The development has been a contentious topic in Keller throughout 2020, but the City Council passed the resolution 6-1.
“I didn’t support this project in the beginning, and that was because of overwhelming opposition to it,” Keller Mayor Pat McGrail said. “Now that it’s been approved, I honestly consider it my obligation and everybody else on the council’s to support it.”
The Phase I Detailed Site Plan brought before council by Realty Capital Management included recommendations made by the city, such as reducing the number of residential units and providing access to Milestone Church via a private drive. Phase I will cover 26.8 acres devoted to 475 loft-style apartments, 24,000 square feet of commercial space, a community lawn and outdoor music venue and trails for hiking and biking. This portion of the development will include 2.2 of the total 6 acres of open space required by the city. Phase I does not include any single-family homes.
The development also plans to compensate for increased traffic in the area. Phase I will involve retiming traffic signals at the intersection of Hwy. 377 and Ridge Point Parkway and adding turn lanes on Ridge Point Parkway. None of the Phase I traffic improvements are anticipated to involve adding new pavement, according to Keller director of public works Alonzo Liñán.
"One of the first questions that we asked before seeing the detailed plan was 'Can we make this work?' " Liñán said. The answer, he said, is now a more confident yes.
Annual tax revenue from Phase I is estimated at nearly $1.77 million, including anticipated sales tax from businesses. AJ Glass, director of the Realty Capital development, said that he does not anticipate problems filling the commercial space despite the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keller City Council anticipates considering Phase II of the Center Stage development in summer 2021 at the earliest.
During the Dec. 1 council meeting, McGrail was recognized for his years of service to the city. He opted not to seek another term as mayor. His replacement will be decided in the Dec. 8 runoff election. Early voting runs through Dec. 4.