Riverwalk developer reveals another Flower Mound restaurant concept, but opening dates remain unknown

The windows of empty restaurant buildings at the Riverwalk at Central Park in Flower Mound are covered with dust as the developer makes progress on construction. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)
The windows of empty restaurant buildings at the Riverwalk at Central Park in Flower Mound are covered with dust as the developer makes progress on construction. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)

The windows of empty restaurant buildings at the Riverwalk at Central Park in Flower Mound are covered with dust as the developer makes progress on construction. (Daniel Houston/Community Impact Newspaper)

Frustration over the delayed opening of the Riverwalk at Central Park is not just a topic overheard around Flower Mound.

It's etched on the dust-covered windows of one of the property’s empty restaurant buildings.

“Hurry and finish—we want margaritas!” one finger-scribbled message reads.

For now, those vacant restaurant structures lie at the heart of one of Flower Mound’s most anticipated developments.

More than a decade after the first developer laid out a vision for the 158-acre property, the restaurant portion of the site is facing yet another setback due to the economy.


Unlike the Great Recession, which affected the project as it was getting off the ground in 2008, the current downturn was brought about by a deadly virus and by resulting health measures that have made many residents more reluctant to eat out.

“It’s gone through its trials and tribulations at no fault, really, of the current developer,” said Andrea Roy, the town’s economic development director.

The economic jolt has not stopped the current developer, Centurion American, from making progress on the next phases of construction.

“Construction and finish out continues and has progressed greatly on the River Walk restaurants even during the pandemic,” Centurion American spokesperson Courtney Morrow said in a statement. “While we don’t have a firm opening date for our signature dining concepts, we look forward to announcing more within the next 1-2 months.”

In recent weeks, crews have worked to erect a series of long-planned mixed-use buildings on the western side of the development.

The property’s chapel and event center is being finished out, and may hold its first events before the end of the year, Morrow said.

Developers have also submitted plans to the town for the project’s prominent amphitheater, a farmer’s market, and splash pad and promenade additions. A second hotel, Home2 Suites, is also under construction. It will join the existing Courtyard by Marriott.

But some Flower Mound residents are still eager to know when the restaurants are expected to come online.

“Everybody wants to know when they’re opening, which is—we don’t know,” town spokesperson Molly Fox said.

Snags and progress

Visit the Riverwalk today, and the heart of the development is a juxtaposition of babbling water features, active residential communities and the six empty restaurant spaces the developer is seeking to fill.

Those residential features across the street from the restaurants have been particularly healthy parts of the development, Roy said.

“As far as the residential components—the apartments, the single-family homes, the townhomes—there’s no problem with residential out there,” Roy said. “That happens without any issues. It’s just that commercial component that’s so difficult.”

In addition to economic challenges the development has faced, the property has undergone several changes in ownership.

When construction kicked off in 2008, the country was already in a deep recession brought on by the housing crisis.

Two years later, the property entered foreclosure and was acquired by a second owner. It wasn't until 2013—a half decade after the project’s start—that Centurion American bought most of the land, and construction on much of the heart of the development began in earnest.

After acquiring the property, developer Mehrdad Moayedi re-evaluated the previous plans for the development and made a series of detailed changes, including adding an amphitheater and other components of the current plan. The change in ownership effectively set back parts of the project to a more formative stage, Roy said.

Earlier this year, the town approved permits for three restaurants on the Riverwalk: Primo’s, Tillman’s and Scout. Within days of that decision, every restaurant across the state was forced to shut down its dine-in area as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. Opening new restaurants in that environment was a non-starter, although dining areas are now allowed to reopen at 75% capacity across the state.

Since the permits were approved, Tillman’s has been replaced by Sfereco, a new Italian concept that recently opened in the Statler development in Dallas, Morrow said.

Fox said the town has done everything it can to facilitate the permit process for the restaurants, but ultimately, it is up to the developer to set the timeline.

“I do think there’s some confusion that the community thinks the town has some control over the timeline of the development,” Fox said.

Flower Mound economic development department staffers expect market conditions to play a role in the timeline for the project’s completion—and particularly for the restaurant openings, Roy said.
By Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper in Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


MOST RECENT

Crumbl Cookies offers over 120 rotating cookie flavors. (Courtesy Crumbl Cookies)
Crumbl Cookies to open in Plano; McKinney trash pickup rates to rise and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news form the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

people at restaurant table
Jakes Burgers and Beer locations in North Texas, including in Flower Mound, under new ownership

The restaurant is known for its locally sourced beef burgers and selection of local brews and Texas spirits.

Zalat Pizza offers an elote pizza and the OG, which is topped with all-beef pepperoni, salami, cracked black pepper and pickled giardiniera. (Courtesy Alison Taylor/Strauss Marketing-PR)
Zalat Pizza coming soon to Flower Mound

This pizza kitchen makes its dough in-house and is known for its wide range of specialty pies with unique ingredients, such as elote, Reuben and pho.

The salon specializes in natural hair services, especially box braids. (Courtesy Blessed Hands by Ms. P)
Blessed Hands by Ms. P, Peggy’s Fashion Closet open in Lewisville

Blessed Hands by Ms. P provides natural hairstyling and specializes in braids and extensions, which include human and synthetic hair, box braids, cornrows, twists and more.

A bright yellow taser
Lewisville City Council approves new Tasers, accountability tools for police

The Lewisville City Council approved a service and purchasing agreement with Axon Enterprise that will provide the Lewisville Police Department with new tasers, digital storage for evidence and body camera footage, and an assortment of accountability and transparency tools.

A ballot being cast.
Voters favored three of four Lewisville City Charter amendments based on final votes

Lewisville voters want planning commissioners to own property; other charter amendments approved in May 1 election

Highland village city hall
Lombardo, Heslep win re-election to Highland Village City Council

Final vote totals on May 1 show incumbents Mike Lombardo and Tom Heslep have won re-election to Highland Village City Council.

LISD chamber doors
Bonner, Lassahn win Lewisville ISD board races

With all precincts reporting, Buddy Bonner and Allison Lassahn win Lewisville ISD board seats.

i voted sticker
Ronni Cade wins election for Lewisville City Council's Place 3

Vote totals on May 1 show Ronni Cade as the winner with 53.2% of the vote to Penny Mallet’s 46.8% in the Lewisville City Council Place 3 race.

town hall building
Flower Mound mayoral race goes to runoff

Mayoral candidates Derek France and Itamar Gelbman are headed to a June 5 runoff.

city hall
TJ Gilmore wins Lewisville mayor's race

TJ Gilmore wins final vote count in Lewisville mayoral race.

Vote here and vote aqui signs outside of a polling center.
Highland Village City Council places 3 and 5 up for election on May 1

Incumbent and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Lombardo will be facing off against newcomer Andrew Crawford for Place 3. Incumbent Tom Heslep will face off against challenger Jason Bates for Place 5.