Since the first homeowners moved into Lewisville’s Castle Hills community in 1998, more than 12,000 people have decided to call the master planned community home, and it is about 60 percent built-out today.
Located off State Highway 121 and Farm-to-Market Road 544, Castle Hills is 60 percent residential and has single-family houses ranging from about $300,000 to $1.5 million and more.
Developer Bright Realty is enticing a different demographic with their next stage of work at Castle Hills with a $75-million project called Discovery at The Realm. These 4,000 luxury rental apartments are being built with young professionals in mind.
Tim McNutt, Executive VP of Multifamily Development at Bright Realty and a Castle Hills resident himself, said these apartments are part of the strategy to develop Castle Hills in stages.
“The long-term plan was to establish the single-family housing, then to develop the remaining commercial properties,” McNutt said. “Along with the commercial [real estate], we wanted to expand the demographic and this will broaden our appeal to a whole new market.”
Bright Realty broke ground in December on Discovery at The Realm, which will include high-end, three podium-style buildings (underground parking with four stories of apartments above) on over 20 acres of land located south of Windhaven Parkway at Castle Hills Drive. The first units will be available in April 2016, with all phase one units completed by October 2016. Jump to read more!
The units will be one and two bedroom with views looking out over a lake with a waterfall in the middle of the project, and will be near a promenade that will house the leasing office, a fitness center, and club.
“We want to expand the quality of Castle Hills to theses apartments and offer a lot of services you don’t normally see with rentals, like housekeeping, pet sitting, car services, and a full-time concierge once we have enough established tenants,” McNutt said. “To appeal to Gen Y, the up-and-coming urban professional, we will have a lot of events, too, like wine tastings, barbecues, yoga, and boot camps: events that will appeal to them and keep them wanting to renew their leases. We want this to be a fun place to live.”
These type of luxury apartments are attractive to young professionals because they are part of a more urban style of mixed-use development, which has been showing up in residential developments around DFW. We wrote about the phenomenon happening in Old Town Lewisville in our December post, Lewisville Old Town Redevelopment Creates Vibrant Entertainment, Living Destination.
“You are talking about an integration of single-family homes with apartments, entertainment, and retail,” Greg Willett, vice president of Carrollton-based apartment analyst MPF Research, told Dallas Morning News reporter Steve Brown. “We’ve spent the last decade talking about the urban core, and the suburbs are becoming a new interesting story.
“It’s an evolving environment where you are urbanizing suburban locations,” Willett said. “The jobs are already there.”
That mixed-use is already a reality in Castle Hills with its Village Shops & Plaza, country club, and 20 neighborhood parks. But Discovery at The Realm will be across the street from another part of Bright Realty’s new development plans: The Realm, a 324-acre “urban center” with 269,500 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space, 300,000 square feet of office space, 546 residential units above the shops, and a 100-room boutique hotel, all along the SH 121 frontage road.
And they aren’t stopping there. Next to The Realm, Cencor Realty Services is developing the Castle Hills Marketplace on the southwest corner of State Highway 121 and Josey Lane. This planned shopping center will include the first Kroger Marketplace in the area and a Kroger Fuel Center, along with small-shop retail and restaurant space, and is planned to open later this year.
Endeavor Real Estate Group has already completed Lewisville Town Crossing, just north of the planned Castle Hills Marketplace, with retailers like 24-Hour Fitness, Bank of America, and Super Target.
All this development underscores the “planned” part of this master-planned community: careful development has made Castle Hills one of the most active in DFW.
Its location on SH 121 creates easy access to nearby cities Plano, Frisco, Allen, and McKinney to the east and Carrollton, Irving, and Valley Ranch to the west. DFW International Airport is about a 15-minute drive to the west, and many major employers are close as well, including the soon-to-open Toyota North American headquarters (almost 4,000 new hires), Frito-Lay, Pepsi-Co, Computer Associates, McAfee, AT&T, Bank of America, Ericsson, and Fujitsu.
“The job growth is exploding along 121 and I just read about another 4,000 people coming into the area,” McNutt said, noting that they hope to woo those type of young professionals with Discovery at The Realm.
What do you think of this new, higher-density development at Castle Hills? Will they appeal to the thousands of workers in the area? Leave us a comment and let us know!