Breaking News
More () »

Behind a developer's vision to bring over 500,000 square feet of mixed-use space to Southlake

Carillon Parc will deliver 565,600 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and other commercial uses to Southlake.
Credit: Carillon Crown, LLC via DBJ

SOUTHLAKE, Texas — This story originally appeared in the Dallas Business Journal, a WFAA news partner. 

Carillon Parc will deliver 565,600 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and other commercial uses to Southlake as the city works to make use of its remaining acreage.

The mixed-use development was years in the making, and the city has backed the project with incentives. With groundbreaking slated for the next few months, the development will rise from the ground as land becomes increasingly scarce in Southlake. 

The city has big plans for its remaining acreage, intent on drawing more office development and corporate users

The Carillon Parc project has a history. The 42-acre property was originally part of a roughly 400-acre development. Hines developed most of the residential component of the property but decided not to develop the commercial and mixed-use component.  

Around 2016, the firm put the mixed-use property up for sale. Several entities had contracts to purchase the property and the city convinced all the developers to consolidate into a comprehensive development for the entire property. The prior partnership is Hunter Chase Development Partners. After getting the necessary entitlements, the group was prepared to break ground in 2020. 

After the Covid-19 pandemic began, the group sat on the property and drafted up a new development plan, steering away from hospitality. The original partnership sold to a new partnership, Carillon Crown, LLC. 

“The city has been phenomenal in their participation with us and their support of the project,” said John Terrell, partner with Carillon Crown, LLC. “I think this is going to end up being one of the best examples of how a public-private partnership is supposed to work.” 

Terrell served as the former mayor of Southlake and as a council member. The city has changed substantially since he moved to the community with his family in 1997. In his years in public service, Terrell saw the creation of the land use and master plans for 2020, 2025 and 2030. 

The town views the remaining 8% of its land that’s left for development as ideal for Class A office locations. Southlake isn’t envisioning high-rise development but is interested in mid- to low-rise buildings.  

Big name corporations including TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab Corp., Fidelity Investments and Deloitte have space along the State Highway 114 corridor. Southlake has the opportunity to capture additional corporate presence going forward. 

A daytime employment base with the kind of disposable income that these companies provide makes upscale retail and restaurant developments thrive. Part of the goal with Carillon Parc, Terrell said, is to tap into those demographics. 

Terrell spoke with the Dallas Business Journal about Carillon Parc and what might come next for Southlake. 

How did you get the community on board with this project?

Many developers fail, even if they’ve got a great vision, because they neglect to talk to the neighbors. They get opposition from the community because the community may not understand or agree with the plan. 

In my role on city council and as mayor, I would ask every developer that would come to me if they’d talked to the neighborhood yet. Where do they stand? As the developer now, I’m not going to go out and not talk to neighborhoods after I demanded that of every community developer previously. 

We made a huge effort and outreach to the neighborhood. This week, I’m speaking to the homeowners association again. We have tremendous support. 

Tell me a little bit about the incentives involved in this deal. 

A big part of this vision and what the citizens were interested in was being able to keep a certain amount of open space. On 42 acres with the amount of retail, restaurants and so forth, that’s hard to do and keep open space because surface parking takes up the balance of the land. 

We reached an agreement with the city where we said we want to keep this open space so that it is something very unique and special in how it’s designed and becomes a meeting place.

But we needed some help in order to dedicate eight to nine acres of parkland to the city and have parking for all of it. Structured parking is significantly more expensive than surface parking. We said that if you help us by giving us tax abatements and incentives to build structured parking, we can do that. They agreed. 

It’s important because there’s few, not many, who don’t understand how city incentives and tax abatements work. They think that it’s a government handout to private sector developers, and so they’re opposed. I'm very conservative fiscally and politically, but the reality is incentives are only paying dollars that are created by the development back to the developer. That’s a distinction a lot of folks who just see the surface level don’t get. We’re not getting anything from the city that we don’t create. 

In both your time in public office and now as a developer, you’ve seen Southlake change substantially. Where do you see the community heading over the next decade? 

Over the next decade, we’ll be fully built out. I hope that the vision remains intact and that those last few pieces of property are kept to a high bar. There’s not a lot to work with. When you see what’s happening along the entire 114 corridor, there’s a lot of competition. We’ve got to be unique. 

As wonderful as Town Square is, Town Square is getting a little bit long in the tooth and so it needs to be refreshed. With the new office buildings, like the one Granite is building, it is (being refreshed).

The fact that Harkins (Theatres) went out and now there’s another group in there shows that there’s still a great economic environment in the city.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out