Flower Mound’s Lakeside Business District has developed into a thriving economic and entertainment hub that accounts for roughly half of the town’s taxable commercial revenue.
Plans for the district started decades ago as a way to bring people to Flower Mound, and it now has a mix of restaurants, stores, offices and homes intermingled in a live, work and play setting, according to Ray Watson, the town’s economic development director.
Home to over 100 businesses and more than 1,000 homes and apartments, the district now accounts for about $1.2 billion in taxable value for the town, according to Watson.
“Lakeside is a perfect blend of the town’s vision and mission statement,” Flower Mound Mayor Derek France said. “It’s blending an energetic hub with nature that’s right on the lake.”
Still to come for the district are two new projects–Silveron Park and Lakeside Village. The latter will be the town’s first development on the shores of Grapevine Lake with elements to attract visitors and boost the town’s tax base even more. The 1,500 acres that make up the district are about 87% built out, Watson said.
Flower Mound resident Salvko Vidovic has lived in the Lakeside DFW development, which is part of the Lakeside Business District, for four years.
“I love this community,” he said.
Vidovic is from Bosnia, and when he found Lakeside DFW, which is home to The Shops at Lakeside, he said it felt reminiscent of a European town.
The Flower Mound transplant works at Lakeside Barber & Co. and lives across the street from his job.
“I don’t want to be too far from my job because time is important,” Vidovic said. “When you have your family, time is important.”
The initial ordinance for the district was created in 1986 to design the roads and the layout, Watson said. The town put in $25 million as a grant to the district for infrastructure, Watson said.
That grant is paid back to the town as different businesses come to the district through a special property assessment, and it is nearly paid off, he said.
The proximity to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which is less than 10 miles away, makes the district attractive for potential businesses and developers, Watson said.
“Businesses choose Lakeside for the proximity of the airport and quality of life,” France said.
Local leaders and developers saw the success of neighboring communities, such as Coppell, Grapevine and Irving, and looked to capitalize on some of the town’s best amenities. These amenities include the town’s trails and Grapevine Lake.
Community benefits of Lakeside
Most of the businesses in Flower Mound are located in either the Lakeside Business District or the 2499 Retail District, Watson said.
The town is completely built out in the 2499 Retail District, which means Lakeside is the only place where commercial development can be built that is already zoned commercial, Watson said. “We hope to have some opportunities on the west side of town. But that’s still a ways off,” he said.
Aside from commercial revenue, Lakeside offers people the opportunity to live right where they work, which has become more valuable since the pandemic, Watson said.
“They work in that area, they eat lunch there, and then in the evenings, they hang out there to enjoy themselves,” he said. “Where you really get the advantage of the work-live-play area is that not only are they working in an area and being there during the daytime, but they’re also there at night and helping to create more tax dollars and generate more opportunities for community.”
Flower Mound has historically been a bedroom community where people live but commute to another city for work. Lakeside is shifting that narrative, Watson said.
The International Office Center recently opened in the district. The office building is 90% full as of April. Most of those occupants are corporate relocations, he said.
The reason for corporate relocations is the design of Lakeside and its offerings of restaurants, retail, living and office spaces, Watson said.
“Most of these corporate decision makers see an opportunity to locate their business in an area where they can actually give the amenities to their employees. That really help them to not only recruit new employees, but also to retain those employees,” he said.
It is not just the business amenities that draw in businesses but also the natural amenities, Watson said.
“That is a cornerstone of community,” France said about Lakeside.
Lakeside offers business owners a built-in customer base through its residents, said David Stewart, managing partner of Lakeside DFW Land Ltd., which is a development in the district.
“There is a loyal community built in at Lakeside,” he said. “It’s not big enough to make business profitable, but it’s a good base.”
For example, none of the businesses at The Shops at Lakeside closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Stewart said. Restaurants are a big appeal at Lakeside and draw in people who don’t live in the district, he said.
“You don’t have to be a resident of Lakeside to be a member of the community,” he said.
Many of the businesses are owned and operated locally, and that contributes to the high level of service people can expect, Stewart said.
There is also a wide range of business offerings, such as health, beauty, grocery and restaurants, Stewart said.
Lakeside has the top two highest grossing restaurants per square foot in all of Flower Mound, said Jimmy Archie, managing director of Realty Capital Management. Those restaurants are 1845 Taste Texas and The Tavern at Lakeside. Lakeside also hosts events that bring in large crowds from around the metroplex. The Lakeside Music Series of summer concerts, for instance, started its seventh season on April 1.
These events, the constant foot traffic, and general design and atmosphere are the key reasons businesses want to be located in Lakeside, Stewart said.
“People like to come to Lakeside,” he said. “It has a vibe and a charm.”
More is slated to come with the Silveron Park and Lakeside Village projects.
Silveron Park was approved during a Feb. 21 Flower Mound Town Council meeting. The plan includes offices, retail and restaurant spaces, multifamily units and a parking garage, according to the project’s information packet.
Lakeside Village includes luxury condos, residential units, single-family homes, a hotel, restaurant space, retail space and office space. Construction has begun on the project, and the high-rise luxury condos are already completed, said Archie, who works for Realty Capital Management.
The company is the master developer of the Lakeside Village mixed-use project on 160 acres. The next phase of the project involves developing the 40 acres that is actually on the lake’s shore, Archie said.
Lakeside Village will include tourist attractions, such as restaurants with patios on the lake, boutique hotels that can be used for wedding receptions and a wedding chapel, Archie said.
“Lakeside Village is going to become a tourist attraction and create revenue to the town at levels the town’s never seen from a development before,’’ he said.
Lakeside Business District brings live, work, play elements together
Salvko Vidovic (left) and Xiaodan Zheng (right) enjoy the Lakeside Music Series. Other concert dates are scheduled through the summer. (Samantha Douty/Community Impact Newspaper)