants and residents bound for the master-planned community.

“We painted ‘Dallas’ on the side facing all of the residences and offices so if anybody’s ever calling 911, they can look up and see ‘Dallas,’” she said.

The project


Much of the Cypress Waters land sits on the partially drained North Lake, which served as a cooling reservoir-turned recreational lake in the mid- to late 1900s, according to Dallas records.

The Billingsleys purchased the land from the city of Dallas in the late 2000s with big plans for future development.

“My husband and I eyed this property over many, many years,” Billingsley said. “When they finally decided to put it to market, my husband, Henry, who buys our properties, jumped right in and put in the winning offer.”

Some of the major amenities at Cypress Waters include its growing trail system, live music and entertainment, and the various restaurants. She said her company also works to be environmentally conscious by promoting events such as e-waste drives and using water from the lake for landscaping and irrigation.

Cypress Waters is also slated to receive a passenger rail station along Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s 26-mile Silver Line, which will span from Plano to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer has witnessed firsthand how transit-oriented development can attract major corporate players, such as the natural gas firm Pioneer Natural Resources.

“I can relate to what [transit has] done here in Irving,” said Stopfer, who serves as Irving’s representative on the DART board of directors. “We’ve got Pioneer that just built … a 1 million-square-foot building. And one of their talking points [was] that one of the things they wanted was ... access to a rail station for their employees.”

Cypress Waters has already attracted global corporate tenants, such as Nokia and 7-Eleven, to lease hundreds of thousands of square feet from its commercial offices. The headquarters for 7-Eleven lies in the southern portion of Cypress Waters—a small sliver that is within the city of Irving’s boundaries.

Between the various commercial and residential buildings already online and those still under contract, Cypress Waters is projected to house 17,000 residents and 40,000 employees at build-out, Billingsley said.

Road construction


Between the construction vehicles and thousands of cars commuting to and from Cypress Waters, some Coppell roads need repair, Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt said.

“Coppell was in a very unique situation because we built Royal [Lane], Freeport [Parkway] and Belt Line [Road] all about the same time,” she said. “All three roads were near the end of their life. The construction at Cypress Waters abused Belt Line a little bit more than the other two.”

The city determined it could not reconstruct multiple major roads at the same time without issuing debt, the mayor said.

“In order to buy ourselves some time and not create a huge debt that needed to be paid off all at one time and ... just basically close down the north-south traffic in Coppell, we asphalted Belt Line and Royal,” she said.

A future Belt Line Road reconstruction project will span from where it intersects Denton Tap Road southward to I-635. That project could begin in early 2021 if funding is available. The city also plans to lengthen turning lanes along Belt Line Road near Cypress Waters.

“We’re working with Dallas County now to do some lane extensions for turn lanes,” Coppell City Manager Mike Land said. “As you’re heading south and turning east into Cypress Waters, there will be ... a backup from the turn lane. … As they continue to build more office complex and business complexes out there, it is clearly going to put more traffic onto Belt Line [Road].”

Billingsley Co. has also constructed roads within Cypress Waters with the goal of relieving congestion at some of the major intersections.

“We put in Olympus [Boulevard],” Billingsley said. “If you live in Coppell and work southeast, you can cut through Cypress Waters and save a ton of time off of that Belt Line [Road] intersection.”

Expanding school district


While the city of Coppell is taking on more road projects, CISD completed the construction of its second school within Cypress Waters before the start of the 2018-19 school year.

Its new campuses were built with the understanding that they would likely need extra capacity as more multifamily units open, according to the superintendent. Between 3%-8% of the district’s student body currently lives in Cypress Waters.

“We want to stay proactive,” the superintendent said. “That’s why Richard J. Lee Elementary School is built a little bit larger than some of our footprint elementary schools, as well as Middle School West was built larger than our other two middle schools knowing we’ve got so much growth, not only in the Cypress Waters area, but specifically in the southern part of our district.”

CISD has worked with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department to supply two full-time school resource officers at Middle School West who will also support the nearby Richard J. Lee Elementary.

