Courtesy Wakefield Beasley & Ass
Concerns before next hearing include parking and architecture
A key development that would add acres more upscale shopping and dining west of Central Market in Southlake is moving forward to a January public hearing, amid City Council concerns over how to shape the look of the city.
“This is the heart of our city from an economic and financial standpoint,” said Councilman Al Zito when the council got its first look at Southlake Park Village on Dec. 4. “This is the next piece.”
Concept plans for the corner of East Southlake Boulevard and South Carroll Avenue call for more than 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurants on about 22.5 acres. The now-vacant land sits across South Carroll Avenue from Central Market and Shops of Southlake.
If it stays on track, the shopping complex could open in spring 2014.
The 14 buildings in the development would house upscale retailers and distinctive restaurants.
Rick Machak, president of development services for developer The Woodmont Company, said in an interview that he could not release any store or restaurant names because no leases have been signed. He also said Woodmont hasn’t nailed down the budget for the project.
Machak told the Planning and Zoning Commission in November that no anchor store is planned.
“This is not a power-type center,” he said, describing it as “more lifestyle,” with smaller tenants.
The largest store would use about 22,500 square feet of retail space. A typical big-box store is around 100,000 square feet.
Finding the right look
The Woodmont Company, based in Fort Worth, won approval of several variances and the concept plan Dec. 4, but was asked to come to the Jan. 15 public hearing prepared to address several concerns.
One was whether the development should look like nearby Southlake Town Square.
Machak initially told the council he planned to come back in January with more of a “Southlake Town Square theme.”
But, said Mayor John Terrell, “I’m not sure everyone agrees it should look like Town Square. This is a little bit more contemporary than Town Square, but I don’t know that everything needs to look like Town Square.”
In fact, said Councilman Martin Schelling, “I don’t care to dilute Town Square by replicating it again. I think we dilute some of what we have if we perpetuate that architecture. I’d rather see something that’s different, maybe more traditional.”
Added Councilwoman Pamela Muller, “I think it should be complementary to Town Square and Central Market. I don’t want to see something stunningly different.”
In the end, Machak was told to come back with a somewhat less contemporary look. Terrell said, “You can probably get a sense that we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for.”
Along Southlake Boulevard
The council did agree that Woodmont will have to work on the concept for the backs of buildings on Southlake Boulevard, which currently are shown without any windows or ornamentation.
“The backs of the building as they face the street look like the back of a building,” Councilwoman Carolyn Morris said. “It’s not what I personally would think would be real attractive.”
The council also wants more detailed drawings of a 100-foot-wide water feature at the front corner.
“I was told this was going to be a knock -your-socks-off corner feature,” said Councilman Brandon Bledsoe. “We need to see more detail of what this is going to be.”
The plans show the cascading water at the corner would stream into a plaza area shaded by canopies.
Restaurants bordering the stream would have outdoor seating.
At the sides and back, two new streets — Zena Rucker Road along the south, paralleling Southlake Boulevard, and possibly Tower Boulevard on the west — would be built by the developer.
The council also asked Woodmont to modify a four-level parking garage with 591 spaces on the southwest part of the property. Councilwoman Carolyn Morris said she would like to see the cars inside screened from public view.
The council also wants to know more about planned valet parking for the restaurants.
More detailed concept plans also were requested for screening for deliveries and garbage pickup along the southern boundary; a retention pond on one corner of the property; median work on South Carroll Avenue; changes to a sidewalk along South Carroll Avenue; and driveway alignments.
At the earlier Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing Nov. 8, three homeowners expressed concerns about garbage pickup, lighting and traffic.
“If you could reach out to the residential areas and try to help with sound and light, that would be very appreciated,” resident Joel Wood told the developer.
Residents of Oak Tree Estates, which backs up to Central Market, asked that garbage pickup not be placed in the southeast corner.
They said noise from garbage trucks at Central Market already awakens them.
How to learn more
The second reading on Southlake Park Village before the City Council will be Jan. 15, when the public hearing also is scheduled.
Meetings of the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commmission are available on video, indexed by agenda item, at www.cityofsouthlake.com.