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Downtown Loft project set to begin in March

Downtown Loft project set to begin in March thumbnail

Mansfield’s loft project is set to start construction in March with the first phase of 315 apartments ready for move-in by 2017.

Realty Capital Management’s mixed-use project will bring high density to downtown Mansfield while also expanding the city’s park and trail system. Resident amenities will include two swimming pools and a dog park. Some units will have flexible space where tenants could have a business on the first floor, said Felix Wong, Mansfield’s director of planning.

“It’s going to be a giant step forward in transforming that area,” said City Councilman Darryl Haynes. “The design of that project is going to be something you’d find in Addison or downtown Fort Worth.”

The $65 million project at the southwest corner of Newt Patterson Road and North Main Street accomplishes a number of goals the city has had for a long time.

Mayor David Cook said the project and other improvements planned along North Main Street will make a statement as drivers enter downtown Mansfield. The goal is to lengthen downtown north to Pleasant Run Drive/Newt Patterson Road.

“I think it’s going to be a huge compliment to what the council is trying to do to revitalize this downtown Mansfield,” Cook said. “There’s a lot of energy from a lot of different projects that will create a lot of synergy there in downtown.”

It will bring vibrancy to that region of Mansfield with up to 550 apartments, which means hundreds of new residents will live within walking distance of downtown, Wong said.

Speaking of walking, it also extends the Walnut Creek Linear Park west from Town Park to a new park on the west side of North Main Street. The developer will dedicate 2.5 acres to the Mansfield Park Facilities Development Corp., which will build the park south of the loft project. The trail will stop before North Street, for now.

“The ultimate goal of the city is to have that future extension crossing Walnut Creek and the railroad, eventually but not with this project,” Wong said.

Sidewalks on both sides of Main Street will connect the lofts, Town Park and the new park to the historic downtown area. The corner of Newt Patterson Road and North Main Street will feature a trailhead with a drinking fountain.

The lofts will also add several hundred thousand dollars to the city’s tax rolls, Wong said.

Using a tax increment reinvestment zone, much of the additional property tax value added by the lofts will remain in the downtown area.

“That’s going to supercharge the level of property values in that area,” said Haynes, who sits on the TIRZ board.

The Mansfield City Council approved the apartments in April, but nixed plans for townhomes and zero-lot-line homes on the site.

Tim Coltart, managing director for Realty Capital, said there are still plans for single-family homes along North Street. Realty Capital is looking for builders for that phase of the project.

Councilwoman Wendy Burgess voted against the lofts over concerns that apartments would overcrowd the school district.

Coltart said at the time that judging by the other high-end apartments in Mansfield he expects the ratio to be as low as one child per 10 units.

Haynes said the price point and quality of the project puts the lofts on par with the Villas di Lucca project on East Debbie Lane.

“It’s targeted to young professionals, not necessarily families,” Haynes said. “It’s going to be expensive, but it’s going to be very nice. You’ll be able to walk right out of your house into the park and onto the trail and access everything you need.”

Except a grocery store. Adding a high-density project with high demographics could be the catalyst that finally brings a grocery store to that end of Mansfield, Haynes said.

Published on November 20th, 2015, by the Star-Telegram