Next four years to bring major new development

Area cities will move ahead in 2014 with plans intended to build or strengthen their identities and economies for years to come.

In Grapevine, the city has purchased the last and biggest commercial parcel within its boundaries and will carefully plan how it can be used once it is sold to developers. Colleyville will finally see its long-touted Whole Foods Market open, along with expected satellite retail, and a big change may be coming to main thoroughfare Colleyville Boulevard. Southlake, having taken care of its last big government building needs last year, is focused on a new community recreation center, a project scheduled to be finished in 2017.

Completion of the DFW Connector through the middle of Grapevine in early fall was as much a relief as the recession's end, Grapevine City Manager Bruno Rumbelow said.

"Now that we're moving away from these things, we've got a City Council that says we want to keep going," he said. "That's 2014."


A prime opportunity to guide the future of economic development in the city came in late December, when the City Council agreed to purchase 185 acres near Grapevine Mills mall from former Texas Rangers first baseman Rafael Palmeiro.

Rumbelow said he expects the purchase to be fully funded by the end of February. The city will put out a request for proposals to hire a consultant and create a master plan that will follow the city's ongoing hospitality and tourism focus.

"It will be more just a guidance document for the development community and future developers of the property—pretty realistic, reflective of the real world," Rumbelow said.

The plan will address the needs given the market, he said.

"It needs to be grounded in that sort of reality."

The city also will refresh its economic development strategy in 2014, a project Rumbelow said has been in the works for the past three months, with an economist in Austin and city staff.

Hospitality and tourism have been the theme of Grapevine's strategy for some 25 years, and that will continue, he said.

"We're not trying to change, just trying to build on that," he said.

The city, for example, could look at different kinds of incentives other cities already are using to attract conventions or major businesses, he said.

Residents will have to wait until 2015 and 2016 to use the city's big-ticket quality-of -life and government building projects. The City Council approved a design concept in December for the new Public Safety Building, scheduled for completion in 2016.

Expansion of the Community Activities Center is expected to be finished in 2015. Rumbelow said he looks forward to seeing the same kind of "wow factor" Grapevine produced last year when it finished and opened Dove Park, with its pool and Casey's Clubhouse, a handicapped-accessible playground.

"I'm sort of blown away by how great it is," he said.


City Manager Shana Yelverton said she expects the city to see plans for more hotels as well as retail, commercial and residential development in 2014.

"It is such an exciting time here in Southlake," she said.

The growth is already taking place. Marquee commercial projects include the new Del Frisco's Grille, which opened in late December. A Trader Joe's specialty grocery store in Southlake Town Square and the new Park Village project are expected to open in 2014.

Park Village at the southwest corner of Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue will add 185,000 square feet of retail space for shops and restaurants.

New residential development includes the Winding Creek subdivision on Carroll Avenue and more upscale housing, including condos, in Southlake Town Square.

New quality-of-life improvements also will be complete or get underway this year.

The DPS North building celebrated its grand opening in January. The complex at Dove Road and White Chapel Boulevard will bring police and fire service to the north side of SH 114 for the first time.

The new north facility is the last major public services building planned in Southlake, so the city plans to look at spending more on community recreation amenities.

Construction of the first phase of the long-awaited Community Recreation Center is expected to begin in August. The city has set aside $14 million to pay for the initial phase, which will include senior activity areas, community rooms and an outdoor amphitheater.

The second phase would add fitness and aquatics facilities, gymnasiums and an indoor playground, but construction is contingent on funding. City officials are eyeing a May 2015 election to seek voter approval to redirect a portion of its sales tax revenue from crime control into the recreation center.

"We would leave enough crime control money to pay for our School Resource Officers, but we could redirect the rest to pay for this project, if voters approve," Yelverton said.

Southlake's robust economy generated an 11.9 percent increase in sales tax revenue from fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2013, she said.

The design of the fitness facilities and other second phase improvements could begin as soon as August 2015, about the same time as the first phase is expected to be complete.

Other projects moving forward in 2014 include more new sidewalks, the widening of North Kimball Avenue between SH 114 and Dove Road, the widening of FM 1938 between SH 114 and Southlake Boulevard and construction of a turnaround on SH 114 at Carroll Avenue.


This year will be pivotal in the transformation of a key Colleyville corner from a quiet collection of mostly empty buildings to a vibrant retail and restaurant scene.

Marty Wieder, city economic development director has been predicting an influx of new businesses since natural foods giant Whole Foods Market signed on to put a store at Glade Road and Colleyville Boulevard.

So far, Wieder said Zoe's Kitchen and Einstein Bros. Bagels have signed leases in the area, along with Matt's Rancho Martinez restaurant. The former Colleyville Center has been renamed Colleyville Downs. Demolition should start soon, as Whole Foods begins redevelopment of the faade for its store, Wieder said.

Also new, Smashburger is planning a location in Colleyville, he said.

Whole Foods still is on schedule to open in 2014, Wieder said.

Residents can expect crews out working this year as a result of the city's first-ever five-year capital improvement program, said City Manager Jennifer Fadden.

"Our citizens will see a lot of infrastructure reconstruction and major maintenance being done," she said.

Another big push is an update of the city's comprehensive plan, last done in 2004. Citizens wlll be heavily involved through public meetings.

Questions pertaining to the plan were added to the biennial citizen survey that is out now, Fadden said.


The town of about 1,000 along SH 114 likely will be an entirely different place by about 2017, but the beginnings of the transformation are happening now.

Construction of streets and other infrastructure on the mixed-use, 85-acre development Entrada could begin in 2014, said Town Manager Tom Brymer. The Town Council has approved the zoning and preliminary plat for the project, so engineering design can begin.

"It's going to have an impact on Westlake because nothing like this has existed in Westlake," he said.

To understand what the future holds, imagine driving down SH 114 and looking south to see a lake, retail shops and restaurants clustered around a harbor, or hearing that a favorite musician is playing an outdoor venue in Westlake.

Entrada's plans also call for residential villas and condos, a hotel, a chapel and much more.

Brymer said that while developers and the city would love to see it built out in five years, Entrada is more of a 10- to 15-year project.

"It's certainly not going to be an overnight-type project, but one that will evolve over time, we think," Brymer said.

Another big project that will be done much sooner: Westlake Academy's expansion.

Construction began in 2013 on the $10.2 million first phase of additions to the municipally owned charter school.

The phase includes a new secondary classroom building, a multipurpose building for dining and physical education, and a field house.

Brymer said the town hopes to have the expansion open by the 2014-15 school year.

A third development in Westlake is Granada, a residential subdivision. Brymer said the developer is now building infrastructure on half the tract, which eventually will hold 84 homes. He said he expects 42 homes to be built in 2014 and 2015.