Visitors can shop, dine, watch a movie or attend a City Council meeting at the Southlake Town Square, thanks to its developer Brian Stebbins. The city on Dec. 6 unveiled Southlake Town Square's first public art piece dedicated to Stebbins, a Southlake resident who envisioned a downtown where people could gather to eat, shop and do business.

Southlake Town Square opened in March 1999 and is now home to more than 150 businesses and restaurants, residences, a post office, a town hall, county offices and a sub-courthouse.

About 130 acres of open field and a farm used to occupy the space of Southlake Town Square on the the northeast corner of Carroll Avenue and Southlake Boulevard. Stebbins worked with city staff to turn the area into a place that visitors and residents now frequent.

Frank Bliss, president of Cooper and Stebbins, has known Stebbins for 25 years.

"The statue represents an amazing vision for a downtown that never had a downtown," Bliss said. "It also represents a wonderful partnership between a developer, a city and a community that has seen the creation of something in Southlake Town Square that has not only been recognized regionally and locally, but nationally and internationally."

The bronze sculpture, "The Ties That Bind" by Jan DeDecker, depicts a father crouching to tie his son's shoes in the park. The statue, located on the corner of State and Main streets in Rustin Park, symbolizes family. The piece was paid for with taxes levied on hotel rooms.