The Stewart Family has owned the property now known as Lakeside DFW since 1973. Development of the property has been seriously considered since 1994. Zoning issues, the financial crisis, followed by the worst recession America has seen since 1929 drove Lakeside DFW Land Ltd.’s bank to not renew its loan and threatened to foreclose. Therefore Lakeside filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2010.
Bankruptcy law prevented Lakeside DFW Land Ltd. from paying any creditors until a final settlement with all the creditors was reached. Flower Mound was the only creditor that did not support the Plan to emerge from bankruptcy paying 100 cents on the dollar of all current debts. According to Lakeside DFW’s website, The Town of Flower Mound, which was owed $138,191.33 in January 2011, was repaid with interest in September 2011. The second of 13 payments was made on time in January 2012.
“We are proud to be the only property owners in the Lakeside Business District to have emerged from bankruptcy,” Mr. Stewart stated on the LakesideDFW.com website. “If we had failed, the property may well have been sold off in pieces to the highest bidders. That would have created a mess for the town and wasted a golden opportunity.”
“We stuck it out because we believe in Flower Mound and we want to see this property blossom into something very special.”
“Residents should know the people who are proposing to make such an important investment in Flower Mound,” Stewart insisted, “and we’re proud for them to take a long hard look at us.”
“They also should know,” he added, “that the Town’s mixed use ordinance will ensure quality development at Lakeside DFW, even if everyone at Realty Capital is hit by a truck.”
“From this point forward, Town officials should consider taking their cue from Flower Mound residents,” Stewart suggested. “Residents want Lakeside DFW to help improve their quality of life here in Flower Mound. They are growing impatient with delays.”
Realty Capital, which has done business with literally thousands of entities over its 25-year history, has proposed a stunning $1 billion development along the shores of Lake Grapevine in Flower Mound called Lakeside DFW.
Under the mixed use ordinance, their plan features public trails and parks with lake views, high quality dining and shopping experiences, high quality housing options not found elsewhere in Flower Mound, and office development. It is designed to serve as a magnet for all kinds of activities and for people from all over North Texas.
If that’s not a big enough show of faith, they announced late last month they intend to establish a non-profit organization to benefit the Lewisville Independent School District, the Town of Flower Mound and the Lakeside DFW neighborhood.
At a meeting last week with LISD Superintendent Dr. Stephen F. Waddell and his leadership team, Lakeside DFW officials discussed the possibility of creating the charitable organization, which will be named The Lakeside DFW Foundation.
“The purpose of The Lakeside DFW Foundation is to donate funds to the school district and other causes important to the residents of Flower Mound and Lakeside,” explained Richard Myers, a partner in the Lakeside DFW project and managing director of Realty Capital.
The foundation will collect a small transaction fee on all commercial property sales that occur in the Lakeside DFW project (one-half of one percent). If approved, the project at build-out should generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to be donated to worthwhile causes.
Myers, a down-to-earth guy who grew up in a small town in the Midwest, further suggests the foundation’s charter require that at least one-half of all this money be donated to the school district. Increases in property taxes in the district will not currently provide many new revenues to LISD’s maintenance and operations budget so the donations will prove beneficial to schools in the district regardless.
Realty Capital has implemented the same type foundation efforts in other towns and school districts they’ve worked with, such as Argyle and Argyle ISD.
Lakeside currently falls under the Master Plan’s strict “campus-commercial” restriction. “Campus- commercial” does not allow for lake-view restaurants, empty-nester or senior housing; or any kind of pedestrian-friendly retail neighborhoods to be built on the shores of Lake Grapevine.
Lakeside DFW has applied under the Mixed Use ordinance passed in 2008 to amend the Master Plan and zoning to build a mixed-use community. For construction to begin at Lakeside DFW, four out of five Town Council members must approve the zoning application. History has proven it’s extremely difficult to get four out of five votes in agreement on development projects in Flower Mound.
The Stewart family, Realty Capital and Richard Myers have shown great enthusiasm, financial commitment and interest in listening to the people of Flower Mound through a series of open discussion meetings at the Lakeside property. The last occurred April 5 where the topic Multi-Family was brought forward in detail.
Flower Mound residents sharing the same vision as Realty Capital and Lakeside DFW should express their support by contacting their Town Council at the email address below: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let your Town Council members know you support the zoning change from “campus commercial” to “mixed-use” so the amenities that residents ask for can be built.
Lakeside DFW requires a super-majority approval from the Town Council and it only takes two “NO” votes to completely stop the development. One day a chicken, the next day feathers if only two council members disagree.
You can follow Lakeside DFW by visiting the web site at LakesideDFW.com or “Like” them on Facebook at: Facebook.com/LakesideDFW.
Most importantly, be sure you vote on May 12 for a town council that shares the same vision as you.
Shane Allen, The News Connection