“We are here to serve every child at CISD,” the superintendent said. “Regardless of where they live, we are one Coppell ISD, and we want to make sure that every child has an amazing experience wherever they are in our school district.”
SHARE THIS STORY
By Gavin Pugh

After reporting for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano paper for over two years, Gavin launched the Coppell, Valley Ranch and Las Colinas edition in October 2019. As editor, Gavin's beat includes transportation, municipal government, education and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


MOST RECENT

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins attempted April 5 to quash any confusion surrounding the county's position on use of the Dallas convention center as a popup coronavirus hospital. (Screenshot courtesy FOX 4 News)
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins addresses letter from Abbott's office threatening to relocate popup COVID hospital

Dallas County is feverishly working to ready the convention center for use despite claims that resources are not wanted, County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Candidates for city council and mayor in Keller share their thoughts on the state of the city. Local elections have been postponed until Nov. 3, 2020. (Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Three-way race for Keller mayor highlights slate of local elections

Keller City Council agreed to postpone elections for mayor and City Council Place 5 and Place 6 until Nov. 3, 2020.

Plano ISD has extended its school closure until May 1. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
School year to end on schedule regardless of length of closure, Plano ISD tells parents

Instruction will still end on the scheduled date of May 22, the district informed parents this week in a mass message.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD technology support staff organize cars in a drive-thru to provide technology repairs. (Courtesy Amy Taldo)
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD helps students stay connected with device repairs, free Wi-Fi

As Grapevine-Colleyville ISD students unpack devices and prepare for a new normal of learning at home, district staff is stepping up to make sure students and teachers have everything they need to stay connected.

Medical professionals from Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Centennial in Frisco received a donation of masks and assorted goodies from Two Men and A Truck on April 3. (Courtesy Two Men and A Truck)
Moving company Two Men and A Truck donate face masks to Frisco, McKinney hospitals

After receiving a gift of more than 100 face masks, the North Dallas-area franchise set up a donation of 50 masks to area Baylor Scott & White hospitals.

The CBD American Shaman location on North Plano Road in Richardson has received a shipment of of the Shaman Cleansing Wash. (Courtesy CBD American Shaman of Richardson)
CBD American Shaman makes hand sanitizer, cleansing wash for franchise stores, including Richardson location

The businesses’ Richardson location received shipments of the cleansing wash earlier this week and is expecting to receive the hand sanitizer next week.

The city of Plano has limited access to parking at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve after receiving reports that people were crowding the trails. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano limits parking access at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve to fend off crowds on trails

The move brought the total number of available parking spaces at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve down to 190 after the city received repeated complaints about crowds of people on some city trails.

The Bowden Director of Operations David Underwood delivers a family its groceries from The Bowden Market. (Courtesy The Bowden)
Keller venue The Bowden providing meals for employees, first responders, local community

Keller residents now have an opportunity to purchase high-quality grocery items at what is known as The Bowden Market.

Crush Taco will partner with Hardie’s Fresh Foods on April 4 to offer boxes filled with hard-to-find produce and foods, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, lettuce mixes, eggs and chicken. (Courtesy Crush Taco)
Crush Taco offers to-go taco bar, partners with local vendors to provide produce, meats in Frisco

The taco shop shifted to only offering to-go orders in mid-March.

The 400 for 500 campaign at Communion Neighborhood Cooperative donates benevolent meals to those in need. (Courtesy Communion Neighborhood Cooperative)
Roundup: 5 Richardson restaurants give back during the coronavirus outbreak

From discounts to donations, here is what restaurants in Richardson are doing to support the community.

Dallas County Commissioners voted April 3 to extend the county's stay-at-home order through May 20, but Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced April 4 that he is extending the county’s stay-at-home order only through April 30. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
UPDATED: Dallas County Judge extends stay-at-home order through April 30

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced April 4 that he is extending the county’s stay-at-home order through April 30.

The Fort Worth Fire Department responded to a common inquiry by local residents with information on the average time novel coronavirus lives on common surfaces. (Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Spring cleaning: How long does coronavirus last on common household surfaces?

The Fort Worth Fire Department responded to a common inquiry by local residents with information on the average time novel coronavirus lives on common surfaces.