Groundbreaking ceremonies at Lake Highlands Town Center

Groundbreaking ceremonies at Lake Highlands Town Center

Lake Highlands residents have been watching dirt turn for weeks now, but Lake Highlands Town Center officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to celebrate progress and announce two new tenants – Taco Diner and Hollywood Feed. More restaurants, retail and service businesses, they said, are negotiating to sign and will be announced soon.

“Under construction now across Wildcat Way is Lookout at Lake Highlands Town Center, which is 257 units of apartments,” touted Bill Rafkin, Managing Director of Cypress Real Estate Advisors. “Behind us [at the north end] is The Enclave at Town Center, a 51-unit town home development by Weekley Homes. We are also putting the finishing touches on major repairs and improvements to Watercrest Park. We’ve got five projects underway, which makes us one of the biggest construction projects within the boundaries of the City of Dallas.”

“The Shops at Lake Highlands Town Center have been a long time coming,” admitted Rafkin. “We’ve gone through some twists and turns over the years, but I think the product that we’ll produce will be well worth it.”

You can see my photos from the ceremony here.

“From the beginning,” Rafkin said, “we wanted to develop a clean and contemporary design that works within the landsite, not just another suburban shopping center placed on top of land. It was to be built with high quality materials and hardy natural landscaping. The goal was to provide a convenient, visible, accessible and inviting environment. In short, we’re building a village green. A village green is a place to gather, a place to eat, a place to shop, and a place to play. What we’re trying to produce for Lake Highlands and the neighboring community is a place of our own – something very unique and very special.”

“We have some extraordinary tenants lined up – Sprouts of course – and Hollywood Feed, our second tenant. We have Taco Diner, who recently signed a lease, and we have a number of other tenants who are currently under letters of intent, so I’m not free to disclose who they are, but the rumors you hear are true. We’re very happy and we’re working hard to curate the right tenant mix.”

Sources say Starbuck’s is in final negotiations for a store with drive-thru and a “sit down pizza place” will be announced soon.

Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough said Lake Highlands is ready.

“This morning my wife, Lacy, told me, ‘I’m ready to shop at Sprouts,’” shared McGough. “That’s kind of the feeling all of us have about this Town Center. We are ready to shop, we’re ready to eat, we’re ready to come out and support our local businesses. We’ve been ready for a long time.

“This has been a symbol of development for our whole community. We had a lot of good ideas, we had a lot of people come together – then we had the economic recession and we just stalled, and we’ve been stalled for a while. But I am, in many ways, seeing us turn that corner and move forward. So what’s happening here and at Skillman and Abrams and at Skillman and 635 makes this corridor a better place for all of us to live, work and play.”

Kathy Stewart, Executive Director of the LH Public Improvement District, agreed.

“I had a small business in LH for ten years, and I know Lake Highlands loves to shop and I know Lake Highlands loves to gather. We get together on a Tuesday night after a long day to hang out with our family. On the weekend, we’re ready to play and hang out with our friends at local businesses. As a community, we love to gather and celebrate holidays like the Fourth of July or Christmas. We gather to raise up those who are less fortunate with Oktoberfest, with a 5K and with the Lake Highlands Women’s League Home Tour. So we are a community that cares, we are a community that likes to shop, we are a community that likes to gather – and the Lake Highlands Town Center is going to be perfect for that.”

Jim Archer, CEO of Spring Valley Construction Company and former LH resident, said working on the LHTC project was like coming home.

“Sprouts is going to be open and available for y’all to bring your grocery sacks in the spring, and we’re excited about that, and there are going to be a tremendous number of great tenants moving in here. Our office is two miles from here and my kids graduated from Lake Highlands High School, so it’s very important to me and our employees for us to be involved in this project.”

Stay tuned here on the blog for future developments and tenant announcements.

Eli McGough, son of Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough, tries his hand with the silver shovel.

Eli McGough, son of Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough, tries his hand with the silver shovel.