Taking a Sunday afternoon drive around Southlake, you’d be hard pressed to disagree the city is growing. But rest assured what you see on every corner and down every street is progress. There is roughly 760,000 square feet of retail and office property under development right now. We are growing in one year almost as much as we grew in five. At the end of this year, the city will be home to approximately 10 million square feet of commercial property, 9,000 homes and 1,350 businesses.
To put it all into perspective, just 15 years ago, one development —Southlake Town Square —brought 250,000 square feet of commercial, residential and municipal development, and this was huge. And in the last five years, more than one million square feet were added to the city’s portfolio of commercial property. Flash forward five more years to 2014, and it seems we’ve hit another growth spurt. Southlake is once again expanding, and we’ve got piles upon piles of dirt to prove it.
The residential side is growing, too, albeit at a slower pace. There were 195 new home permits requested this year. Although the percentage may seem small (4 percent increase in home permits this year over last) consider this —there were also several new residential developments that began selling homes in 2014.
What has allowed Southlake to be on the receiving end of such an influx of commercial, both retail and industrial, and residential development? Director of Economic Development and Tourism in Southlake Shannon Hamons joined the city in June 2014. According to Hamons, it boils down to location, attraction and retention. “Southlake is in such a unique position within the DFW Metroplex to be in close proximity to both airports. Simply put, the major airports on either side of the area —DFW International and Alliance Airport —have contributed to the economy by bringing both jobs and tourism dollars our way.”
Location may be the main attraction for potential residents, but there are other factors keeping them hooked on Southlake. “Our city council has been extremely vigilant. Their goal is making and keeping the City of Southlake a quality place to live; they know they have a long-term investment to protect.”
A formula for success, these patterns not only guide growth in and around Southlake, but remain paramount in sustaining what already is —a city thriving with residents who have myriad of retail and dining choices, not to mention an array of businesses and services to choose from.
What’s in store
With more than 177 buildings used for retail and restaurant purposes boasting more than 3.5 million existing square feet, Southlake definitely has its share of places for retail therapy. Taking a look at what’s coming to Southlake could make your head spin Seven retail and office developments will arrive this coming year. With that being said, what grocery and health stores, clothing and sports equipment retailers, and restaurants and bakeries can you expect to see popping up within the next year?
We’ve all seen the hardhats working feverishly to complete Park Village on the southwest corner of Carroll Avenue and Southlake Boulevard. You can find your favorite camping goods at REI, which opened in November, or you will be able to catch the latest fly-fishing equipment at Orvis. Those looking to take a fresh approach to grocery shopping will find the perfect ingredients at the Fresh Market. And if you are looking for the finest in Tex-Mex dining, Gloria’s is adding their marquee to the landscape. Gigi’s Cupcakes, Luna Grill, Modmarket, Potbelly and RA Sushi are a few other regional favorites coming to the development. Overall, Park Village is in the 185,000-square-feet range and despite the early entrance of REI, the majority of the complex is expected to be ready for business in March of next year.
Traveling north on Carroll Avenue toward SH 114, you’ll see more construction at Carroll Pointe on the east, which sits right next to il Calabrese restaurant (formerly Patrizio’s). This 45,000-square-foot commercial property will be home to a variety of shops and restaurants. In a long line of Austin favorites to come to Southlake— Chuy’s authentic Tex-Mex cuisine and signature Elvis shrine (there’s one in every location) will soon call the development home in January. Also confirmed for Carroll Pointe; Hand & Stone Massage and Robert Morales Salon.
Heading south back to the heart of Southlake along the Frontage Road of SH 114, you’ll notice that at the southwest corner of Kimball Street and Southlake Boulevard the approximately 124,000-square-foot Kimball Oaks commercial development has gone from white concrete walls to brick. The most exciting addition to this space will be BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, a family-friendly restaurant that features more than 120 menu items and 50 craft beers. For golf and tennis fanatics and those who love them, the PGA Tour Superstore is the PGA Tour’s exclusive partner and will bring their passion for the game and its technology to our doorstep.
