When I first met Bob Hoebeke of Hoebeke Builders, Inc.  and he explained what he planned to do in his new Farmer’s Branch development, I said, “Bob, you are re-creating Seaside in North Texas without the Beach!”

Little did I know, Seaside and Watercolor are exactly what he had in mind, only for North Texas.

Seaside and WaterColor are two coveted vacation home communities on Florida’s Gulf Coast that are hugely popular with Texans. Seaside, the original, is a poster child, master-planned community along Highway 30-A in the Florida panhandle, a 28.5 mile corridor that hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline in Northwest Florida’s Walton County. The area takes you back in time to the days when Florida was just a sleepy sand and water state. Here is where the cottages of Seaside were born, planting a standard-setting imprint upon New Urbanism. Consumers snatched up beachy homes and white picket fences, but also completely walkable communities where cars were parked, locked (didn’t have to be) and families could walk to everything.

Beach towns were the first inspiration for strolling urbanism, because what do you do most at the beach? Walk!

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10-minute

The Farmers Branch Historical Park is home to numerous events year-round, including a vintage baseball tournament in the Spring (photo courtesy city of Farmers Branch).

Is your home a 10-minute (or less) walk from a park? One-third of Americans have a much longer trek than that to get to their nearest park, according to research by the National Recreation and Park Association, Urban Land Institute and, The Trust for Public Land.

Recently, Rachel Banner, a senior program manager at the NRPA, wrote a piece for the National Association of Realtors’ Spaces to Places blog about a year-long initiative to make more public spaces and parks available — within a 10-minute walk from every person.

Banner also talks about the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, which revealed that while residential and commercial developers may create amenities within their buildings or spaces, that’s not necessarily what creates a lifelong resident of a city.

“The report talks a lot about the growing demand for amenities in both office and residential development.  In the discussion about the report Owen Thomas, CEO of Boston Properties also remarked that while each year a new set of cities may be pegged for growth, we must look at how long those cities will remain “hot spots” and the places people stay long-term,” Ballard said. “While including amenities within a building may initially attract owners or tenants, it is the amenities outside of the building open to all that will get them to stay.” (more…)

There are many reasons why Hoebeke Properties LLC selected Branch Crossing in Farmers Branch to develop Hoebeke’s homestead plus four additional development lots, but proximity to community amenities was chief among them! 

“Start with an old estate on a beautiful creek surrounded by Farmers Branch’s Historical Park, add a bird sanctuary, rose gardens, a four-acre park complete with interactive children’s playground, and million dollar homes right down the street, bingo,” says Bob Hoebeke, “that’s Branch Crossing.”

Branch Crossing in Farmers Branch is the hottest neighborhood of this sleepy community that borders Dallas just north of LBJ/635 off Marsh Lane. It comprises a pocket of post World War II homes that are quickly changing hands, many torn down outright, thanks to the City’s incredible builder/developer economic incentives. Yes, while other municipalities underwrite businesses, Farmers Branch underwrites homeowners — stay tuned!

Homes in the area have enjoyed the rising tide of real estate values across DFW and are now touching the $900,000 mark, for many reasons.

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