India Developer’s Grass-Topped Community in Frisco is ‘Very Close to Nature’

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The roofs will be seeded with a blackland prairie mix that features 60 species of plants and grasses native to the Frisco area (Total Environment)

Kamal Sagar’s unique vision of high-end homes coming to Frisco is finally coming into complete focus this month.

India-based Total Environment Homes’ Tapestry community is starting a sales campaign this month on its 121-home residential community that features Texas native grasses on rooftops.

We first heard about this in 2017 in a review by Frisco city planners. In 2018, the development was approved after a few public hearings.

Now, these homes that range from 3,400 to 5,000 square feet are available for prices that start at $1.1 million.

Total Environment worked with city planners with small aesthetic tweaks to a housing concept that differs greatly from the traditional Texas suburbia look that defines Frisco. The community, which has an opening address of 14743 Little Bluestem Lane in northeast Frisco, is being promoted as a more ecologically friendly approach to homebuilding on the Texas prairie.

Kamar Sagar

“There were several public hearings where we presented, explaining why we do this and what we do, and what’s the thinking behind it,” says Sagar, Total Environment founder and CEO. “There were all kinds of questions from the public as well, about all kinds of concerns. It took its time.”

Zoning approval took 18 months, says Shashi Ketu, CEO of Texas operations for Total Environment Homes.

Did Total Enrivonment have to alter its concept greatly?

“I would say to a very large extent, we didn’t; the small details, yes,” Sagar says. “Overall, we’ve been able to bring in the concept as it is. We haven’t lost any of its original intent, so it’s there in all its details.

“For example, we like to do cobblestone streets. We can’t do that. We had to do concrete because the streets are part of the city. But on the whole, we’ve been able to build it out the way originally planned.”

As you fly over Frisco, you’ll definitely notice the difference in the homes. Instead of the typical angled and shingled rooftops that characterize the multitude of Dallas-Fort Worth area neighborhoods, the native grass will make this community stand out.

Homes are built with natural and timeless materials and designed in a way that the home won’t feel dated 10 or 20 years later. (Total Environment)

The interior of the homes is different as well. They’re designed to embrace nature and bring the outdoors into the homes. Gardens are integrated into the design with French doors opening to courtyards. The roofs will be seeded with a Blackland prairie mix that features 60 species of plants and grasses native to the Frisco area. The community will feature four creeks and three ponds.

Sagar says the homes are built with natural and timeless materials and designed in a way that the home won’t feel dated 10 or 20 years later.

“It’s not modern, as in minimalist with sharp edges and things like that,” Sagar says. “It’s very soft and warm because of the materials. It’s got earth on the roof, so while it’s very different from everything else. I guess it’s more acceptable because it’s very green as a concept. It’s very hard, very close to nature. I think that’s one of the reasons that it probably appeals to a lot of people.”

Total Environment is also building a craft brewery, dining, and live music venue at Grandscape in The Colony. Called Windmills, the 14,000-square-foot venue will be a part of Grandscape, the 350-acre retail, dining, and entertainment destination next to Nebraska Furniture Mart. The venue will include live music from international artists.

Why did Total Environment turn to Frisco for its first U.S. project?

Initially, Sagar says his team looked at the San Francisco Bay Area, but the land was too costly and approvals took long. Then, a customer suggested Frisco.

“(We) came down to check it out, actually just to understand what’s going on in this part of Texas with all the influx of people coming into the state,” he says. “We went there just to visit, but we looked around and then we found this particular property which was very beautiful.

“It had all these old trees and creeks and large water bodies. So it just made sense. It’s also a business-friendly state.”

Sagar’s team met with city leaders on the first visit.

“I showed them images of the kind of homes that we build,” Sagar says. “They really liked them, and they said ‘we’d love to have you guys here.’ So that was very encouraging and coupled with the land that we saw, we felt like this was a good place to start.”

Reaction and interest to the community have been positive, Ketu says. The community is close to shopping, schools, and a fire station is seconds away on Rolater Road. The lights at Liberty High School’s football stadium will light up the east side of Tapestry.

“We really feel that this part of Dallas, especially now, is ready for a change,” Ketu says. “People are kind of bored of seeing the same thing over and over again.

“We are talking with older people, younger people, or people that we wouldn’t expect to love it. They’re just wowed by the house — so, an extremely good response.”

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Tommy Cummings

Tommy Cummings covers the North Texas housing market for CandysDirt.com. Tommy moved to Texas from Oklahoma in 1992 and has lived in Mansfield with his wife, Brigitte, and son, Beaumont, since 2002 (after a two-year adventure in California as a tech columnist/editor at the San Francisco Chronicle). Tommy started his media career at newspapers in Oklahoma before becoming an editor in many capacities at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News, where he wrapped up his newsroom career as a digital editor. His work has appeared in news outlets throughout the U.S.

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