Aside from the unique and exotic wares of Trader Joe’s, which recently announced plans to open in February 2015, there has been no other new retail construction of late. However, The Square has announced a number of new retailers coming soon to the development. Columbia Sportswear, a leader in global apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment, plans to open its Performance Fishing Gear concept store, and this is the first of its kind in Texas.
In Southlake, office and industrial development share a large piece of the growing pie. Currently, Southlake has 205 office buildings totaling three million square feet. But as a coming attraction, look for Kimball Park on the west side of SH 114. This commercial development will be bringing approximately 120,000 square feet available for retail, restaurants and offices. A Westin hotel will soon join the Southlake landscape. Once completed in 2016, the 276-room hotel will bring approximately 270,000 square feet of heavenly class luxury to Southlake, on the corner of Grace Lane and the Highway 114 access road. It will feature a roof-top restaurant and lounge, and 22,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. Rounding out the office space and future of commercial development in Southlake, are two industrial business parks near Dragon Stadium both east of Kimball St., together totaling more than 170,000 square feet.
A place to call home
The complete commercial picture has many wondering, “As goods and services are multiplying, will residents be squeezed out?” Hamons expects the current population of 28,000 to top out at about 35,000 to 36,000 residents as the community is built out over the next 10 to 20 years. However, the numbers are manageable when you consider the several up and coming residential developments within the city.
These residential areas—Shady Oaks, Savannah Estates, Highland Oaks, the Verandas, Ridgeview, Winding Creek and Gateway Lakes—offer single family homes ranging in price from $500,000 to $1 million. In addition to patio homes and estates —and everything in between —there are even more options. With their sales office opened this Fall, The Garden District at Southlake Town Square now offers three- and five-bedroom brownstone townhomes ranging from 2,800 to 4,590 square feet, and two- and three-bedroom condominiums ranging from 1,525 to 3,390 square feet. There are six penthouse condominiums available, as well.
Carillon, located along SH 114 and White Chapel Boulevard, will have 404 homes at completion. According to Carillon Marketing and Home Builder Manager Denise McCormick, “Just over 25 percent of our homes are occupied, with another 60 homes sold and in the building process. Only 32 homesites are left to purchase by builders and we expect those to be contracted in the next few months.”
Ebb and flow
As comforting as progress may be to those with a vested interest in the economy, a Southlake resident may have a few concerns about infrastructure. But according to Hamons, there is no need to worry. “There will be an influx in traffic, and, yes, we will be able to handle it very well and adequately. Just by driving around you can see that the city council has made sure the infrastructure remains top-notch. The office growth that occurs along SH 114 will be largely handled by existing roadways and those improved upon by the developments themselves.”
The roads and utilities have been upgraded, or are being upgraded to handle current and near-future development. These upgrades include road construction to reroute traffic, such as the new SH 114 turnaround and new traffic lights in traffic dense areas.
But with the future of development looming on the horizon just below the cranes and cement truck tops, the fact is, there is only so much square footage in Southlake to be had. Once it is consumed, what happens next? “We are definitely reaching our threshold with commercial development,” Hamons said. “We have almost reached our saturation point. There will not be a tremendous amount of retail or residential growth in the next 20 years.
“The major commercial and industrial properties will largely be built out within the next year, with the exception of some mixed-use commercial space at Carillon along SH 114 where additional retail could be developed. Except for this area, most of the commercial growth in coming years will be in-fill developments along Southlake Blvd. and perhaps renovations of existing properties.”
If we continue to grow at the rate we have over thelast five years, where will that put us in the next 20 Hamons referred to? With commercial square footage around 10 million square feet, it seems impossible to imagine the same amount of growth we have experienced in Southlake repeated year after year. But looking around, it seems the commercial development in the city might be having what many could consider as its final substantial growth spurt.