Sunday, October 1, 2023

Furst Ranch owner reveals slimmed-down development plan

Local residents got a preview of scaled-down plans for the remaining 1,066 acres of Flower Mound Ranch, aka Furst Ranch, at two community meetings on Wednesday and Thursday night at the Denton County Southwest Courthouse in Canyon Falls.

Landowner Jack Furst and local design and engineering firm McAdams presented a plan that includes homes, apartments, commercial and office space, parks, trails, schools and possibly a resort hotel, corporate headquarters and hospital.

High rise buildings up to eight-stories would be allowed, but warehouses are no longer in the plan.

After three months of negotiating with town leadership, the number of multi-family units has dropped substantially.

Furst Ranch is located in west Flower Mound.

The revised concept plan calls for 6,000 apartments, with 1,000 of them being age-restricted for seniors. That number is down from Furst’s initial application that included 10,448 apartments.

In addition, the apartments will be phased-in based on Furst bringing in new commercial space.

“For the first 10 years, I can’t build any more than 2,750 apartments,” said Furst.

Along with multi-family housing, there will be 3,000 single-family homes.

“The project is consistent with the [town’s] Master Plan and Smart Growth” said Randi Rivera, director of planning and entitlement for McAdams.

This spring, the Town Council approved Furst’s request to rezone 544 acres in the north and west parts of the property to one-acre home lots.

Furst said the look of the architecture will be “1883 on steroids … a lot of rock, a lot of iron, a lot of wood, a lot of glass.”

He set aside 50 acres for a new Argyle ISD elementary and middle school, and will donate 15 of those acres to the school district, with the district purchasing the remaining 35 acres.

Thirty percent of the land will be open space with 12 miles of trails, and Furst is donating 97 acres on the south side of the property to Flower Mound for a town park with ball fields.

Plans also show restaurants lining a boardwalk on the shore of Burger Lake in the middle of the property.

Furst is proposing a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone to help finance the infrastructure of the development, which would need approval from the Flower Mound Town Council.

The project includes 6 to 8 million square feet of commercial uses along six miles of road frontage on FM 1171 and Hwy 377. Furst estimated the commercial tax base generated by the project at buildout will be in the $5 billion range.

“This is an opportunity for us to create the western gateway of Flower Mound,” said Furst. “We’re trying to create a quality development that has unbelievable tenants, both residential and commercial.”

As far as what stores would come, Furst said he is talking with HEB Grocery.

“We sat down with them and they like our location,” Furst said, but added they wanted more residential density. He told the crowd that he could not make any promises about landing HEB, but “we’ll get a good grocer.”

As far as traffic, Hwy 377 will be widened with an overpass spanning FM 1171 and TxDOT is working on plans to widen Hwy 377 south into Roanoke.

Furst said the pace of the road improvements will dictate the progress of commercial development.

“This land has no debt on it. There is no hurry to go ahead and build this tomorrow. Slow is fast,” said Furst.

The project will be built in phases gradually over the next 30-40 years, with the first residents possibly moving in by the end of 2026. At buildout, the development is expected to be home to 20,000 people.

Furst received several rounds of applause from the 35 or so residents in attendance on Wednesday night.

Flower Mound officials, a much-tougher crowd, will weigh in on the proposed development next week. The project will be presented before the Planning & Zoning Commission on Monday night and Town Council on Monday, Oct. 3.

“If we are successful with this approval on Oct. 3rd, then Jack is committed to rename the project Furst Ranch, as he originally intended,” said Rivera. “It is a legacy project for him and his family and he has been working since 1991 accumulating 22 different parcels to bring this vision to life.”

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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