The master planned community, first introduced nearly a decade ago, is called the Riverwalk because of a man-made north-south waterway that is the focal point for commercial development in the mixed-use community–a town center around which home builders have been constructing single family housing now for several years.
Robert Dollak Jr., the Metroplex region director for G&A, was before the Planning & Zoning Commission on October 8 to get approval of a site plan for a Home2Suites hotel. It passed on a 5-1 vote, but en route to that decision the commissioners to a person expressed frustration with the lack of progress on elements of the project west of the artificial river. The east side has been largely completed.
No representative for Centurion American, the developer, was present, and Dollak protested being put on the spot to speak for their plans. Nevertheless, Dollak gave his best guesses.
Conceptual phasing map of the town center for Riverwalk at Central Park. Courtesy: Centurion American.
Pending amenities and other elements include a promenade for pedestrians and other traffic that will mirror a promenade on the east bank; a Restaurant Row that faces the waterway, a Farmers Market, a recreational splash pad; an amphitheater, two parking garages (one of which will be wrapped within a block-sized retail/office building), the Home2Suites, and other buildings to the south of the hotel that have not yet reached the planning stage.
The Home2Suites is just south of a Courtyard by Marriott hotel that was recently completed, and both hotels will be across Riverwalk Drive from the amphitheater that is to be just north of the splash pad and Farmers Market.
The foundation pads for the restaurants have been built and Dollak estimated the restaurants would be completed by the first or second quarter of 2019. Concrete is being poured for the top deck of a multilevel garage that is next to Restaurant Row.
Construction documents are complete and approved for the Farmers Market and the splash pad, he said, and construction should begin soon on those two elements.
Conceptual rendering (looking south) of a completed town center for Riverwalk at Central Park. Courtesy: G&A Consultants.
Referring to the promenade, Dollak said G&A is trying to schedule it to be built at the same time as the Home2Suites. The promenade is to connect to an east-west street that borders the south end of the hotel and leads to a roundabout that is now under construction. He anticipated bringing the promenade plans to the P&Z for approval in the coming weeks.
The second parking garage that is to be wrapped inside a commercial building (located just west of the Home2Suites) became a bone of contention, because as the commissioners repeatedly mentioned, parking has become a problem in the development and the Home2Suites site plan shorts its guests on parking space.
The 67,868-square-foot, four-story hotel building will have 100 rooms and only 36 parking spaces. Dollak claimed there was sufficient on-street parking and when the second garage is built guests would be able to use it.
Questioned as to when the garage would be built, he had no firm answer. However, Dollak said the development agreement with the city does require that the construction of the amphitheater is tied to the parking garage. One cannot be built without the other.
East elevation of the proposed Home2Suites hotel. Courtesy: RSS Architects LLC.
Chairman Perfecto Solis said the garage was already needed and is a critical component of the entire development. He cautioned his fellow commissioners to hold Centurion American accountable and to reject any attempt at some future date to amend the agreement to change the use of the parking garage site to something else.
Dollak said plans for the second garage are in progress.
“We haven’t submitted anything to (city) staff, but we’re working on it. It’s yet to be determined whether it will be two or three stories. It may be two stories with a top deck,” Dollak said.
He estimated construction on the second garage would begin some time in early 2019.
As for the amphitheater, Dollak said he believed a pre-construction meeting had taken place to discuss the dirt work.
“It’s just a matter of getting their workers here in Flower Mound to build it.”
Pointing to a cluster of buildings on a conceptual rendering that are south of the second parking garage and Home2Suites, Dollak said they have not yet reached the design stage.
The Home2Suites will include an indoor pool, a dining area, and 1,200 square feet of lease space for a retail tenant. It’s to be located at the southwest corner of Riverwalk Drive and Central Park Avenue on a 1.2-acre lot.
The architect for the hotel is RSS Architects LLC of Flower Mound, a specialist in hotel projects. The owner/developer is Frisco-based Flower Mound RW LLC.
The approved site plan for the Home2Suites. Courtesy: G&A Consultants.
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.