Southlake: Carillon Parc Mixed-Use Project Going Forward After All
Featured Illustration (above): A previous rendering of the initially proposed boutique hotel next to the central park in Carillon Parc. The updated concept has a single, larger grand hotel but keeps a similar design. Image: O’Brien
By Edmond Ortiz
Southlake (Tarrant County)—Carillon Parc, a European-style mixed-use development involving a hotel, residential, retail and office space, is finally making strides more than one year after the city approved rezoning and a project concept.
Many residents are wondering what has happened with the much-heralded, high-end development that will sit on a 42-acre site at the northeast corner of Texas Highway 114 and North White Chapel Boulevard.
For more than 10 years, local officials as well as residents in the nearby Carillon residential neighborhood have envisioned Carillon Parc as an opportunity to bring new housing, commercial and shopping opportunities north of downtown Southlake. But an absence of construction vehicles on the property had led many community members to believe the project had stopped.
Former Southlake Mayor John Terrell, a project partner, addressed City Council, saying rumors and reports that Carillon Parc had fallen through “were slightly exaggerated.”
“We believe in it, we’re passionate about it,” Terrell said about the project in a council work session.
An aerial view of the planned Carillon Parc development seen from above Texas Highway 114 with North White Chapel Boulevard to the left (going north). The existing Carillon residential neighborhood is in the distant background. Image: O’Brien
Creating “a unique experience” and a “sense of place” are goals in the Carillon Parc concept.
The concept aims to integrate pedestrian-focused destinations such as hospitality opportunities, restaurants, boutiques/artisan shops, health and wellness services, and public facilities, all of which would be unified around a central park with open spaces, amenities and pathways.
The entire development is divided into “districts”–an Office district, a Residential district, The Boulevard, The Piazza, The Parc, The Terrace, a Hotel/Wellness district, and a Library district so named because the town’s library will relocate there.
“We’re trying to create something that is unlike anything else in North Texas,” Terrell said, “something that is experiential, something not based on national chain retailers or national chain restaurants.”
The original 2018 concept plan has undergone some modifications. The envisioned “grand hotel” has expanded the number of guestrooms from 200 to 259, and the ballroom space has been realigned to give better views of the surroundings.
Rendering of the Piazza and residential district looking toward the central park, hotel and library areas in Carillon Parc. Image: O’Brien
Initial plans called for two hotels – one “grand hotel” and a boutique hotel, but an independent consultant hired to do a hotel study came back and said two hotels on the same property would not work, according to Terrell.
So, the developers jettisoned the boutique hotel and added those rooms to the larger hotel, which also has been reconfigured to allow space for a restaurant/bar, and a pool/clubhouse center for Carillon Parc residents.
The “grand hotel”design would feature an old world European architectural flavor.
Matthews Southwest Hospitality is helping to develop the hotel. Based in Lewisville, Texas, Matthews Southwest has developed hotels and entertainment venues around North Texas, Canada and United Arab Emirates.
Scrapping the boutique hotel also permitted the creation of 96,000 square feet of additional office space. A nearby parking deck has been redesigned, too.
Regarding living options, the Carillon Parc plan calls for 100 owner-occupied residential units spread out between the Piazza and Parc districts.
There have been enhancements to the Boulevard, office building pads, and the park’s water feature, including the addition of a grand staircase and elevator entry leading people from the Piazza to a pedestrian path. The central park has been enlarged from 8.5 to 10 acres; about one-quarter of land at Carillon Parc will be green/open space on the whole.
Carillon Parc designs also have bell towers, trails, wayfinding, street pavers, and stops for rideshares and even future trolley service.
Another element of the Carillon Parc is how the project team’s designers will capitalize on the rolling topography of the site.
For example, plans call for the hotel to be built into the topography so that one part of it will stand seven stories tall, and another part of it will be six stories.
Also, various buildings with have multiple staircases that will offer people different perspectives of the surroundings. Tree preservation, too, will be a key aspect of the development.
Former Southlake Mayor John Terrell, a co-developer of Carillon Parc, addresses Southlake City Council on Sept. 17.
The new library space at Carillon Parc will be a vast improvement upon the existing library space in the basement of Southlake Town Hall. The latter space, city officials have said, will likely be repurposed for city or county office operations after the library functions depart.
The developers hope that Carillon Parc will lure a significant number of local businesses, including start-ups, and that there will be opportunities for such ventures as a culinary school and performing arts.
Terrell said Carillon Parc is not designed to compete with Southlake Town Square, the existing major mixed-use development, but rather “work in concert with it to increase tourism and the number of people coming in to spend money.”
The project partners feel there’s an increasing monetary value to Carillon Parc. Terrell said thanks to the improvements in the concept plan and additional square footage, the overall value has risen to more than $300 million.
Council members lauded the proposed design enhancements and expressed optimism that the project will be fully realized.
“I think there are updates and upgrades here that are interesting and exciting and make a lot of common sense,” Mayor Pro Tem Shawn McCaskill said.
Mayor Laura Hill said Carillon Parc represents a chance for Southlake to expand its commercial and recreational presence along an increasingly busy Texas 114 corridor and begin to distinguish itself from the other growing towns and suburbs in North Texas.
“I think we have a take a regional look at (the area) and hope this project moves forward quickly,” she added.
Terrell said he understands the community’s skepticism given the silence surrounding the project. But, he added, the silence was necessary so that project partners could advance sensitive business transactions to advance the development.
“We haven’t been very vocal, now we’re going to be very vocal going forward,” Terrell said.
Undeveloped land lies behind the sign marking the entrance to the existing Carillon residential community. This is where the Carillon Parc mixed-use project will be located. Image: Google Streets
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.