Westlake approves $500 million 'European village' near Solana office park

Bell towers, 3,000-seat amphitheater, hotel, town hall, retail, restaurants among parts of development renamed Westlake Entrada

The idea of a 3,000-seat amphitheater in Westlake — population, roughly 1,000 — was the last major obstacle in discussions before the Town Council approved a $500 million development off Hwy. 114.

Entrada, on 85 acres, likely will have a river-type feature and other water features as the backdrop for an amphitheater, bell towers, hotel and convention center, town hall, a chapel, 322 homes and/or villas, restaurants, retail and movie theaters.

Other large anchors are still undetermined, although a memory care center and senior care have been mentioned during council presentations. Developer Jeff Blackard and developer/landowner Mehrdad Moayedi of Centurion American will return to the council later for approval of a more detailed site plan.

The council approved the concept plan unanimously April 22, about four months after the development along Hwy. 114 at FM 1938 and Solana Boulevard was first proposed.

At a workshop before the meeting, council members ironed out details with the developer including a requirement for a special use permit for major events at the amphitheater.

"I'm concerned about the perceived impact on the town," said council member Clif Cox. "It's kind of quiet, kind of sleepy."

Moayedi said the amphitheater is a key part of the development.

"Events bring people to the destination," he said. "Those people spend money in the restaurants and the shops."

He estimated 20-25 acts a year would come in.

Blackard has likened his plans in Westlake to Adriatica, a project he developed on 45 acres in McKinney. His intent is to create a pedestrian-friendly village to resemble centuries-old towns in Europe.

The project could take six to 10 years to complete, he and Moayedi have told the council.

Westlake Entrada first came to the council as Westlake Vallecito in December of last year.

Residents, including former Mayor Scott Bradley, attended council meetings to object to the mixed-use development, first because apartments were included and later because of fears it would change the rural atmosphere in Westlake.

The town a few miles west of Southlake off Hwy. 114 is a rural, wealthy community of large homes behind guarded gates.

The apartments were pulled from the plans, and then in February the entire project was withdrawn while residents met with the developers in design charrettes to discuss the concept.

The protests had dwindled to a handful of residents, including Bradley, when the development resurfaced at the April 22 meeting.

Under an economic development agreement also approved at that meeting, the developers will contribute $10,000 per residence to a fund for Westlake Academy.

The charter school run by the town is expanding — the international baccalaureate curriculum has attracted students from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Westlake residents can automatically attend the academy. Others from outside the town participate in an annual lottery to get in. More than 2,000 were on the waiting list before this year's lottery.


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