Saturday, May 25, 2024

Northlake Notes — March 2023

The weather continues play tricks with us it seems but business continues to boom anyway. The Northlake Cafe that opened late last year finally had their grand opening late last month. The first one had been delayed by the recent ice storm. Thankfully, despite brisk temperatures outside, we were able to have an extremely well-attended event complete with ribbon cutting and an amazing breakfast buffet. The attendance said a lot for how well-loved this new addition is to our Northlake restaurant family. The owner/operators have made a terrific start winning the community with their great food and excellent service.

In the next few months several other long-awaited restaurants will open in Northlake Commons. Check out the Restaurant and Retail Guides on our website to see what is already here and what is coming soon on FM 407 and Hwy 114. You can find guides on our website under the main menu Community subsection… About Northlake… Restaurants, Retail and Amenities.

Northlake prides itself on being an economical community but in this inflationary environment that is an increasingly difficult task to maintain. We have been busy seeking business investment in our town to secure our financial future.

This month we announced and signed a major new business park north of Texas Motor Speedway. The project will add 9.6 million square-feet of buildings worth $1.9 billion in today’s dollars once built. While it is expected to take 10-20 years to fully build out, this project will most likely be the biggest net revenue contributor to our town revenues in our history. The project adds 800+ acres of new territory into Northlake’s town limits and is a testament to our commitment to a business-friendly municipality for the benefit of our residents. The revenue stream from this project will help us with the staggering cost of infrastructure that remains to be built around the town.

Exciting things are happening in Austin this legislative cycle. We are very pleased to see commitments from the Governor and many members of the Senate and House to school property tax reductions as well as possible increases in homestead caps and perhaps a modest decrease in sales tax. The Governor has announced a sorely needed program to boost infrastructure spending as well, since the funding for the Unified Transportation Plan in future years is buying far less than it did just a couple years ago. These funds are needed for growth areas such as Northlake. Our town needs over $2 billion just to fund the major state roads including I-35W, FM 407, FM 1171, Hwy 114 and Hwy 377 within our area.

Speaking of roads, the long awaited Hwy 114 overpass is operational! Commuter traffic can now get past the congested Hwy 377 intersection to Litsey Road instead of waiting at the light. This intersection is one of the most significant congested interchange affecting Northlake commuters along with 407/35W.

Hwy 114 to I-35W is funded and the construction contract is expected to be awarded shortly. By 2025 traffic will be able to get to the 114/35W intersection at highway speeds.

The FM 407 breakout project will also be open around that time, hopefully timed to help the opening of the Harvest Town Center grocery store on the I-35W/FM 407 corner. TxDOT is continuing to move forward with the engineering, ROW acquisition and traffic planning to expand FM 407 from Cleveland-Gibbs to Gateway Blvd. on the Argyle side. The project costs have escalated from $10 to $25 million already but TxDOT continues to move forward with it anyway. This project will expand the most congested section of the future widening of FM 407 from FM 1830 to Justin ahead of the rest of that project by several years.

I had the opportunity to lead a panel Q&A session this month with five of our regional school superintendents. They answered challenging questions and provided in-depth details on school financing, growth, remote learning, safety, teacher pay, and their own stories that led them to public service. The audience, made up of mayors, council members, Austin and DC field office reps, business leaders and chamber representatives, enjoyed the detailed conversation to ensure we work together between our respective governments and agencies.

Much is coming this year to our area. We hope and wish you all a warm and fun spring ahead! Stay tuned!

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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