New construction will begin on the southwest side of this intersection.

New-home construction will begin on the southwest side of this intersection, which is a stone’s throw from Lake Highlands High School (east) and Lake Highlands Town Center (south)

It’s a done deal. The property at the corner of Church and Skillman has been sold to Lake Highlands resident Stephen Davis of MasterPlan Development, who told Keri Mitchell in October that he plans to build single family homes on the property.

The land  has been a source of contention over the years as neighbors loudly expressed an unwillingness to allow the construction of more multifamily development there — based on the zoning of the property, which essentially called for multifamily use, it looked like more apartments, or at least a multifamily senior living community, was going to be inevitable.

But several Lake Highlands residents, who also happen to be experts in certain areas concerning real estate and zoning, fought hard for something else and were successful.

Both Prescott Realty Group, developer of the Lake Highlands Town Center, and Forest Meadow Baptist Church owned the land before Davis purchased it. The sale to him was based hugely  on the ability to get the land rezoned for single-family residences, which was no easy feat.

“A change in the zoning like this from a very dense use, back to single family just does not happen very often,” a Realtor told us back in November.

Bill Blaydes, the former District 10 councilman who represented Davis in the purchase says resident Realtor Peggy Hill and her team at Nathan Grace Realtors, also based here, “was the catalyst that got this five year journey over the hump and made it happen.”

Hill’s “efforts on our behalf, have been a true effort of love for the Lake Highlands community and the homeowners who live here,” Blaydes tells us via email. “If you see her, say a great big ‘thank you’. And, if you decide to change locations any time soon, remember who helped improve our values, and give her a call.”

Hill tells us Davis is a great guy who already has builders lined up to begin construction on 37 single family homes. This should open the gate for more things at the Lake Highlands Town Center, Hill tells us via email.  “Maybe not apartments.”

I put a call in to Davis but had not heard back from him at the time of this post, but once I do I will keep readers posted regarding the progress of the project and more precise plans.