Friday, June 15, 2007

Mixed Use Development - Lake Highlands Town Center

DALLAS-Prescott Realty Group, getting a green light yesterday from Dallas City Council, will start closing in late June on a 1,400-unit class C block to make way for the $300-million-plus, mixed-use replacement. Council's nod for zoning and TIF financing has opened the development door for the long-desired Lake Highlands Town Center.

Lake Highlands Town Center's preliminary plan calls for more than 1,700 residential units, up to 300,000 sf of retail and 50,000 sf to 100,000 sf of office space in a 69-acre transit-oriented development at Skillman and Walnut Hill roads in North Dallas. "The project promises to transform Lake Highlands and create a stronger tax base for Dallas, yet it would not have been possible without the leadership of Dallas Councilman Bill Blaydes, who worked tirelessly to bring the TIF district and redevelopment in Lake Highlands to life," Vance Detwiler, Prescott's managing director and principal, says in a press release about the city approval. An interview for additional details wasn't available prior to deadline. Prescott's equity partner is Cypress Real Estate Advisors Inc.

Lake Highlands Town Center will replace three class C complexes: Whispering Creek on the northeast corner of Walnut Hill Lane and Skillman Road; Sutter Woods at the southeast corner and its abutting neighbor, Bella Palms. Detwiler says partial funding has been approved, more is under consideration from the city, specifically for infrastructure; Dallas Area Rapid Transit for the light-rail station; and Dallas County and the North Texas Council of Governments.

Detwiler intends to build a multi-faceted residential component with "something to offer everyone." The project marries affordable and market-rate units in one branding.

Demolition, site preparation and infrastructure will take 18 to 24 months to complete. The replacement product will trail the first phase's completion by 12 to 18 months.

The redevelopment has been attempted by other developers in the past four years. Detwiler picked up the play after Dallas voters cleared a bond package, available for infrastructure aid. Detwiler's vision is a landmark destination with a "Main Street" promenade to create a new focal point for Lake Highlands. The redevelopment will be encircled by a hike and bike trail and outfitted with proposed creeks, lakes and park areas that connect to White Rock Lake to the south.

By: Connie Gore