PLANO - As Plano boomed over the years, the historic Haggard family farm remained the same. After 127 years, though, the family has decided to sell and develop much of the property.
"It seemed to be the right timing for us," said Rodney Haggard, one of the descendants of the original owner. "We're trying to do something Plano would be proud of and we'd be proud of."
The Haggards were one of Plano's founding families when they moved to North Texas in 1856. At one point, the family owned much of Plano.
The family acquired the 118-acre tract at the corner of Park Boulevard and Custer Road in 1884. The cattle and llamas that graze on its fields are a welcome sight for neighbors in an area surrounded by subdivisions and shopping centers.
"It's just one of the things that's part of Plano," said Gretta Mardar, neighbor. "I think most of us will be a little sad to see it change."
Last year the family began considering selling the farm.
Homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. is in the process of buying the property. The Pennsylvania-based developer has plans to build 200 luxury homes, starting at $400,000, on 59 acres along the northern half of the property.
"We're real excited about this property," said Robert Paul, president of Toll Brothers' Dallas-Fort Worth division.
He said developers have been eyeing the land for years.
"This is one of those things in a homebuilding career you may come across one or two times," Paul said. "You better get it right, and you better treat it as special as it is."
The city must still approve changing the zoning to residential. It is a decision that likely won't be made until next month. Toll Brothers hope to begin building homes in February.
The southern half of the farm along Park Blvd will remain a farm for now. Although, the owners are also trying to change the zoning to eventually allow for shopping and homes.
Last year, Plano paid $7.5 million to buy a separate Haggard Hall property further east on Park Blvd.
Robin Reeves, Plano's chief park planner, said the city will eventually turn that land into a park with playgrounds, picnic tables, and hiking trails. That project, however, is years away.
Reeves said the city does not yet have the money to develop it and has agreed to allow the Haggard family to continue to live on the property for now.