Arlington: Provident Realty’s Multifamily Project Goes Sideways at P&Z
Feature Illustration (above): Schematic elevation of the proposed clubhouse and lease office for Debbie Lane Flats. Courtesy: Provident Realty Advisors Inc.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Arlington (Tarrant County) — The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth was ready to sell and Provident Realty Advisors was hoping to break ground by January, but plans for a 331-unit market rate multifamily project went nowhere Wednesday when the Arlington Planning & Zoning Commission failed to bring a motion.
Bishop Michael F. Olson sent a representative to yesterday’s meeting to speak in favor of the project, which is being proposed by Dallas-based Provident Realty on land under contract with the Diocese. The project name is Debbie Lane Flats.
The project site, located southwest of Texas 360 and Debbie Lane in south Arlington, is on a 17.157-acre tract of undeveloped land. It is to consist of 13 three-story, 46 foot-7 inch tall residential buildings with tuck-under garages, a one-story 7,890-square-foot lease office/clubhouse with fitness center, 62,000 square feet of common open space with amenities that include a resort style pool and courtyard, dog park, pavilion and grill area, and detention pond.
In addition to the 125 spaces of garage parking under certain units, there are 281 spaces with covered parking and 277 spaces of uncovered parking for a total of 555 spaces.
Site plan (above) for Debbie Lane Flats. Courtesy: Provident Realty. Google Earth aerial screenshot (below) of the Fort Worth Diocese land next to Hwy 360.
Dave Holland, a Provident Realty vice president, came prepared to answer all of the issues raised by the commission at a May 15 session. The only issue on the staff’s list that seemed to remain as a point of contention was the developer’s request to reduce the square footage on 28 of the 331 units to 700 SF, instead of the 750 SF required by Arlington’s UDC for a one-bedroom.
Holland’s rationale for the deviation was that his company had surveyed the 2,100 rental units in the surrounding area and found 760 units were at or below the 750 SF standard. In addition, he noted that if Provident Realty is credited for the balcony space attached to each unit, the living area exceeds 750 SF.
There was hardly any discussion on this element, however. It turned out in the end that the commission just didn’t want a multifamily apartment development and was unable to give any clear guidance on what they would want.
There was neighborhood opposition. Members of the Southwind Neighborhood Association objected on grounds that the development would increase traffic and increase student enrollment in the Mansfield Independent School District.
Holland pointed out that apartment complex is not designed for families with children. There is no playground and the majority of the units are one-bedrooms with living areas that range from 700 SF to 895 SF. He estimated that at most the complex at full occupancy would send 18 to 25 children into the school district.
The proposed apartment unit mix is 232 one-bedrooms; 81 two-bedrooms; and 3 three-bedrooms.
As for traffic, he noted that a Traffic Impact Analysis was done and the complex would generate about 1,800 vehicle trips a day compared to the 4,500 trips a day it could generate if it is developed with the existing General Commercial zoning. Provident Realty is trying to get zoning for a Planned Development for multifamily with 22 units/acre.
In addition, Provident Realty has negotiated with the Texas Department of Transportation for an agreement, at the developer’s expense, to reconstruct the neighboring roads to include a storm drainage connection to State Highway 360, a deceleration lane for the highway’s frontage road, and a turning lane for Debbie Lane. The complex was designed to include two entries from Debbie and one from the frontage road.
Rendering of the Debbie Lane Flats as seen from Hwy 360 looking west by northwest. Courtesy: Provident Realty.
Since the May 15 session, Provident Realty made the following changes based on staff and commissioners’ comments:
Building B4 and A6 were separated to satisfy the required 50 feet separation between buildings.
Metes and bounds for the detention pond were submitted.
Revised the landscape plans to show buffer trees.
Provided a drainage analysis.
Provided a Traffic Impact Analysis.
Added the required 6-foot tall masonry wall adjacent to the lot to the west, which is occupied by an electric power substation, and added a 6-foot masonry wall to the north to screen the complex from the existing retail center facing Debbie Lane.
When it came time to vote, the motion to approve failed for lack of a second. The residents in opposition wanted to see single family development on the land, but the commissioners couldn’t see that ever happening.
Commissioner Ron Reber said he couldn’t imagine a developer trying to building single family that close to a freeway intersection, and if someone ever did single family would surely mean more children going into the school district than would occur with multifamily.
Commissioner Cameron Atkins recognized that much of the land down Debbie Lane is undeveloped and more development is on the way.
“Anything that gets developed there, traffic’s going to go up. We can’t avoid that,” Atkins said. He said the Provident Realty proposal is a well-designed product, but also very much like every other upscale market rate apartment development going up around the Metroplex.
Atkins suggested something that would better fit the neighborhood at that location could be a mixed-use concept.
Provident Realty had hoped to start construction by January, knowing the build phase would take 24 months. Their options are to consider redesigning their concept or pushing forward to City Council with the P&Z denial working against them.
BGO Architects of Addison prepared the concept renderings and elevations. Kimley-Horn & Associates is the civil engineer.
The 13 residential buildings include four architectural variations and they have a total living area of 295,075 square feet:
Building A (four structures) — 90,112 SF
Building B (three structures) — 62,481 SF
Building C (three structures) — 73,200 SF
Building D (three structures) — 69,282 SF
Elevation of one of the four types of residential buildings planned at Debbie Lane Flats. Courtesy: Provident Realty.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.