After almost five years of discussion and planning, the development of a space within Southlake’s Carillon neighborhood for commercial tenants and public space is set to break ground early next year.

“We’re moving forward very rapidly with the city to get this stuff done and get bulldozers out there and start the process,” said John Terrell, co-founder of the park’s development company, Hunter Chase Development.

Carillon Parc is a European-style, 42.5-acre mixed-use development in Southlake at the northeast corner of Hwy. 114 and White Chapel Boulevard. Its surrounding neighborhood, Carillon, was built with the promise of providing a walkable community—consisting of shops, restaurants and more—for its residents.

The plans for Carillon Parc were originally approved by Southlake City Council in June 2018 but have been revised several times since then.

The plan includes commercial space for restaurants as well as single-family residential units. The project will also feature public space with a library and a multiuse performing arts center.

Terrell said the development team will go before council again in early November for the approval of a partial plat of the residential component and commercial land. The project’s developers have offered to donate land for the library and public space, which will add around $10 million in value to Southlake’s parks.

Hunter Chase Development closed on the property in November 2019. All entitlements were finalized in December of that year with plans to break ground in June 2020, Terrell said. With a project that has about $300 million attached to it, he said all those moving parts can take several years to pull together.

Part of the delay in construction also comes from the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a wrench in the development’s timeline and delayed the planned June 2020 groundbreaking, Terrell said.

“It’s going to be exciting for both the city, the citizens and us developers because for the first time again since COVID, we’re back on track,” he said.

The city’s and the developer’s involvement together in the process so far has been integral to the success of the project and “raises it to another level,” Terrell said.

Work on the streets and infrastructure is expected to begin in early 2023. Terrell told •Community Impact •in June that infrastructure, including utility work and roads, is expected to take about nine months to complete.

Library Task Force

After 21 years in the basement of City Hall, the Southlake Public Library is slated to move to a new location as part of the Carillon Parc development.

Southlake Council Member Kathy Talley said when the library opened in September 2001, the library was meant to remain in the location for only two years.

The Southlake library is 12,080 square feet, making it the second-smallest library when compared to neighboring cities Richardson, Hurst, Allen and North Richland Hills, second only to Euless’ 6,500-square-foot library, according to city documents. The Colleyville Public Library is 24,000 square feet, and the Grapevine Public Library is 54,500 square feet.

In December 2021, the Library Task Force was created and charged with determining improvements to better meet the community’s needs and the best location for a new library.

“Our recommendation [was to] create a library that is a family-friendly, collaborative community centerpiece that is inviting, warm, filled with natural light and accessible to everyone,” said Talley, who was a member of the task force.

Talley said the task force looked at traffic and usability studies to help determine the best location and the best uses for the library.

“We looked at every possible angle that we could,” Talley said. “I’m really proud of the process.”

The task force narrowed down the library location to three options: the former senior center on Parkwood Drive, Bicentennial Park and Carillon Parc.

During the June 7 council meeting, task force member Nysa Lilani said the group held town hall meetings and accepted online comment cards to understand where the community wanted the library. Of the 296 public comment cards received, 57% expressed a preference for the library being in Carillon Parc.

“Throughout the process, public input was very important to the library task force,” Lilani said.

Along with Carillon Parc being the most desired location, community members also expressed a desire for an expanded collection and more programs, such as summer reading, art classes and educational speakers, according to the task force’s 2021 library study.

Talley said creating a large indoor space and having open park space outside of the library will allow its programs to expand. She said oftentimes, library events have to move upstairs in City Hall to different meeting rooms or have to leave the library entirely for a program.

City Librarian Cynthia Pfledderer said she is appreciative of the support the Southlake community and council has shown toward the library. She is looking forward to determining the best course for the library with a “dynamic team.”

“It’s exciting to think about the future of the library and new ways to serve the citizens of Southlake,” Pfledderer said.

According to Talley, the library task force has laid the groundwork for the Carillon Parc Public Spaces Steering Committee.

Next steps

Southlake Mayor John Huffman said during the June 7 council meeting that the process of creating the library was not complete.

“Your work is far from done,” Huffman said to the task force.

Council appointed its own members as well as city board and commission members to the Carillon Parc committee during its Sept. 6 meeting.

The steering committee’s purpose is to advise council on the public library and Carillon Parc’s other public spaces, including a performing arts space, a public park and public art, according to city documents.

The committee will select community members to serve at the Oct. 4 council meeting.

“I’m so excited and happy for our city,” Talley said.

In June, Terrell told Community Impact that he is looking forward to working with the city and council to ensure the public spaces of Carillon Parc are incorporated properly into the development.

“We’re really looking forward to continuing to build a relationship, a true public-private partnership, to make this development outstanding,” he said.

Terrell said he is thrilled that citizens supported Carillon Parc as the location for the library. He said he is excited to announce the retail partners in the coming months.

“[Carillon Parc] is going to be a destination driver,” Terrell said. “It will provide tourism to the city. I’m excited about how that’s going to look, feel and operate.”