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Highland Village officials present possible answer to near-empty lot
Residents and planning and zoning commissioners were presented with a "superior development" plan for the District of Highland Village during Tuesday's meeting.
Highland Village city manager, Mike Leavitt, gave a public presentation on the proposed changes for the District of Highland Village, which is located at the northwest corner of FM 407 and Briarhill Boulevard. He said while not a lot has happened with the property in recent years, the goal is to have it resemble something like The Shops at Highland Village.
"Even though not much has taken place over the past couple years, we have learned a lot more about the district. We know understand the Briarhill traffic flow, which carries all traffic for the center portion of the city," Leavitt said. "In addition, Main Street is now open all the way through, and we know it's working. We wanted to present the proposed changes to seek input and answer any questions."
In addition to main streets, the area also includes Briarhill Middle School, a couple elementary schools and Unity Park, which Leavitt said is always busy.
"Synergy is important to any development," Leavitt said. "Now, we have to ask ourselves, what is the impact of what's happening there, what will happen to city infrastructures, what is the reasonable density, and what is our complete solution?"
The proposed amendment to the site plan moves the development from a retail and townhome development to a mixed-use development with retail, office and multi-family components. The developer, Hawk, Hawk, Silvaggio and Green (HHSG), has not yet submitted an application for rezoning of the property.
"Right now the district isn't working as a superior mixed-use development. What the developers have proposed is seven new buildings that's trying to capture Briarhill Boulevard," Leavitt said. "We have to think, what can we do to enhance the development? We know quality plazas work based on The Shops at Highland Village."
Leavitt said the developers are using linear line catching elements and a center water feature. He said many elements are modeled after the shops.
"The developers have concepts that are going down the right path," Leavitt said.
The proposed changes include a plaza that measures more than one-half acre. It will have a water feature, landscaping and park benches and is designed to be a gathering center. Leavitt said the developers also thought about the sun when designing the plaza and placed it where people will want to be in the plaza.
Building one of the development will include 13,448 square feet of retail space. The second and third floors will be filled with lofts, and it will include a roof terrace.
"We're talking full size homes and a superior product," Leavitt said. "There will also be 12 parking garages for the tenants."
Leavitt said building two has a "unique feature." It will include home-office lots. There will be seven individual storefronts or small retails spaces, and each will have a wall that opens into a living space.
"There are more than 750 small home-based businesses in Highland Village, and they want a retail front, but they can't have that with their home," Leavitt said. "This gives them the opportunity to live and work in the same space and receive customers. It's a new product that's not available anywhere in Denton County."
The building will also offer 25 covered spaces directly behind it.
Building three is the first of three fully residential buildings. It will have 27 units that provide a product that's "a tier above industry standards." Leavitt said each unit has more living space than the average industry unit.
Building five mirrors three. It will be the same size and have the same concepts including a parking garage and covered parking. Building six is the smaller of the residential buildings, but it also mirrors three.
"Within this entire development, there is nothing below 774 square feet in living area for lofts," Leavitt said.
Building four will mirror building one. It will have the same concept: the first floor will house retail space, the second floor will have office and residential space and the third floor will be loft residential spaces.
The proposed development also includes 12 existing townhomes that will be rental facilities. The townhomes will get an enlarged pool and clubhouse.
"All masonry products for will be used for the buildings," Leavitt said. "Their heights won't exceed the existing building out there."
The presentation was for informational purposes and no action was taken at the meeting. On Oct. 22, the developers will make an application to the city for the zoning amendment. On Oct. 23, the city will publish a public hearing notice. On Nov. 15, the planning and zoning commission will have a special session to hold the public hearing and consider the zoning ordinance amendment.
The dates could change depending on when the developer and the city staff are able to complete other tasks, including preparation of a draft-rezoning ordinance for review by the commission and the council.