Southlake City Council approved an economic development agreement between the city, Southlake Parks Development Corp. and the developer Carillon Crown LLC on April 4. The city will invest public funds into the project through sales tax generated by the development and a property tax abatement.
“We voted on Carillon a number of times since I’ve been on council, but tonight feels a little different,” said Mayor John Huffman. “Tonight feels like a finish line.”
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. The plans for development were originally approved by council in June 2018 but have been revised several times since then.
In December 2021, the city established a memorandum of understanding for the Carillon Parc project, which outlined the mutually agreed upon terms of a future incentive agreement, such as tax abatements or sales tax incentives. According to Southlake’s public investment policy, tax abatement allows all or a portion of a property's value that increases—because of construction and new business—to be exempted from taxation.
The public funds used in the project will be used to reimburse portions of the project, not fund its initial construction costs, according to a presentation given by Southlake Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski.
The site plan approved in December 2021 included 26.7 acres that will hold a public park, 565,600 square feet of retail and office space, 50 lots and 79 villas for residential use, and space for a parking garage.
The proposed park will be eight to nine acres and include amenities such as a fountain, bell tower and a plaza area that will preserve part of the existing tree canopy, according to city documents. The agreement proposes utilizing the Southlake Parks Development Corp.’s half-cent sales tax that will be generated by the development to reimburse the Carillon Crown.
Sales tax will reimburse the developer up to $3.77 million or less than 50% of the construction costs for park improvements, whichever is less, per meeting documents.
A multilevel parking garage will provide parking for the commercial portion of Carillon Parc. Under the agreement, the developer is obligated to construct a parking garage with a minimum of 800 parking spaces, with a portion reserved for free public parking, city documents stated. Sales tax generated by the development and a tax abatement on a portion of the future property taxes will fund up to 60% or $7.73 million of the construction costs, whichever is less.
North White Chapel Boulevard will be widened between Hwy. 114 and East Kirkwood Boulevard due to the buildout of the property. As designated in Southlake’s 2023-23 capital budget, the city will reimburse the developer for 100% or up to $1.86 million of the construction costs, whichever is less.
Ortowski said the development is projected to create 1,200 jobs through office jobs, professional management positions, support services and general labor.
John Terrell, a partner with Carillon Crown and a former mayor of Southlake, said groundbreaking on Carillon Parc will be held May 4.
“We are incredibly excited to be at this point,” he said. “Nothing thrills me more than to actually have a date for groundbreaking.”
Within 45 to 60 days after the groundbreaking, Terrell said the developer plans to come back to the city with plans for the commercial portion of the project. This will include chef-driven restaurants, a hotel and the office building.
The project will be completed over three phases, Ortowski said. Phase 1 includes North White Chapel Boulevard and other roadways, utilities and all infrastructure for the site. Phase 1A includes the buildings and park elements. Ortowski said Phase 1 and 1A must be completed by Sept. 1, 2025, as outlined in the agreement.
Phase 2 of the project mainly includes the office development and must be completed by Sept. 30, 2023, she said.
Council Member Kathy Talley said she is ready to say “yes” whenever residents ask if Carillon Parc is going to be built.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what this will become because it’s going to be great," she said.