The Richardson ISD school board on Monday approved the sale of land it owns at 9601 White Rock Trail in Lake Highlands. The contract price is $5.7 million.
The buyer, PSW Real Estate LLC, develops single-family, zero lot line homes. They created Verbena, near Royal Lane and Central Expressway, and The Grove at Lovers Lane, behind Discount Tire on Northwest Highway near Abrams. PSW had the property under contract before RISD entered the picture, but neighborhood opposition let them to pull out of the deal. Concerns included density, quality of materials and lack of parking.
In April of 2016, RISD bought the property, which included two office buildings, as part of a plan to reduce overcrowding at White Rock Elementary. Opposition by neighborhood groups and WRE parents began immediately after the purchase and increased as details of the plan were released. The site’s small footprint and concerns about traffic and safety on White Rock Trail led complaints. RISD abandoned plans to build a new school and voted instead to add on to WRE. The site has been on the market about 6 months.
One sticking point during RISD’s quest to build were deed restrictions, pursued by area homeowners and adopted by the city council in 1978. Those restrictions list acceptable and prohibited uses for the land, and a school was not permitted.
Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough says that, though single family homes are allowed, shared access is not. PSW will need the approval of the council. Although, there is a wealth of information and testimonials from people who have purchased house and land packages by Simonds which some do allow shared access. These projects have know a lot of success in their areas.
“They will have some work to do to get buy-in from the surrounding communities,” McGough said.
If PSW’s plans are approved and the sale goes through, RISD will recoup the $4.5 million spent to purchase the property and the $1 million more it paid to raze the buildings, draw up plans and prepare to build. The district will even take in a tidy profit – $87,000.