Flower Mound Town Council members were unanimously enthusiastic with the rezoning request for the Lakeside Center project by developer Realty Capital on Monday night.
The development– located west of FM 2499, east of Northwood Drive and adjacent to the Lakeside Crossing Development, already under construction, to the north– features the town’s first official Class A Office building. Another two-story, 18,000-square-foot office building, a southern 456-space parking garage, plus a central open-space, expected to be 47-percent of the project, as well as eight townhomes on the western border are included.
Under Realty Capital’s incentive agreement with the town, their building must meet or exceed the existing Urban Design standards, or qualify as a Meritorious Design. As such, the developers were required to request a list of design standard modifications and/or exceptions.
“To do this we need a building that tenants will want to go to and employees will enjoy working in,” said Alex Brown of Reality Capital Management.
The building exterior will continue the established overall Lakeside DFW contemporary look– glass and metal accents, façade materials allowing for more than 50-percent glass doors and windows, as well as secondary-material metal panels. In addition, the request included a comprehensive sign package with more and larger signs than within the town’s sign code.
Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Claudio Forest, who also served as chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, said: “One thing that really makes us proud, is that we’re going to have something unique.”
Mayor Steve Dixon pointed to the design elements for the four-story, 120,000-square-foot building as the prototype for future Class A Office buildings in the far western area of town.
Council members also marveled at the developer’s request to add parking spaces for the tenants.
“This is the ‘highest and best use of this property,’” said Deputy Mayor Jason Webb. “We want this kind of use for this area.”
The next agenda item, however, received the exact opposite response from council members.
The request was for a Special Use Permit (SUP) to allow an automatic car wash just east of the Bank of America building on the southeast corner of FM 3040 and Gerault Road.
When developer Vaughn Miller, president of VCM Development, had presented his request to the P&Z commissioners the previous Monday, it was passed unanimously.
Although council members were appreciative of the project’s proposed 19,500-square-feet retail building– plus a park with sculpture and water feature amenities in the southeast corner of the area– the idea of using a car wash as the anchor of the three-lot development was not supported.
Fourteen public speakers from area subdivisions opposed the car wash for reasons related to noise and light pollution.
The main underlying condition Miller pointed to as the reason other options such as restaurants or retail anchors haven’t been built as the project’s anchor is a 50-foot-wide Citgo gas easement running diagonally through the middle of the property.
“I bought this property in 2004 from the Don Carter estate and have been marketing it for 15 years,” said Miller. He added that every restaurant or retail prospect had turned the site down because of the easement.
One of the 12 residents of the Tealwood Oaks subdivision– which is on the opposite side of FM 3040 from the proposed car wash– was not sympathetic to Miller’s attempt to build on the property, saying: “You bought it; you own it.”
Miller said the retail building already has a commitment from the Minnesota-based Sweetwater Tea and Café to open its first Texas store. He added that the retail presentation is 99-percent finished and is set to be presented to the town in March, if the car wash SUP is passed.
Council members just couldn’t see a car wash as an anchor to lure customers to support the retail tenants. The final vote was 4-1 against, with Forest as the sole nay against denial.
Whether Miller will bring forth the retail component, without a defined anchor for the project, is unknown.