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

At its peak of power loss, the city had roughly 50,000 homes with interrupted power, many of which had prolonged outages, Plano City Manager Mark Israelson said. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano faces long-term impacts from storm; Collin County vaccine hubs resume service and more DFW-area news

Read the top business and community news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

High school graduation ceremonies throughout Lewisville ISD will be held at The Star in Frisco this year, a change from previous plans. (Lindsey Juarez Monsivais/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lewisville ISD cancels high school proms, selects new venue for graduation ceremonies

For the second year in a row, schools will alter key rites of passage for high school seniors throughout Lewisville ISD as they continue to navigate instruction during a pandemic.

The coffee and wine bar offers signature drinks, such as the Honey Bear Latte, made with honey and cinnamon, as well as food options, such as breakfast tacos, charcuterie boards, baked goods and snack boxes. (Courtesy Golden Boy Coffee Co.)
Golden Boy Coffee Co. opens in Plano; Black Rock Coffee Bar coming to Southlake and more DFW-area news

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

Tens of thousands of people have been vaccinated at Denton County's vaccine drive-thru clinics at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. (Courtesy Texas Motor Speedway)
Denton County agencies offer free rides to vaccine appointments at Texas Motor Speedway

Beginning Friday, two Denton County transit services will provide free bus rides to the mass vaccine clinics at Texas Motor Speedway.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

Chipotle Mexican Grill opened a new Plano location Feb. 20 at the corner of Independence Parkway and Legacy Drive. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Plano Chipotle opens with drive-thru; Tailgaters sports bar opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

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

Lewisville ISD was set to resume classes Feb. 22 after closing schools the previous week because of winter weather. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lewisville ISD resumes in-person, virtual instruction as district fixes storm damage

Lewisville ISD will press forward this week with in-person and remote instruction even as crews continue to repair damage from last week’s winter storms.

cars on snowy road
Texas Disaster Declaration opens door to federal aid for losses sustained during winter storms

Individuals and businesses who sustained losses during the winter storm are eligible for federal assistance, according to a Texas Disaster Declaration approved

Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference Feb. 19 updating residents on the state's response to recent winter storms. (Courtesy Office of the Governor)
Gov. Abbott: Texas is working with federal, local agencies to offer financial relief, resources to residents impacted by winter storms

Gov. Greg Abbott said the state continues to prioritize four main areas of concern: power, water, supplies and fuel production.

People using the hampr service.
App-based laundry service hampr now available throughout much of northern metroplex

The app, which is available for iOS and Android devices, provides laundry washing and drying services.